Lizbeth Cortez-Galindo, a junior from Milford, is the state PowerPoint champion, and Daniel Rubini, a sophomore from Harbeson, is the state Microsoft Word champion, after scoring the highest in the state on a timed certification test.
Mastering PowerPoint is about more than making slides – it’s about public speaking, presentation, and training, said Cortez-Galindo, an aspiring entrepreneur with a focus on social action.
“You have to present lot of things in a business, so it’s a very good skill,” she said. “Plus those skills are very useful on your resume when you’re applying for jobs and internships.”
For the Microsoft Word contest, Rubini said, students have to execute a series of complicated tasks, including obscure details of formatting and setting up documents. That’s important for business owners, he said.
“All businesses nowadays are based off of Excel spreadsheets, Microsoft Word documents. Being able to use the technology better is going to make your documents look better and make your spreadsheets look better for the eye,” said Rubini, who is considering a career in accounting or finance. “There’s a lot more to Microsoft Word than you would really think.”
The two will next be testing their skills at the Certiport Microsoft Office Specialist U.S. National Championship, to be held in June in Dallas.
Sussex Tech’s business, finance and marketing career-technical area area gives students direct, hands-on experience in running in-school businesses, as well as a practical grounding in soft skills like public speaking, organization and team management. Students gain a firm foundation in business topics and can complete specialties in accounting or marketing management, for example.
“Lizbeth and Daniel are great examples of how our students are prepared to excel in the workforce and in the classroom,” said teacher Frank Makray. “They have the technical skills to do the job and the personal initiative to get it done right, which are vital to careers in business.”
This is the second year in a row that two Tech students have been state champions. Last year, students Jacqueline Yeo of Laurel and Joseph Klosiewicz of Georgetown competed at the national championships in the PowerPoint competition, with Yeo placing 8th in the nation.