Jul 25, 2012

Vancouver, BC – The winner of this year’s Canadian National Competition in Microsoft Office Excel is Zijie Zhu, it was announced this week – a 15-year old high school student from Vancouver who decided to walk into Langara’s testing centre during the competition earlier this year.

Zijie, who competed against thousands of students across the country to claim the national championship, will now proceed to the Certiport Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office in Las Vegas between July 29 and 31. The contest is a chance for students from all over the world to display their skills with the Microsoft Office Suite, including Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. An estimated 300,000 participants from 50 countries have competed this year in a bid to claim the title of World Champion.

"We were excited to be a part of this competition, and we're absolutely thrilled that the winner came through our testing centre,” said Raymond Chow, Langara’s program coordinator for computer technology. “We're hoping that this local success will inspire others in the Lower Mainland compete, and allow Langara to produce more national champions in the years to come."

Zijie, who is a full-time grade 10 student at University Hill Secondary School, has never received any formal training in Excel and entered the competition out of his own curiosity. He learned the program at the age of 11 when his mother was taking a basic Microsoft Excel course at BCIT.

"He was too young to stay at home by himself at that time," said Nellie Zhu, Zijie's mother. "After I got the approval from my teacher, I brought him to the classroom a couple of times. I think that's the only way he accessed Excel. He learned a lot through the 'Help' icon all by himself. For this test he didn't practice at all."

The contest, which is in its 11th year, is open to all registered students between the ages of 13 and 22. Testing centres are set up all over the world to determine who will represent each nation at the world championships. The winners who emerge from the Las Vegas competition will take home thousands of dollars in scholarship prizes.

"This event is becoming very popular among students worldwide, and I enjoy watching these kids really master Office and have fun competing," said Takeshi Numoto, the Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Office Division, Microsoft Corp. in a press release about the championship. "The popularity of the competition is a reflection of the global footprint Office has – there are more than 750 million Office users worldwide."

The competition at the Langara Testing Centre ran from May 25 to June 15. Anyone wishing to learn more information about next year’s competition should contact Raymond Chow at rchow@langara.bc.ca.

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Annie Mullins
Communications Officer
Communications and Marketing Services
Langara College
604-323-5058 | amullins@langara.bc.ca