I am a firm believer that having a hobby is healthy. That may be a bit of a ‘duh’ statement, but it is what I believe. When I first started high school, I was interested in photography, but due to course restrictions, I was not able to get involved with it until my junior year. I joined yearbook, and it was/is the best choice I’ve ever made hands down. But not all hobbies from through academia, junior Jared Muiser found his new hobby, through an old one.
“I guess I started with video games and from there on out I was just interested in the graphics and all [of] that. And just how cool gaming was and everything. It just made me want to take more electronic classes in high school and I just got interested in doing it,” Muiser said.
While Muiser found interest in electronics and computers through video games, it was a course that pushed Muiser’s interest further. By taking Information Technology, Muiser qualified to be a contender in the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship.
“Well to be honest, there was this [book] l and I took a class called Information and Technology, I didn’t really know what it was about, I just wanted to get into another electronics class and we started doing these certification tests and she said it would help us with our jobs. I took the certification test for Excel and I got a really great score, but I didn’t think it was the highest but she called me back a month later and she said I did the greatest in the school,” Muiser said.
Muiser went on to describe the process of working his way through certification and the amount of time and effort it took.
“We took certification tests through Certiport and it was basically they would put up a template for Excel and you’d have to do a number of things to it to actually get the questions right, to get a higher score. I learned because I was paying attention to the teacher and I thought it was a pretty interesting class," said Muiser.
It was only after spending time going through the class did Muiser and his instructors realize what he had accomplished in a short period of time.
"When we took the certification test I actually scored really high. My teacher said, ‘Wow, you’re the highest there’s been in the school,’ and I was like, ‘oh wow, really?’ so I didn’t expect to be the school representative," said Muiser. "I didn’t really know about the competition until she called me back a month later, where she told me about the competition and I decided to enter. I even started my own GoFundMe page to help raise funds for the trip.”
Muiser’s score allowed him to qualify for the competition, but without his school, Muiser would not have had the opportunity to learn about the MOS Championship.
“I feel like I owe it to my school. It’s a really good school. I love it there and I feel like it would be an interesting competition and I feel like I have the potential to possibly win, or at least place high at least. I actually like Microsoft Office and everything that it does. It kind of comes natural to me,” Muiser said.
Since Muiser excelled in his certification classes, he and another student were able to become Merrillville High School representatives. With this position, they will [hopefully] represent their school down at the MOS competition in August of 2016. Muiser hoped his position would promote peer interest in the technology field.
“I hope my position as a school representative would get other kids into technology as information technology is a growing field, especially in Indiana. Maybe it’ll encourage them to take the classes in high school if their school offers those types of classes, and they can get the same type of certification I can. It can help them with their jobs and everything they want to get. I hope to get people involved who are interested in technology simply because I love technology as well,” Muiser said.
While Muiser still has a year or so before committing to a college, he already had plans for his future – and yes they included technology.
“I have a few colleges in mind, but I'll most likely choose Purdue College of Technology and I’ll probably major in technology, software engineering, or something similar. I’m trying to get a job right now actually and hopefully after that it’ll take me to bigger places,” Muiser said.