From Microsoft Office Specialist to Amazon Intern

Silicon Valley. Seattle. London. Bangalore. All of these cities are recognized as some of the largest IT hubs in the world. Is it possible that Cary, North Carolina will be added to this list? It will if former MOS US National Championship competitor, Ali Khan, has anything to say about it.

Ali, a Cary, NC native, competed in the MOS US National Championship three years in a row, 2013, 2014, and 2015. He earned two bronze and one silver medal over the three years. His drive and certifications have now taken him to places most students can only dream about. Find out more in his interview below:

Certiport: Ali, thanks so much for sharing your story with us. We’re so excited about all your amazing opportunities. Tell us about where you’re studying for school.

Ali: Currently, I’m a junior at Purdue University, triple majoring in Computer Science, Data Science, and Applied Statistics.

Certiport: Wow! A triple major is no small task. How do you manage that?

Ali: School takes up a lot of time, but I still find time for fun. I’m a huge “Game of Thrones” fan. I spend my days binge watching “Game of Thrones” on a very regular basis. I also love to play basketball. I joined Purdue’s intramural basketball organization, so I play very often.

Certiport: Glad you’re keeping a balance. Did you get to have some fun this last summer?

Ali: I actually didn’t take too much time off because I was completing an internship at Amazon headquarters in Seattle, Washington. I was a Software Engineering intern and created a mobile app that Amazon is currently working on to put into production. I loved my experience there, and my certifications really helped with receiving the internship and with daily tasks. My recruiter was really interested in my certifications.

Ali Khan

Certiport: That’s so awesome that the recruiter was interested in your MOS certifications. How else do you feel your certifications have helped you?

Ali: My Microsoft certifications have really helped my career and educational goals. Throughout my college experience, I have had to use Microsoft Suite to complete assignments, and having the skill set that these certifications provide really helped making tasks easier. The certifications have boosted my career a lot too. I have received a lot of interviews with tech companies who love to hear about my certifications and my stories from the competition.

I even got to do a lot of freelancing last year. There is a huge demand for students who know Microsoft Suite, especially Excel. Database management is a very important skill, and many people will pay a lot of money to people who possess these skills.

Certiport: How amazing that you’ve been able to have so many career-building opportunities while you’re still in college. What’s your plan for after you graduate?

Ali: My plans after college are to pursue Software Engineering at a tech company. I also hope to start my own non-profit that focuses on providing an education for underprivileged students. I have done a lot of volunteering in schools, where I teach students because they would not have the resources to learn certain subjects, like Computer Science, otherwise. I hope to continue this work when I graduate.

Certiport: That’s so great that you’re working hard to pay it forward. Thanks so much for sharing your story! You’re an awesome inspiration to students around the world. One more question for you, would you recommend competing in the MOS Championship to other students?

Ali: Absolutely! Throughout my three years at the competition, I made a lot of really good friends. A few others went to the competition multiple years in a row too, so it was always really nice meeting these familiar faces, as well as the new competitors. We always had a really good team. Certiport did an excellent job with making sure that the competition was also very fun. I have so many great memories from competing, and the opportunities that have come from my experience have been phenomenal.

Interested in learning more about this annual competition? Learn more at