A successful career today requires technical savvy. Mastering technology with a Microsoft Office Specialist certification ensures that students know how to use the tools they’ll encounter in the workplace, setting them up for success in whatever field they pursue.
Former MOS US National Championship competitor and Alabama native, Dhruv Singh, has used his MOS certification to build a foundation for future success. Learn more about Dhruv’s experience at the MOS Championship and his plans for a career in engineering below.
Certiport: Dhruv, so good to chat with you again. We haven’t seen you in a few years.
Dhruv: It has been awhile. It’s so great to reconnect with the Certiport team.
Certiport: We’re excited to share your story. Can you share a little about your background? What first got you involved in certification?
Dhruv: I got involved in certifications through my high school’s Information Technology Academy. The Academy was a four-year program that started off with Microsoft Office certifications and worked all the way up to computer programing. A special shout out to Mrs. Judy Kehr who inspired me along with hundreds of other high school students to pursue certifications. Teachers like her are the reason why students succeed.
Certiport: Go Mrs. Kehr! And she was the one that helped push you to participate in the MOS Championship?
Dhruv: Yes, and that was such an amazing opportunity. I remember being in Orlando for the MOS U.S. National Championship, hanging out by the pool with some of the Certiport team and a few other competitors. I loved seeing some of the friends I had made the year before and being able to catch up with them. I actually keep in touch with a few of the other competitors from time to time.
Certiport: That feels like so long ago! What are you up to now?
Dhruv: Currently I am a junior studying mechanical engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. However, during the summer, I work at a local engineering consulting firm. I work as a Mechanical Draftsman Intern working on HVAC, plumbing, and basic building design. I got the opportunity to work on some large projects and got very good experience early on. I also draft up large blueprint sheets for new and existing buildings, so if you ever need a building designed, let me know!
Certiport: We’ll keep you in mind for our future building projects. That’s amazing that you get so much experience before you’re even done with college. Do you feel like your certifications helped you land the position?
Dhruv: My certifications have definitely helped me. I found out that many people do not know the full power of the Microsoft Word and Excel. Interviewers always are amazed with the number of certifications I have! Having those certifications set me apart.
Certiport: Do you feel like you’ve used your knowledge in Microsoft Office on the job?
Dhruv: Absolutely! Using my knowledge of Excel, I was able to create a program to assist with HVAC systems calculations. When you’re determining how many cubic feet per minute (CFMs) of air go into each room of a commercial or residential building, you have to input the number of people, window areas, door areas, volume of the room, electrical loads, etc. Lots of variable, but ultimately, you have to determine the number of CFMs of air per room, so you can determine how big of an air conditioner a building needs.
I made a large excel spreadsheet where all you need to do is input window or door lengths and widths, quantity per room and it spits out the corresponding area. Instead of calculating the areas by hand, you have a computer program that all you do is input and gives you an output. Those inputs go into our software, and you easily have calculated the amount of CFM of air that is required. All the engineers in the firm would spend hours calculating this before, so they really liked my use of Excel to simplify things.
Certiport: Wow! Who knew that Excel would be so useful in an engineering position. Most people don’t make that connection. Do you have any plans for additional certifications?
Dhruv: Yes, it’s a must in the engineering field. I plan to take the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) and PE (Professional Engineer) in the next few years during my upperclassman years in college.
Certiport: And what are your plans for after you graduate?
Dhruv: After I graduate, I would like to work for an engineering company to get some experience. Eventually, I would like to start my own firm and run a business. I would love to combine my love for engineering and business. Over this summer, I have been working with my dad on a startup company that focuses on providing cost effective engineering solutions, and I’m so excited to see where we’ll go in the future.
What sets our company apart is that we are family owned and have almost no overhead. We can provide the same quality work, but at a much cheaper price. I really want to stress the importance of small local businesses in Birmingham. Over recent years, Birmingham has seen a spike in commercialization with many new restaurants, and essentially a revitalization of the city. We want to add to our city and make it a hub of innovation and a destination for people from all around the country. It really is a hidden gem not many people know about.
Certiport: It’s so great to see that you already have so many ambitions. For those students still in the thick of high school, what advice would you give to help them see success like you have?
Dhruv: Find teachers who influence and guide you. As mentioned before, Mrs. Kehr was a big influence as she pushed me to never give up. Coach Greg Heard, Mr. Alec Winston, Dr. Mark Conner, and Mr. Matt Grainger all taught me to be a better person and to actually get excited to come to school. They made school about growing and not just learning material. If students can find teachers like that, don’t settle for less! Push yourself to learn each day. It’ll definitely pay out in the future.
Looking to help your students build a successful career? Find out more about MOS certification at www.certiport.com/mos. You can also read more about the MOS Championship program at www.moschampionship.com.