• Joanne Jacobs

I Can Think Of Worse Pursuits For Teenagers

I’ve never heard of the Microsoft Office World Championship, have you?  An Olympics on the computer:

Like many teens, John Dumoulin passed the summer before his senior year of high school in front of a computer screen. But he wasn’t playing “League of Legends,” streaming “Game of Thrones” or watching hours on end of YouTube videos. He was mastering the art of the pivot table. The 17-year-old from Virginia spent several hours a day perfecting his technique in Microsoft Excel. He was training for what he calls the “Olympics,” after all. This week, John was one of 150 students from 50 countries competing in the Microsoft Office World Championship at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. At stake: cash, prizes and the clout that comes with being the best in the world at Excel, PowerPoint or Word… “It’s about preparing students to get a job,” said Anthony Salcito, vice president of worldwide education at Microsoft. “To become more employable to companies that build their businesses around the Microsoft suite.” Past winners have gone on to attend Ivy League colleges and even work at, yes, Microsoft.

More practical than a spelling bee, but just as intense.

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