An East Central University student has recently taken the state’s top score in a national certification program for the Microsoft Office suite of computer applications.
Twenty-one-year-old Beggs native Corey Burton took the state’s highest score during a recent Microsoft Office Specialist exam, specifically earning the mark on the Excel 2016 test. Excel is the Redmond, Washington-based software giant’s number crunching application. The spreadsheet software is wildly popular in a broad range of industries and applications.
Burton’s score qualifies him to compete in testing firm Certiport’s 2018 Microsoft Office Specialist U.S. National Championship, held June 13-15 in Atlanta. His birthday is June 14 — a day Burton said he would not mind spending in a testing center.
“I’m pretty excited,” Burton said. “I guess I’ll spend my 22nd birthday taking an Excel exam.”
Burton is a double major in business administration management, with banking and finance certifications, and instrumental music performance. It was his business administration management coursework that afforded him the opportunity to take the exam. As part of an advanced computer business applications class taught by Assistant Professor Stacey Bolin, students are allowed to replace their midterm exam with the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam. Bolin, who teaches in the university’s Harland C. Stonecipher School of Business, is certified to administer the exams.
Bolin said the newly offered exams are one way the university is trying to address the demands of employers who increasingly pressure the school to produce graduates with strong Excel skills.
“The external certification exam provides students with documentation to illustrate their skill set,” Bolin said. “Corey exhibits determination, preparedness and professionalism with regard to his education. These traits have helped him do extremely well … and will serve both he and his future employer well upon graduation.”
Burton said his experiences at ECU have played a vital role in shaping his education.
“I really did not take it seriously until I came to school here,” Burton said. “I took a computer business applications class with Dr. Tom Lanis and that was my first actual training with Excel.”
When he is not crunching numbers or planning birthday exams, Burton can be found playing the trombone in the university’s marching, jazz and concert bands.
Burton said he likes ECU’s small class sizes.
“I like that I’m really able to interact with my professors. You really get to know (them),” he said. “East Central is a great school. It fit like a glove when I got here, right from the start.”