In 2009, thanks to the generous grant of a set of a half-dozen exam vouchers from Microsoft, I was able to award six lucky winners in a contest that requested applicants to share their certification success stories with me in exchange for a chance to win one of those vouchers. On July 8, 2009, I announced the winners. One of those winners was Renne Barcelona from the Philippines, who was profiled in more detail the following week on July 15.
Last week I was both surprised and pleased to receive a follow-up e-mail from Renne that provides some additional information about what’s happened in his or her life since that voucher was granted. Renne was kind enough to give me permission to reproduce this letter, so here it is:
I’ve been reading thru my past emails and just went to your blogsite, I just wanted to thank you again for giving me the opportunity last January 2010 and won a free Microsoft Exam Voucher.
As of now, I was able to pass a series of certifications from Microsoft, CompTIA, EC Council and Adobe and was also able to have an upgrade on my career. Inline with this, I was also able to fully complete my Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and on currently pursuing my MBA course and currently working as a Tier 2 Remote Systems Engineer with one of the largest IT service provider in Dallas Forth Worth Area, Texas (I said remote because I was employed by US company but is supporting clients in the US even my current location is in the Philippines).
I’ve been reading your blog almost everyday and thanks for all the wonderful tips, tricks and knowledge that is surely helping us to be updated in the latest IT trends. If it is not for the free voucher that you gave me last year, I think I will not be able to pursue and continue my career in IT and that voucher served as an important stepping stone to success in reaching my goals in life . Thanks again Ed and may God bless you.
Boy, it’s great to know that an almost throwaway idea — “Hey, let me see if I can talk to Microsoft and get them to fund some exam vouchers! It would be good for the blog and good for their program.” — can make a real difference in somebody’s life. I am so proud of Renne for seizing the opportunity that a small gift provided and turning it to such great advantage. It calls to mind the old folk-tale “For Want of a Nail,” but in an entirely positive and heart-warming way. All I can say to Renne, and to all the people chasing IT certification in search of personal betterment is “Keep up the good work. It is your hard work and extra effort that makes the world a better place.” I hope this blog can inspire more people to get up off their duffs and get their careers moving in a positive direction.