Moraine Valley Community College alumnus Mike La Mantia, of Chicago’s Mount Greenwood neighborhood, was one of the top scorers in Illinois for the Microsoft Office Specialist Excel certification exam, qualifying him for the Microsoft Office Specialist U.S. National Championship in June 2021.

La Mantia took a Microsoft Excel class in fall 2019 with Carol Boyle, Moraine Valley professor of Office Technology and certification testing coordinator. When he sat for the certification exam, a requirement for the class, he performed advanced Excel tasks. Top exam scorers in each state are invited to the national tournament, which was canceled in June due to the pandemic but rescheduled for June 2021. La Mantia earned a near-perfect score. He transferred to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is studying finance and agribusiness.

“It’s something nice for my resume. I never even thought about the competition. I just wanted to pass the class and gain the skills necessary for my future career. I’m setting myself up for the future. This [national competition] is an added bonus,” La Mantia said.

He took Microsoft Office classes in high school and continued developing skills in that field through the Office Technology Program at Moraine Valley. He intends to brush up his Excel skills before representing Illinois at the national competition.

“Michael is the first Moraine Valley student I know of invited to the national tournament. He was the highest-scoring student from my OFT 122 [Microsoft Excel] course. It’s exciting,” Boyle said.