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Samoan student named as Microsoft PowerPoint world champion

07 August 2018

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

A Samoan student from Auckland has made history, being the first New Zealander to place first in a category at the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship.

Tristan Mona, 16, from Avondale College has returned home after winning first place in the final round of the championship's PowerPoint category in Orlando, Florida last week.

Tristan Mona. Photo/ Supplied. 

Students from around the world entered the competition to prove their superior skills in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

In its 17th year, the competition attracted one million entries and held regional competitions before 152 finalists were sent to the United States for the last showdown.

Mona says they were tasked to recreate a PowerPoint based on information and criteria that was provided.

The new world champion won a $7000 cash prize.

He gives credit to Avondale College's Innovation Programme, that's given students like himself the opportunity to gain industry-certified qualifications in IT.

Tristan Mona claiming his winning prize in Orlando, Florida. Photo/ Supplied.

Mona says he's proud of his achievement, proving Pacific people can excel in the IT world.

"I was very proud to learn that I was one of the first Polynesian students to be on this trip. That gave me a lot of pride," he says.

"We should definitely get out there and take control of the opportunities, we shouldn't see it as we have to be a certain demographic to be involved."

Mona hopes to compete again next year and aspires to study overseas and become a technology entrepreneur.