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Lake Land College student competes at national Microsoft Office competition

Posted on August 3, 2022

Lake Land College business student Lydia Madlem, Charleston, recently competed at the 2022 Microsoft Office Specialist U.S. National Championship in Dallas, Texas.

Photo from the 2022 Certified Certified Educator Conference and the Microsoft Office Specialist and Adobe Certified Professional U.S. National Championships in Grapevine, Texas.

As one of only two students in the state of Illinois to achieve this honor, Madlem said she was she was shocked when she discovered that she had qualified for the event.

“I honestly thought the email I received was a scam,” Madlem said. “I thought, ‘There’s no way I was able to achieve something like that.’ However, I was completely wrong. I was ecstatic because I learned that I not only qualified for the Word 2016 exam, but also Excel 2016.”

Students in the business program at Lake Land College enter the competition as part of their classes. Lisa Earp, business instructor/program coordinator of office professionals and director of court reporting & captioning, said she believes the competition is an excellent opportunity for students to build skills with the Microsoft Office programs as well as offering the students beneficial experience.

“We are very proud of Lydia’s accomplishments in this competition,” Earp said. “She has shown remarkable talent in these areas, and I have no doubt that she will continue to thrive in her future endeavors.”

Having competed in the Word 2016 competition, Madlem placed within the top 10 in that category nationally. She said taking certifications through her classes at Lake Land prepared her so that she was not intimidated by the tests at the competition.

“It was familiar content to me because it had been covered in the certifications I had taken in my classes,” Madlem said. “For future participants, I would suggest taking the Expert Certifications. Although the regular Word 2016 certification prepared me enough for the test at the championship, my knowledge from the expert test helped me as well.”

Going on to praise the education she received at Lake Land College, Madlem said the competition was a great learning experience and would provide valuable skills and knowledge for her future career.

The competition also brought about several new opportunities and experiences for Madlem, and she said she greatly appreciated the opportunity to participate in it.

“I got to experience my first flight, my first Uber, and many more ‘firsts’,” Madlem said. “I also enjoyed getting to speak to other participants and the Microsoft and Certiport representatives at the competition. The representatives treated us all very well there. To them, everyone that was there was already a champion of their state, so they treated us like we were amazing no matter how we placed overall.”

For more information on how to earn MOS certifications at Lake Land College, contact Lisa Earp at



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