It’s Good to be Back…

Okay, I never really left… but it was touch and go for a bit.  After having made the payment yesterday, I woke up Friday morning to an e-mail that I have now received eleven times.

Thanks for renewing your MCT membership!

While it is not quite the twelve year anniversary of my earning this distinction (I first achieved it July 21, 2006), it is the eleventh renewal.

A lot has changed in the past twelve years… in my life, to the Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) program.  The least of the changes is the cost per year – we all complained when the cost jumped to USD$800 per year, and a lot of my brethren decided the benefits was no longer worth the cost.  Fortunately for them, Microsoft Learning created the MCT Alumni program.

Personally, while I consider the cost to be excessive, I still feel it is worth paying.  I have worked with several my clients because I was able to start by training their staff.  When I have free cycles, because I am able to teach Microsoft Official Curriculum courses, I can reach out to training centres (and brokers) around the world to offer them my services.  As well, there is a cachet to having the title.  ‘Hey, that guys is an MCT… he must know something.’

Until a few years ago, I was extremely involved in the MCT Community.  I was an MCT Regional Lead from 2012-2013 (see article); I volunteered as a proctor and facilitator for hands-on labs at events like TechEd and Ignite; I wrote myriad articles helping people to understand their certification paths.  All in all, I did what I could to help make the program better.

I have stepped back from all of that, as I have stepped back from most if not all of my community involvement overall.  I will always be proud of what I did, but I felt it was time for others to step up and take over.

MCT_logoMy MCT is not like that; while there is an MCT Community, I consider my MCT a vital tool in my professional toolbox.  Being able to teach courses, having access to the Microsoft course ware library and on-line labs for my own professional development, all of these are worth the price of admission right there… even if my company was not willing to cover the cost (which I am grateful that they are).

When I was an independent contractor, being able to train was a key component of my business.  Between my time as a contractor with Microsoft Canada (I could not have been an Evangelist if I had not been a trainer) and HP (I spent several months contracting to them, teaching System Center), as well as teaching courses through both Microsoft and other Learning Partners, I made a pretty respectable living.

Now that I am working with Cistel, I will likely spend most of my time consulting, implementing, reviewing, and so on.  But that does not mean that I will not occasionally be called on to teach courses, both internally and for our clients.  In the year since I started contracting with them before joining them full-time, both scenarios have happened.

While I enjoy consulting, I also truly enjoy teaching.  It is great to build and upgrade and improve upon systems, but it is also great to teach others to know and understand concepts, technologies, that they had not previously known.  Being with a company like Cistel, I have the opportunity to do both… as long as I maintain my Microsoft Certified Trainer status.

If you have ever sat one of my sessions – whether a class, a seminar, a user group presentation, anything – I am always happy to hear your thoughts, and just to stay in touch.

Thank you all!

Mitch Garvis, MCT

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