May 22, 2013 - Jon Doslak is a perfect example of why it's important to always try hard and never give up.
Jon Doslak (click for larger version)
The 2013 Oxford High School graduate was taking a difficult exam, the outcome of which he didn't have very much confidence in. It covered a lot of material he either didn't know or only "had a faint idea" about, but he kept going in spite of all that.
Lo and behold, not only did Doslak achieve the highest score on the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) Web Development Fundamentals exam, he took first place at the Business Professionals of America (BPA) national competition because of it.
"I was extremely surprised," Doslak said. "I was surprised I passed."
The MTA Web Development Fundamentals exam measures an individual's ability to accomplish technical tasks such as programming web applications, working with data and services, troubleshooting and debugging web applications, working with client-side scripting, and configuring and deploying web applications.
"I felt pretty proud of myself," Doslak said. "I was quite surprised at how well I did. I didn't expect to finish so high."
Because he scored so well on the exam, Doslak is now industry-certified as a Microsoft Technology Associate.
"MTA certification is positioned to become the premier credential for individuals seeking to explore and pursue a career in technology, or augment related pursuits such as business or any other field where technology is pervasive," according to Certiport, a world leader in performance-based certification exams and practice test solutions for academic institutions, workforce and corporate technology markets.
Possessing this certification makes Doslak "that much more marketable" when seeking a position in the Information Technology industry, according to Maria Wolbert, who teaches web design at OHS and serves as an advisor to Oxford's BPA Chapter.
"(Prospective employers will) know that he is a competent individual who's intelligent and trainable," she said.
Wolbert wasn't at all surprised by how well Doslak did on the certification exam given his "knowledge base."
"I've always known Jon's potential," she said. "He is really quite a star."
Having been Doslak's teacher for three years at OHS, Wolbert said she's never had "to sit by his side and micromanage him."
"He's one of those students that you give him a tiny grain of sand and he makes a whole beach for you," she said. "He's able to envision things in his mind and come up with this tremendous product."
Despite his considerable talents, Doslak is "very humble," according to Wolbert.
It doesn't matter if he "finishes first or 100th," she said, "His reaction is the same."
"When you talk to him, he actually gets slightly embarrassed because he's not used to having a lot of attention focused on him," Wolbert continued. "He's not one of those people who always wants to be the center of attention."
Doslak also took fourth place in the Fundamentals of Web Design competition at BPA nationals.
"I was absolutely thrilled," Wolbert said. "When you get to nationals, you're dealing with the best of the best. You can't get first place all the time, but to even get fourth place is just astonishing."
For this competition, Doslak had to create (or code) an entire website from scratch to exacting specifications and complete a multiple-choice theory test, all in just 90 minutes. He had to create the website using two of the core technologies for building web pages. He took first place in this same category at BPA's state competition back in March.
"He's just that good," Wolbert said. "He codes from scratch all the time."
Doslak plans to continue his education at Oakland University, where he'll work toward a degree in computer science.
He hopes to get position in the computer programming industry. He noted that doing this type of work inspires him because it affords him an outlet for his creativity.
Wolbert foresees a very bright future for Doslak. "When some company someday realizes his amazing potential, his imagination, his intelligence and what he can do for them, boy, they're going to have a real prize on their hands," she said.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.