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Hi, I'm Doug Barth from the United States...

Douglas Barth (Usa), Upgrade from MCSA 2003 to MCITP: Enterprise Administrator;MCSA 2003 27 Apr to 13 Mar 2011

Hi, I'm Doug Barth from the United States. I was a student at the Koenig Shimla training center in April and May of 2011. I've been a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) since 1998 when I worked at Hewlett Packard. Since then, I've updated my certifications, but have always been a little out of date. I wanted to come to Koenig from several years as I had hoped that the exotic locale, quality instructors and boot camp format would put me over the training hump and bring my certifications up to date. My hopes were realized and surpassed - Koenig Solutions far exceeded my expectations.

I've researched Koenig and India for a few years. I chose the Shimla location as I wished to avoid Delhi and the big city mentality that I assumed would come with a trip to Delhi. I heard and read about crime, beggars, poverty and a lack of civility to tourists in Delhi and that information corresponded with my experiences in Alexandria (Egypt) and San Francisco. Best advice when traveling is to avoid big cities. And, I had no problems whatsoever my entire stay in Shimla. For that matter, traveling to and from Shimla via Delhi was uneventful. Every Indian I dealt with was very polite, helpful and in most cases spoke English as well as I do. Another factor I looked at that led me to Shimla was the tropical heat and humidity I had experienced in Singapore and Kuwait. Shimla is 7,000 feet up in the Himalaya's and was the British summer capital of India back in the day. Indeed, the weather in Shimla was every bit as pleasant as San Francisco in the spring. Low in the 50s (Fahrenheit), high in the 80s and an average temperature around 70. Absolutely fantastic weather in my book.

I had 2 instructors for my 3 courses. My first instructor helped me to Upgrade from MCSA 2003 to Windows Server 2008 certification. He really knew his stuff. He has consulted with many large organizations in India and Africa - Coca Cola for one. He had an easy and professional manner and we jammed through the material in few days. What most impressed me about him was his professionalism. He dressed and acted as if he was showing up to an interview. And, he was always well spoken and polite. We had multiple interruptions during our training and he never lost focus of why we were there - to get me trained. My second instructor is an Exchange expert. I had heard that my trainer was considered by the Koenig staff to be their best instructor. That may be or not, but what I can say, she is the best instructor I've ever had. Her IQ is probably off the charts. Her knowledge of Exchange Server was exhaustive - I believe she made 1 mistake in 2 weeks (and I'm not sure she even made one). Throughout the day, she would go to her whiteboard and diagram whatever subject we were working on, all without having to refer to notes, take a break or loose even a moment's concentration. Those two weeks with her were exhausting. But, I passed all my tests and now I am a Certified Exchange Server 2010 Administrator. Both my trainers were down to Earth types who treated me with respect and as an equal. I very much enjoyed my time with them.

If I have one problem with the whole experience, that problem is the boot camp format. It takes a lot out of you. I needed a day off once a week - at the least. I probably would have been better off taking a week of between courses. I could have relaxed some more, read up on the subject a little offline and given my head a break. So, if you go, allocate downtown between training sessions to get yourself recharged.

The bottom line - my trip to Koenig Solutions was a fantastic experience. I loved every moment of it. I most highly recommend that you do this if you need to upgrade your IT certifications and you have a need for a little adventure in your life.