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Being an IT contractor (freelancer) it is becoming more important that you have the right certifications for your field of expertise...

James Tanner (United Kingdom), MCSE 2003 02 Nov to 25 Nov 2009

Being an IT contractor (freelancer) it is becoming more important that you have the right certifications for your field of expertise. As I had just completed a contract and was now looking for a new one I thought it might be best to spend some time studying for my MCSE between contracts. A friend of mine had been on a MCSE Training in London which costs in excess of GBP7000. I decided to look into the possibility of doing the same albeit for a far cheaper price. As I expected I couldn't find anything in the UK that wasn't out of my price range but I did notice a link appear in Google for Koenig Solutions that said that they could supply the same courses for around 70% less than UK companies - and this was including flights! I thought about it long and hard, sending emails back and forth between myself and the Sales rep for Koenig Solutions. She was very helpful in allaying any fears that I had. I decided that I would do the 24 day MCSE 2003 training boot camp.

Upon my arrival I was picked up at the Airport placed into an apartment sharing with two other fellow students one of which was on the same course as me. The apartment was very nice considering the price that I had paid (Well equipped and A/C rooms). I had my own room and bathroom, TV etc. A cleaner came everyday to sweep floors, and wash our dishes. Much more than I expected! Linen and bed sheets were also changed. Panjim (the capital of Goa) itself wasn't what I had expected but it was interesting to see the different cultures in the city. It took some time getting used to the traffic, dogs, pigs and cows! But after a while you do not notice these things.

In the evening, if you are not studying there is always something to do. Other students get together for meals or drinks in the local bars and restaurants and some will head to Baga for a night out (not advised if you have an exam the next day!). Maria, the office manager was very helpful to me. I had some problems with my credit card and was unable to pay for the course when I needed to. She advised that I could pay in installments in cash over the period of the course and that I shouldn't stress over it. This was a great relief to me as it mean that I could concentrate on studying without worrying about money.

The training course was very good. In the early days it was hard to keep up with the pace as even though it was a Fast Track Boot camp I hadn't expected the course to move so quickly. I quickly adapted and my note taking is now quicker than it has ever been. Each course was covered in detail all main areas were covered to get you through the exam and anything that was clear or was a bit more difficult to learn was explained in great detail. Subnetting is something that people had tried to explain to me for years that I couldn't get my head around suddenly became crystal clear to me. The trainer is very good at explaining and going through the practical. She answers every question and if there is something that she doesn't know she will Endeavour to find out for you.

In conclusion, I have enjoyed my time at Koenig Solutions. It has been a long hard 24 days but I have come through it at the end with an MCSE. My goal has been achieved and I don't think I would have been able to achieve it if I hadn't taken the decision to come out to India. The people are friendly and Goa was an interesting place to visit, I think I will come back again for another course in the next year or so as it has definitely been worth it!