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I am currently working as a Chef and looking to change my career into IT...

Lloyd Bathrust (United Kingdom), MCDST;Security+;Network+ 23 Nov to 10 Dec 2010

I am currently working as a Chef and looking to change my career into IT. I have been studying with a company in the UK but have found them hard to deal with and less than helpful. I managed to achieve my CompTIA A+ certification with them but that was down to my own study as the one and a half day in centre classes they provided before sitting the exam were of little use. I wanted to gain more IT certifications to give myself a better chance of obtaining a job in IT during these hard economic times and I came across Koenig Solutions on the web. I needed to be back in the UK by early December as the Christmas and New Year period is always extremely busy in the catering trade.

From the moment I contacted Koenig Solutions, on the 6th November, to arrange my visit they bent over backwards to help. I had thought that leaving it so late to organize I would have trouble getting out there and back before early December and that I would end up leaving it until the New Year but they assured me that everything would be done to fit me and my schedule in. I had to re-arrange my dates several times due to my Visa application being held up but they were very helpful & accommodating. I was in regular contact with the Customer Care Executive in India who arranged my course dates, told me how to register for the course and in liaison with Koenig’s Technical Advisor to give me information about the best courses to book. I was also contacted by Koenig’s Representative in the UK, who gave me plenty of advice on what to take, jabs that I needed, flights, (he gave me a contact name with Flight Centre who was very helpful), and anything else I needed help with. At no point did I feel pressurized into booking a course, (there was no hard sell). Everything was left up to me. They just answered my questions and offered appropriate advice and reassurance. You can even cancel the course and get back your £350 deposit or use it to go on different dates if you need to. (If done within a reasonable time before the starting date)

I opted to have 1-on-1 training that worked out fantastically for me as I completed my 2 original courses, (CompTIA Network+ & MCDST), quicker than expected and was able to arrange to complete my MCTS: Installing & Configuring Windows 7 & CompTIA Security+ before travelling home. I was amazed after passing my first MCDST exam on a Friday afternoon. I went to the Centre Manager, and asked if I could arrange to sit for the CompTIA Security+ course starting on the following Monday. She replied, (Not nastily), “it is a bit short notice before the weekend”. In the UK that would have meant No Chance but she instantly picked up her mobile, made a couple of calls and then went across to the accountant and fixed a price. Within 5 minutes the class & tutor were arranged to start on Monday morning and she told me the price and asked me just to email over the weekend to confirm that I wished to proceed. I booked it on the spot.

Furthermore after passing my second MCDST exam on Saturday Morning and showing my tutor that I had good knowledge of Windows 7 he said that if I wanted he would work on Sunday, (Sunday is normally a rest day), to go over the parts of Windows 7 that I was not familiar with and then I could sit for my MCTS exam one morning during the week. Again, on a Saturday afternoon, one quick phone call to Koenig’s Centre Manager by my MCDST/MCTS tutor, and everything was arranged. I picked up my study books before going home in the afternoon and my tutor went through and identified what we needed to go through the next day and gave me some chapters to read through that evening. TCA in the onsite exam centre was really helpful in sorting out my exams and making sure I got to sit for them before leaving to fly home. The driver told me that he would pick me up in the morning to take me to the centre. They really did do everything to ensure I was able to fit in my extra certifications which made my trip out to India even more worthwhile.

The Koenig Student Apartment I stayed in was great. Very comfortable with a desk for studying and a nice big double bed for sleeping. The food was always cooked fresh each day by our friendly caretaker and there was a good variety of meals to keep it interesting. There were shops just around the corner and we found a good Coffee Shop that we would visit just to sit and relax after dinner some evenings before cracking on with our studies. If there were any problems in the morning, (light bulb not working etc.) they were sorted by the time I got back from training in the afternoon and the room was always kept clean with fresh towels. The other students in my apartment were great. I am still in contact with them and hope to meet with them again in the future.

The Koenig’s centre management & staff were all very approachable. The Hospitality Desk Representative at reception was always available to point you in the right direction if you had any questions like changing money, laptop/mobile hire, ordering food, tourist information etc. I needed a USB stick and asked the Centre Manager, about getting one. The next morning it was brought over to me at the lab where I was studying. The cost, which was very reasonable, was added to my account to settle later. There was no having to ask again or waiting for it to arrive. It was just done. All of the drivers were very helpful and always arrived to pick us up on time. There is normally an excursion planned for Sunday’s where if there are enough students interested, a driver will take a group to the Taj Mahal for the day, (For a small additional cost). I organised classes for my Sunday’s but the other students in my apartment went and said it was a great day out.

Koenig was in the process of launching a new scheme called ‘HonestPedia’ that gave students a chance to nominate people and services that they had found to be entered onto a student website so other students could use them. It is a great idea and I am looking forward to s,eeing the progress they have made with the scheme and putting it to use on my next visit.

The weather, while I was out there, (November/December), was very mild. I do not know how their summer is but all of the rooms and labs had air conditioning and mosquito repellents in them and as I spent all my time either in the training centre or in my apartment studying. I think that the summer would not be too much of a problem.

As mentioned earlier, I was studying with a company in the UK but they gave me so much hassle and it was taking so long and so much money that I decided to travel to Koenig Solutions. The price including my flights, spending money, all food and accommodation + travel to and from the centre was far less that what I have already paid out in the UK and I achieved a great deal more!!!

At Koenig, there is nothing to worry about. I just concentrated on my studies and passing my exams. In the UK there were always problems. Problems at work, problems with the UK Company sending study material, booking in centre dates etc. I passed my mock for my first CompTIA A+ exam and had to wait 1 month for my in centre visit and proper exam. Then another month for my study material for the next exam to turn up then the same again when I passed that mock. Very frustrating! At Koenig, everything is there. The books, the exam centre, the tutors, the labs. You just concentrate on what is important. Studying and passing the exams.

The trainers were all extremely knowledgeable and all spoke very good English. They were able to ascertain where I needed more work and concentrated on those areas and quickly covered the areas that I was already knowledgeable in. This allowed me to do my extra certifications in the same amount of time. I would definitely go 1-on-1 again as if I were in a class I would have had to go at a slower pace and would not have had the spare days at the end of my course for my extra exams.

Anyone thinking about an IT certification course should definitely give Koenig Solutions some serious consideration. You have got to be prepared to work hard, especially if you go for Fast or Superfast track, but there is no quicker way to gain your IT certifications and you can even book up for some hands-on experience to reinforce what you have learnt. I can think of a lost worse ways to spend your money than investing in a course with Koenig. I am planning a return trip to Koenig later this year to complete my MCSE and hopefully do a Cisco exam, maybe CCNA course.

I really would like to thank everyone at Koenig Solutions in Delhi for the warm welcome I received and for all of the help I had during my visit. The tutors especially who were able to tailor my course in such a way, while still offering 1st class teaching, that allowed me to achieve twice the amount of certifications than I had originally planned for in the same amount of time.

I am looking forward to similar experience during my next visit later this year.

Regards
Lloyd