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During the beginning of 2010, I was looking at improving my skill-set by doing MCITP Enterprise Admin 2008...

Gerhardus Jacobus Pretorius (New Zealand), MCITP: Enterprise Administrator – Windows Server 2008;MCTS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Configuration;MCTS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Configuring 05 Jul to 27 Jul 2010

During the beginning of 2010, I was looking at improving my skill-set by doing MCITP Enterprise Admin 2008. I stay in New Zealand and so I started searching for local facilities. After about a month I came up with the cheapest solution in New Zealand but I continued my search for other international options and I stumbled onto Koenig Solutions in India.

I checked and double checked the prices and confirmed with Koenig that the advertised prices were correct. Indeed they were. To my delight I discovered that I could go to another country; immerse myself in another culture while studying in the I.T. hub of the world. After getting quotes, I got to do MCITP Enterprise Admin, Hyper-V and Exchange 2010 Installation and Configuration for less than NZ $10,000.00 – This included accommodation, ALL meals and ALL travel costs including return plane tickets to Delhi from Auckland. The best part of this was I could do this on the Super Fast Track and most importantly 1 on 1 classes. This made financial sense not only for me, but to minimise my time away from the company.

I made the arrangements and from the booking stage I felt at ease as Koenig gave me a step by step on what to do and what to expect (Example – Visa application).

I left Auckland at the end of June and arrived in Delhi after a long flight and was met at the airport by a driver from Koenig at about 3 am in the morning. At that time as you can expect after more than 20 hours flying, I just wanted a bed. The driver was very courteous and carried my bags and handed over a welcome pack which contained everything I needed.

The only hiccup was the first day I was in Delhi, I never knew that meals were prepared in a different apartment and did not know where to go. That was sorted the next day and I started mingling with students from all over the world. It is great to sit at the dinner table and listen to some stories from around the world.

On Sunday the 4th of July, I was woken up and taken to the train station where I took the train to Dehradun (This was all pre-arranged by Koenig). I chose Dehradun as that was in my mind the best place to study. I was not looking to have a holiday and was intent on learning as much as possible in the shortest amount of time.

Arriving in Dehradun, the same great service greeted me and I was whisked off to the Koenig Student Apartments (which is the cheapest accommodation available through Koenig). To my surprise the apartment was private, clean, and more than big enough and had a private bathroom. On arriving at the apartments, I was immediately shown where my meals were served and who will look after me. I felt very comfortable and at home immediately.

The scenery was amazing with the Himalayas setting the backdrop to a postcard pretty vista.

The next morning I started my classes and the day started with breakfast, meeting all new students and learning the ropes. Everyone was very friendly and every need was taken care off. I must, before continuing, sing the praises of the cook at the apartment. The food was better than most restaurant food in New Zealand and I am still looking for a restaurant that can match his quality. I have not found it yet.

Arriving at the training facility, I met Nidhi who made me feel very welcome and at ease. She took me on a tour of the facility and introduced me to everyone. Lastly she introduced me to my personal tutor, and the best trainer I have ever had!

Before arriving in India, I had some trepidation regarding the quality of the education. From day one I realised that I worried for nothing and the quality of the education exceeded my expectations. From speaking to the other students at the centre, they informed me that they are all happy with their trainers. I did not hear a single complaint.

My trainer was well spoken, extremely knowledgeable and taught to my abilities – If I knew the course material we skipped it (only after he ascertained that I actually knew what I was talking about with a few sly questions), if I did not understand something we stopped until I understood the concept. This was training at my pace and I was comfortable in my studies every day. Also the one on one training means you get the full attention of the instructor. Make no mistake – it is hard work and if you are a holiday mood, do not do the Fast or Super Fast track. Rather do the regular track that gives you a bit more personal time.

Much to my delight, my trainer taught me additional components not covered in the course material but still relevant. Like how sectors on a hard disk work. This was taught from his previous work experience and made the course material so much easier to understand. I hate teachers reading out of a book and just repeating what you are reading. I learn absolutely nothing like that. If you get a teacher like the one I had who have the work experience to augment his fantastic teaching ability, the course material becomes so much easier and sensible.

For the next 3 weeks, my trainer challenged me every day to break out of my comfort zone and made me realise that I can achieve so much more. During the 3 weeks we spent together, I believe we became good friends.

If it was not for him, I would not have gained the following qualifications. He pushed me and if he did not, I would have settled back into my comfort zone.
Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist SQL Server 2008,
Microsoft Certified IT Professional Enterprise Desktop Administrator 7
Microsoft Certified IT Professional Enterprise Messaging Administrator 2010
Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist Microsoft Exchange Server 2010,Configuration
Microsoft Certified IT Professional Server Administrator
Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist Windows Server Virtualization, Configuration
Microsoft Certified IT Professional Enterprise Administrator
Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist Windows Server 2008 Applications Infrastructure, Configuration
Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuration
Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuration
Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist Windows 7, Configuration

11 certifications instead of my original 7 certifications I planned for.

Thank you to my trainer who has made this possible.

The other person that went above and beyond was the in charge of the Prometric test centre and travel. I remember every exam I wrote, my heart was in my throat. I had extreme exam anxiety. She was so calm and calmed me before every exam. She was always uplifting and motivating. I think I would have done a lot worse if she was not there.

She is also the resident nurse that gave me some good medicine when I got very sick during the course of my study. With the medicine and special food the cook made me, I was able to keep my Super Fast Track schedule and not miss any training and avoided going to the doctor. Which I never like in any case...

Nidhi, you run a fantastic facility and Koenig should be very lucky to have you manage the centre. I cannot think of a better person. Your personal attention to each and every student is admirable. All in all my experience at Koenig, Dehradun, was the most memorable. I have made a lot of new friends from all over the world. Their service is beyond reproach and I can fully recommend the institute as well as the facilities in Dehradun. I felt like a king, every need was catered for. If you needed anything, even a Kukri, just ask and the staff will go out of their way to satisfy your request. Now this great experience was only in the student apartments, there are upgrade options to 4 & 5 star places, but I think, the experience at the apartments are fantastic and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

Thank you Koenig for the great experience!