Executive Admin Specialist major named Microsoft Word Minnesota State Champion
Amya Woytcke, 21, an Executive Administrative Specialist major at Dakota County Technical College, recently took first place in Minnesota’s Microsoft Word Microsoft 365 Apps Exam. Amya was named Minnesota State Champion, qualifying her to compete at Certiport’s 2024 Microsoft Office Specialist U.S. National Championship, which will be held at the Hilton Lake Buena Vista Hotel in Orlando, Florida, June 17–19, 2024.
“I am so honored to have been named Minnesota’s State Champion,” Amya said. “I put a lot of time into studying all these applications—and it definitely paid off! I would have loved to represent Minnesota at the U.S. National Championship, but unfortunately I am unable to attend the event.”
Amya has taken three Microsoft 365 Apps exams so far; she only has the Microsoft PowerPoint Exam yet to complete. She took the Outlook Exam during her first semester at DCTC in the spring of 2023. She took the Word and Excel exams in the fall and will take the PowerPoint Exam this semester. The Microsoft 365 Apps exams are proctored, which allowed Amya to take the exams from her home.
Amya is earning her Executive Administrative Specialist Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree and Microsoft Office Applications Management certificate at DCTC. Offered by the college’s Administrative Support department, both programs feature expert instructors who teach communication, time management, and organizational skills while imparting the administrative know-how crucial for success in today’s business world.
After completing her A.A.S. degree and certificate, Amya is open to earning a Small Business Entrepreneurship certificate at DCTC. She is focusing her career goals on starting and operating her own waxing business.
“I’m currently more interested in owning a solo suite that I can make my own, but eventually I think I might be interested in expanding my horizons and hiring employees while owning an esthetics salon,” Amya said. “For a stable salary career, I would be interested in being an administrative specialist working from home.
Amya is looking forward to graduating from DCTC at the end of fall semester 2024.
Faculty perspective: Amy Evanson
“Amya is a student in both our Executive Administrative Specialist Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) and Microsoft Office Applications Management certificate programs. I have had the wonderful opportunity to have her in multiple classes each semester.
“She maintains a 3.90 GPA, and this level of academic success is not surprising given the hard work and ambition I have seen in the classroom from her.
“Amya is a highly motivated, extremely detailed, and well-organized individual. She is actively engaged and provides insightful contributions to our classroom. Her high score on this certification exam and selection as the Minnesota State Champion to compete at the national level is well deserved!”
Administrative Technology Faculty
Dakota County Technical College
More about Amya…
Originally from Farmington, Minnesota, Amya graduated from Farmington High School, Class of 2021. She earned her Esthetics license from Empire Beauty School in December 2021.
Amya works while attending DCTC as a full-time student. She puts in 20 hours a week as a wax specialist at the European Wax Center in Burnsville, Minnesota.
Amya lives with her mom, little sister, grandma, and uncle. Her mom’s name is Meredith, and she is enrolled full-time in the Medical Coding program at St. Paul College. Amya’s grandmother, Lynn, works from home as a client audit specialist for Prime Therapeutics. Amya’s uncle, Arn, is an entrepreneur, and her sister, Emma, is 16 years old. Amya recently took a spontaneous trip to Mexico with her boyfriend, Shawn, who works as a medication delivery driver at Geritom.
“I personally love living in a generational household,” Amya said. “We don’t have many extended family members, so we are a very close-knit family and spend a lot of time together.”
Amya recently lost two cherished members of her family.
“It is with a heavy heart that I must mention that I have lost two of my cats within the past month,” she said. “On December 18, 2023, I lost my childhood pet, Marlie (his nickname was Meewee), that I have had since I was just eight years old. Marlie had such a big personality, and he was probably the best cat in the whole world. He was the sweetest boy.
“The second pet I lost hit me extremely hard, especially being that I lost him on January 17, 2024, just a day shy of one month away from Marlie. His name was Oliver (I called him Lollipop or Muffy), and he was the very first cat that I took full responsibility for—as if he were my own son. Oliver would’ve been only four years old this year, but it feels like he brought a lifetime of love to my heart. I have never had such a special connection with a pet as I had with Oliver—he was my little baby.
“We do, however, have one cat remaining, and her name is Bella (her nickname is Belly). Bella is about nine years old, and she’s a sweetie as well. Bella spends most of her time with my mom, but she loves to sunbathe and watch the birds and bunnies in our yard.”
In her free time, Amya enjoys spending time with her family and friends, listening to music, going to the gym, and coloring.
“I would say I spend most of my time with my family and friends, though,” she said. “My family and I love playing games like Yahtzee and How Well Do You Know Your Family? We also love to play ping-pong or darts and have tournaments to see who takes the cake—and 99 percent of the time it’s me.”
Amya resides with her family in Farmington.
Marlie, Oliver, and Bella gallery
Amya Woytcke • Q & A
What do you find most interesting about the Executive Administrative Specialist program?
I think what I find most interesting about the Executive Administrative Specialist program is how much you learn about business and how offices really work. I think communication and how you brand yourself makes a huge impact on how others perceive you in the field—and this program has also taught me so much on how to do those things which makes me feel more confident about myself in the workplace.
What motivated you to pursue a career in the administrative support field?
Honestly, after I saw how COVID-19 changed the workplace, I thought that it is important to learn office skills because of how many jobs either went remote or got shut down. My grandma works remotely from home in an administrative position, so every day I get to see what her job is like and what it could look like for me as well.
I also learned how big of a role administrative specialists play in the workplace and thought it would be very beneficial to learn these skills.
What is your favorite Microsoft 365 application and why?
I honestly find it hard to pick a favorite Microsoft application because they are all extremely useful and have many tools that I think many people would benefit from learning about. Each application brings something different to the table, yet also have many of the same features.
If I have to choose just one, I will say my favorite application is PowerPoint because of all the visual design options. For me, it’s the most fun application to work with.
Three words that describe you as a college student:
DISCIPLINED. DEDICATED. HARDWORKING.
What advice would give students who wish to improve their Microsoft Office Specialist skills?
A piece of advice I would give to students looking to improve their Microsoft Office Specialist skills would be to look at studying as a game. The studying and training applications that are used for these exams are simulations. So for me, I looked at it as a game and tried to get better scores every time, which made studying a little more fun.
Most importantly though, give yourself breaks when needed and ask for help if you aren’t understanding something!
What person has influenced your life the most and why?
I would say my mom has influenced my life the most because she has always given me the platform to be myself and is my biggest supporter. My mom always has my back, and I never have to question if she’s proud of me or not.
If you could make one thing happen on Earth right now, what would it be?
If I could make one thing happen on earth right now, it would be to unify ourselves as humans and work together to rebuild ourselves as a society.
One word that best describes your experience at DCTC:
DCTC Microsoft Office Specialist Fall 2023 Qualifiers
Amya Woytcke • 12 Answers
- Favorite sport or physical activity: There are so many activities that I like to do! Kayaking, biking, tennis, and weightlifting are a few
- Place you would most like to visit: In the United States, I would love to visit Montana, but out of the country, I would want to visit Greece, Italy, or Switzerland, I can’t decide!
- Most exciting thing you’ve ever done: The most exciting thing I have ever done was plan an impulsive trip to Mexico and actually go
- Three things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) Build a home 2) Buy a new car (probably a Honda Accord) 3) Give some to my family
- Best book or movie you’ve read or seen lately: I haven’t seen or read anything new lately, but I re-watched the movie, Tammy, with my mom and grandma, and we had a good laugh
- Time period (past or future) you would explore if you could time travel: I would visit the 70s–early 90s
- One thing you most want to accomplish in your life: I want to reach the many goals that I’ve set for myself
- Your national bird if you were your own country: Either a bald eagle because it represents America, or a swan because I think they’re pretty and elegant
- Dream occupation: Having my own business
- Person you would most like to meet: A character that doesn’t exist in the real world, like a Greek god or goddess would be really cool; Greek Mythology is a class I’m taking right now, so learning about it has been very interesting
- Skill you would most like to learn and master: I want to learn how to cook and bake better
- Most important issue or problem facing humankind: Although it can be helpful sometimes, I think social media/technology advancement has a huge negative impact on humans today; I think it’s creating/normalizing a lot of unhealthy mentalities and behaviors
Learn more about the Executive Administrative Specialist A.A.S. and Microsoft Office Applications Management certificate programs at DCTC by contacting:
More about the Executive Administrative Specialist program…
The Executive Administrative Specialist program prepares you for employment in administrative support roles. As a student in the program, you will use computer systems for document processing and file management tasks.
You will also gain the expertise needed for creating and editing documents, spreadsheets, databases, and electronic presentations while learning how to conduct meticulous internet navigation research. Administrative assistants may be called upon to communicate, organize, coordinate, and integrate data.
This is the ideal major if you are currently in the workforce looking for a challenge or a great way to advance your career. You’ll get the opportunity to obtain Microsoft Office Specialist Certification for completing the required certification coursework.
Work environment and potential job titles
As a graduate of the program, you will be prepared to find a rewarding administrative support job in a wide variety of businesses, including but not limited to corporate headquarters, insurance companies, banks, manufacturing firms, nonprofits, and government agencies. Potential job titles include:
- Administrative Assistant
- Administrative Clerk
- Administrative Coordinator
- Administrative Office Specialist
- Clerical Office Worker
- Executive Assistant
- Executive Secretary
- Office Assistant
Conduct research, prepare reports, handle requests for information, and perform skilled clerical duties.
This career that pays above the statewide median wage of $24.25/hour.
Seven-county Twin Cities metro
In Minnesota, there are 10,090 workers employed in this large career., which is currently in very high demand.
There will be a need for about 7,975 new Executive Secretaries to meet market demand between 2020–2030. This includes the demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.
SOURCE: Minnesota State CAREERwise Education (January 30, 2024)