Welcome to Meet the Instructor, a new series where we’ll meet the extremely talented and knowledgeable Citrix Certified Instructors (CCIs) that teach and interact with Citrix Education students every day. To kick off the series, let’s meet Mauricio Schäpers, winner of the 2013-14 CCI Collaboration Award.

Where Do You Live?

I live in Munich, Germany. For most people, it’s known as the city where the Oktoberfest is held annually.

How Did You Start Your Career Working With Citrix Technologies?

I started in IT in 2003 with a part-time job after school. I did it without really thinking that I would later earn a living with computer topics. At the time, it was more of a hobby and a good possibility to raise some money for weekend activities.

However, without knowing what profession I should go for, I went to the Federal Employment Office in Munich to take a psychological test. It was designed to indicate personal capability, preferences, and to facilitate possible career options.

The result? System Engineer, Programmer, System Administrator, etc.

So I accepted my fate and started a vocational training at Amadeus Hospitality GmbH, the German hotel division of Amadeus IT Group. That’s where I touched Citrix technology for the first time, working with Presentation Server 4.0. It was fascinating to me that something was happening at a remote site, yet still worked so smooth and easy.

Later, I started working for Infor, and was supporting and maintaining different XenApp sites worldwide. From time to time I asked Geoffrey Kurz, who was my instructor during my vocational training at Amadeus, design questions. After I´d asked him a couple of times about different deep knowledge things (which he was always able to answer, by the way), he stopped me. He then asked me in the next sentence if I would be interested in becoming a trainer & consultant at ADN Distribution GmbH. Ha! Looks like my questions were getting too detailed.

I thought “Why not?” and moved to ADN.

What’s Your Favorite Course To Teach And Why?

Definitely CXM-302: Design, Deploy, and Manage Enterprise Mobility with XenMobile. I like it because we get to use a lot of different products in the same environment. We obviously cover everything about the Citrix mobility solution in the class, but we touch on so many other things. We get to use well- known Citrix virtualization technology, but we also cover a lot of topics from the networking world.

What Advice Would You Give To An IT Professional Who Is Considering A Citrix Education Class?

It doesn’t matter which course you take, just getting into a classroom will always enhances your existing Citrix knowledge.

If you know already which product or solution is of interest to you, try to choose an instructor with experience implementing the product in the real world. In a lab environment, everything tends to always work. But only those who have implemented the product in a production environment truly know all the edges and corners of a product that can pop up and challenge you.

Mauricio Schäpers

What Is Your Favorite Memory From Teaching A Class?

I have many good and funny memories from classes, but one of the exceptional ones took place last year. My students and I decided to go out after class to get some drinks and dinner. We went to a bar in Bochum, and had an absolutely great time. As a group, we decided to go back to the hotel around 11:30 PM. Most of us went to sleep, as we all had class the next day. However, two of the guys decided to go for a last drink at the hotel bar.

Everybody was in class the next morning at 9 AM, except for the two guys who had “one” last drink in the hotel bar. No answer on multiple phone calls and messages. Around 10:30 AM one of the missing guys appeared in the classroom, looking a little bit confused. He started to shout “Yeah, I’m the first one!” We were a bit surprised and asked him “ehm.. look around, everybody is already there” and he just smiled and shouted again “Yes, but I’m earlier than the other guy!”

If a Student Has Never Taken A Course With You, What Will They Be Most Surprised By When Then Get In The Classroom With You?

The students are happy that I don’t stick too closely to PowerPoint slides and exercises. My classes are all about taking steps together, asking questions, and discussion in order to jointly progress on knowledge and experience. My personal goal is to get the students to act as a single team even if they are sometimes direct competitors.

I also try to explain everything based on real world examples. We may discuss topics which may not directly relate to the product itself, but will help them to implement in their environment and to make the best practical solution possible.

What’s Your Hidden Talent?

Not a long time ago I was member of THW, the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief. This means if the training center building is about to collapse and fire is everywhere around us – no worries – I am trained to always find a solution out of this situation!

If you have a question for Mauricio or would like to take a class with him, please send him an e-mail or head over to his website.