Yes! I've had some similar experiences! I haven't even done Engagement 100%. I started working with a private trainer on his off leash problems not using the "wait around until your dog engages" method. But it seems to have combined with engagement well somehow. I think he understands better how to push me for work and reinforcement.
I'm not sure what the instructor will recommend but I really like this:
That, plus maybe a few more little odor tins or containers (or you can get one of the deluxe kits) is probably all you will need. You may also need some cardboard boxes. I got by with just that kit and a few additional containers for a couple years. I have the other odors now and a few containers set aside for those, but you don't need those right away.
Most approved NACSW trainers use a very different method than the FDSA classes. Most people I've talked to take 6-12 weeks of just searching for food and then food + odor. I felt like we wasted so much time doing that. Watson could have been on odor very quickly but we spent 12 weeks of class searching for treats hidden in boxes. Yawn! Besides the fact that they later need to ignore food distractions, so why train them to search for food at all? I'm very excited to start Hazel on odor right away and jump into classes at an intermediate level.
Also, I know people who zero NW experience who took the FDSA classes and now have titles on their dogs. I don't think you'll find it hard at all!