Data Operations Apprentices at Microsoft

Start Date:
Reading South East
Programme Type:
Gap Year Programme
£14,000 annually
Review Date:
February 2016

Review Score


1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


I work in the data team within Marketing, within the team I deal with all of the lead data - uploading these in to our internal systems, passing data on to sales teams, consolidating data and dealing with internal customers. I have also had the opportunity to start training in PowerBI so I can create reports for more senior people across the company

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?


Apart from the Level 3 diploma in Business Administration that the apprenticeship is providing, my team is training me in SQL Server and PowerBI. All Microsoft employees also have the option to complete MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) certifications for free. Apart from that, there is also a lot of opportunity to develop more personal skills such as presentations, public speaking and goal settings through the internal workshops that are set up.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


The apprenticeship is really enjoyable. Everyone across the business is so welcoming and everyone wants to find out more about you or what you do. Senior people really listen to your opinions and also give really good constructive feedback. At first I was a bit unsure because there's a generalisation that apprentices don't have much responsibility - but at Microsoft you're doing a real job role with real responsibility. This makes it much more interesting and engaging.

4. How valued do you feel by Microsoft?


As an apprentice, I have weekly catch-ups with my manager in which we go over my impact on the team/business. It's always nice to see the impact that I'm having at such a young age. So much recognition also comes from doing your job well, both within the company and externally on websites such as LinkedIn.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


The Microsoft apprenticeship scheme is only in the second year, therefore there's a lot of flexibility within the scheme. There's a lot of support available from numerous people throughout the company. There's also a mentoring system set up if you would like a mentor, helping to keep you on track. All in all, the programme is well organised and structured - but there is room to be flexible and you can change the apprenticeship in to what you would like it to be.

6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?


Microsoft work with QA, an external training provided. We all have a tutor who we can email at any time with any queries. There can be a delay in response but when they do get back to you, it will be helpful for the coursework or course in general

6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?


There's a lot of support available for all apprentices. Support can be received from your manager, mentors, team and even the apprenticeship organisers within the HR team. They can help you with anything from work related problems and even outside of work issues. The response is always quick and they will do everything they can to help.

7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?


The salary is £14k - £21k over the 18 months. As I live at home, the salary is more than enough for me. Quite a bit goes out for my car but there's still a lot left over for all the socials that any teenager would go to!

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


As an apprentice, I am always being offered to be part of events, presentations and different classes. There's so much opportunity available to us that as times it can be hard to pick a few which you think will be most interesting and useful. I try to say 'Yes' to a lot of them however this can increase work load so I always make sure that I am able to complete my work first.

9. Would you recommend Microsoft to a friend?


9b. Why?

You will get so many opportunities to help you with your career; whether it’s for your job role or personal skills. You can really feel that you're getting a head-start within the working life although due to the good support available, it will never be so bad that you can't manage

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Microsoft?

The application process is long and at times fairly difficult. Be true to yourself and show off your skills - even if they don't relate to the job role. Show your passion and show initiative as these both help Microsoft to see that you have potential to learn and grow as an apprentice.

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