1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As a support Engineer most of my time is spent trouble shooting for customers. This includes talking to customers over the phone and problem solving for them. I am also involved in developing an internal app for employees that is being made by apprentices, as well as a team that encourages young people into technology and tells them about early in career opportunities. The apprentices are given lots of opportunities outside of our job roles, like helping out at Microsoft events and going into schools to talk about the apprenticeship.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
As part of our apprenticeship we are given training to achieve a level 3 diploma, I am doing the software development one and so I have developed skills in coding languages. At Microsoft we are given free access to MOS and MTA exams which are Microsoft exams in office and technology subjects, these are really useful because we are able to take them whenever we want and retry as many times as we want. Being in a work environment I have learnt many professional skills that will help me in any job I may go into in the future, I have hugely improved my presentation and confidence skills since starting at Microsoft. I have also spent time with people in my team to learn about the product that I support and how to problem solve effectively.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The programme is brilliant, I always have fun and feel that it is a way better option for me than sixth form. My team are all older than we but I still get along well with them and I feel just as valued in the team as anyone else. Microsoft has a amazing culture, everybody is happy to help you, you can as anyone for help and they will try and find time for you even if they are busy. Before I started I knew that Microsoft would be a great company to work for but it definitely exceeded my expectations, I have made some great friends and learnt so many skills that will help me with my career.
4. How valued do you feel by Microsoft?
My manager has spent a lot of time helping me learn about my job role and he will always listen to anything I have to say. The apprentices at Microsoft are recognised throughout the business, we are valued just as much as any other employee. My job role includes talking to customers which is a big responsibly and shows how much we are valued by Microsoft.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
At Microsoft were given a week induction, where we learnt about the company, how to act in a business environment and got to know each other. I have been training though people in my team and using online learning material. I was able to chose a mentor that could relate to me and he is helping me to learn about cyber security and other areas of technology. My manager makes sure that I get the right amount of work, I can tell him if I feel its too much or too little. Overall my programme is well organised I was able to get into my job role quickly and get settled into the team.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
We are given an assessor from our training provider and they visit us in the work place every month to check on our progress in the work place. We can contact them about any queries with the training. We spend a few weeks at a time at the training provider centre where we learn and take a test or assignment at the end. We also have course work to do while we are not at a training centre. The training can be enjoyable but I feel that it is too long for what we do there and that some time is wasted while we are there.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My manger gives me support in anything I need, mostly learning about my job role. The HR team are always there to help and can support us with our apprenticeship. My mentor also helps me to learn about technology and I can talk to him about anything I might want guidance on. Generally everyone is happy to support me and I have lots of places to go for help.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I am living at home with my parents and not paying rent or other bills, I can get the bus to work for free and Microsoft pay for any work related travel. I buy my lunch which is always cheap as the food is subsidised, as well as free drinks. I am located in Reading which isn't too expensive for social activities.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
The apprentices are given lots of opportunities outside of work, one example is Future Decoded, an event held by Microsoft in London where the apprentices were able to help people at the event. We are all given 3 days paid volunteering which we can use to help the local community. There are many training event that we are able to sign up to and help us in a variety of topics. Microsoft have plenty of sports clubs that are easy to join, as well as a subsided on-site gym for all employees.
9a. Would you recommend Microsoft to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
The opportunities you are given at Microsoft are amazing, you will be able to gain professional skills and help understand the world of work.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Microsoft? *
My main advice would be to be yourself. Microsoft don't hire you because you have good grades or because you have really good experience, they just look for people that are passionate about technology and have the potential to work hard. The application process will be difficult, it includes a video interview and an assessment day but stay calm and you will be fine.
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