Corporate Affairs at Microsoft

Start Date:
South East
Programme Type:
Degree Apprenticeship
£16,500 annually
Review Date:
April 2018

Review Score

9.3 /10

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


My role is Marketing and Communications for Corporate and Government Affairs. Our department's objective is to drive reputation and business gains for Microsoft through engagements, activity and events. My daily tasks include responding to incoming requests via email and letters, supporting colleagues for MP engagements and attending events to support our overall objective.

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


I have only been in my apprenticeship 6 months out of the 3 years, and so far I have learnt so many skills. Including time management from dedicating time between my job and my degree work. I have also developed the ability to be proactive in projects and the importance of gaining clarity in projects. I have attended many training courses such as data protection, child protection when working with younger students at events. I am currently in te process of revising for my Excel exam, so afterwards my responsibilities will include managing marketing budget for the team.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I thoroughly enjoy the degree apprenticeship I am on. Of course it is a lot of work, but everything will be a lot of work! The company culture at Microsoft is so differnt to what I first expected. The employees are so friendly and we joined as brand new apprentices, everyone was so welcoming and approachable. My manager and team are incredibly supportive, they are always there when I need help but have also taught me that I can use initiative to find answers for myself rather than relying on others. The work load gradually gets more and more, but as you get more confident with the work you are doing it is better to have work than not being doing anything at all!

4. How valued do you feel by Microsoft?


As mentioned earlier, my team are hugely supportive, particularly my manager. As soon as I met her before being offered the job she was down to earth and made the whole process seem less scary than I had anticipated. My thoughts and views are well recieved during meetings, and this was also not something I expected being an apprentice at such a big company. I am always getting involved with internal and external events, as I love sharing my apprenticeship story and route with others.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


As we are studying for our degree part time at Aston university, we do not have constant time with the lecturers so communication can be difficult at times. Overall, it is more about independent learning and getting on with the content and assignments. We go up to Aston once every 3 months to see our lecturers and module leaders. But we have a good degree apprentice community currently as there aren't many of us so we can talk to each other.

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


Studying part time, distance learning brings several challenges, but at the same time it is a good experience. We are able to book time in with our tutors/lecturers using their online diary which is super helpful. We also have webinars once every Monday to discuss content and if ther are any problems/not understanding content.

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


My manager couldn't do enough for me to support me. She pushes me (in a good way) where I am able to build on strengths but also develop aspects I wouldn't usually use. She and I have regular 1:1s where we sometimes discuss uni work but also discuss my role and what work I am currently working on. She always seem to have the answer or can point me in the right direction if I am stuck on something for whatever reason.

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


This defers from everyone's circumstances, but as I still live at home, my salary is a huge amount for a 19 year old to be earning. Not just that, my degree is being paid for by Microsoft, so a huge investment is being made in the apprentices. I chose to stay at home as the campus for our office is just a 10 minute drive away from my house which is ideal.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


Where do I begin?! At Microsoft, they value volunteering and I am part of a 101 team where I go out to schools and colleges to talk about apprenticeships and Digital careers, and why working in a tech firm is not what you would expect. I love giving back to the local community, especially as our HQ is in Reading where I live. There are so many opportunities outside of work to network with other people from other businesses when you go to events and great to add to your list of things achieved!

9. Would you recommend Microsoft to a friend?


9b. Why?

The opportunities that are given to you to learn and grow. I recently completed what is called a 'Connect' where you have time with your manager to talk about your key deliverables, what you have done to impact on the business and what you can do to improve. This is not a self-criticising performance, it is a way to help you understand how your performance can improve for the better and continue to learn from others.

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

Always be yourself, and if you do have a particular interest in a certain part of the business, make that clear. The hiring managers want to ensure you are aligned to the best area pf the business for you. Then, if the role works for you, you are more likely to work better for the business. Add a bit of character to your application, everyone is human so show that you have a sense of humour, and that you aren't afraid to try new things and make the most of what is a fantastic opportunity to learn and grow. I would also advise to ensure your CV has punctuation and the correct grammer - this sounds like a small thing but can have a big impact on first impressions if you can't spell properly on the document that advertises you!

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