1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
In my role I am a Support Engineer. My team supports Visual Studio and the .NET Framework so when customers and partners have issues with the software, they log cases with my team and we help them through it. Although I love Microsoft and my role, it would not be what I want to do for the rest of my career, however it is a great opportunity to enhance my technical knowledge.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
My role has been great to give me a huge depth of technical knowledge in such a short time. This, as well as my external training, has allowed me to progress really quickly and to excel in my role.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The culture at Microsoft is exactly where I would like to work. Everybody is so friendly and willing to help, which makes coming in as a new employee, especially an apprentice, much easier.
4. How valued do you feel by Microsoft?
Although, as an Apprentice, I had basically no experience when I started Microsoft, I have been treated like a Full Time Employee from the very start. Everyone expects the same from you, which allows us to exceed. We are also given the same opportunities as everyone else.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
As the first batch of MS apprentices, I was a bit unsure of how well the programme would be structured, however I have been very pleased with it. We were given our training timetable at the start of our apprenticeship to make sure we know what we need to do.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The only let down of the apprenticeship, in my opinion, is the training provider, QA. Although the tutors were all very knowledgeable and gave us the best possible training, the assessors are the complete opposite. They are very unorganised and seem to know very little about the course itself. I was not particularly happy with the support given by the assessors. The only reason I am not giving a 1 is because the trainers were all very good.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I have fortnightly 1:1's with my manager to go through what I have been doing and my PDP. I am also able to talk to him whenever I need. HR are always there to help if we have any concerns etc. They are also brilliant at keeping a relationship within the apprentices. For example, we have just come from a two day offsite where we did multiple team building exercises, which really boosted the team morale.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
For an apprentice, our salary is brilliant. It is 20% above the national average which is huge. We also get 25 days holiday, the same as all Full Time Employees, as well as a hugely subsidised gym membership. Some people may complain that we do not get enough, however we are apprentices, what do they expect?!
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
In Microsoft, we have the opportunity to attend lots of company events, company sports teams etc. For example, I have just joined the company Netball team and am loving it. These are great opportunities to meet more people in the company and to connect with them.
9. Would you recommend Microsoft to a friend?
The Microsoft Apprenticeship scheme gives you a full time role in a global company, which everybody knows. You are treated as a full time employee and are hugely valued.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Microsoft?
Be confident, make sure you highlight your strengths in your application and at the assessment centre. No one else is going to do it for you!
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