1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I work within the Marketing and Operations Department and my role is to support the UK Sales Organisation (roughly 1000 people) through internal processes such as Account segmentation, customer alignments, revenue disputes, internal tools access and permissions. I also coordinate our annual planning process for Small, Medium and Corporate companies.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Throughout my time at Microsoft I've had huge opportunities to gain qualifications in office programs, Azure, Dynamics 365, Power Platform and Microsoft 365. Additionally, I've also seen improvements in my project management, stakeholder management, Prioritization and communication skills which has developed naturally throughout my job role at Microsoft.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I love the opportunities that are offered to me within my current role within the team. I'm treated as an equal and given as much responsibility as any other employee, This gives me further room to grow and develop new connections which will lead me to future career opportunities.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I do feel that there could be a stronger connection between Microsoft and Aston University. There tends to be work on the Microsoft side and learning criteria on the Aston side which I have to fill in the gaps. More deliberate connections throughout the program would be beneficial to me.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I have a fantastic support network within Microsoft with a great manager and many mentors that I meet with regularly, there is a well structured performance review process which keeps me aligned to manager expectations. Again, This is disconnected to Aston Uni so I often have to merge the two.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
I have worked with a variety of lecturers within my training provider and consistently have the same feedback for Aston. The university lacks a consistent format for the online delivery of it's courses between different modules. Assessment Criteria, Online Learning Content, Reading Lists are all unique and need aligning.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The current program has a range of interesting topics across: Sales, Marketing, Strategy, Finance, Project Management and Operations Management. I enjoy the flexibility on offer by Aston as module content is easily accessible through an online learning plaform which has more than enough information to support my growth in Microsoft Activities.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
I've been invited to many company events which have given me a greater connection between my colleagues as well as improving my understanding of the companies culture, Mission, Vision and Strategies. There are also many extra-curricular activities across professional and non professional interests which I've taken part in.
9a. Would you recommend Microsoft to a friend?
Microsoft provides a significant opportunity to any early in career who manages to land a role in the company. The organisations prestige alone can act as a stepping stone towards greater career opportunities, the company culture, learning opportunities and experiences also contribute towards a great environment for any new apprentice.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Microsoft?
The technology industry is huge, working for Microsoft doesn't demand technical expertise. There are hundreds of roles across sales, marketing, HR, Finance which can be suitable to any audience. Roles are competitive though, so make sure you put in the time and effort to ensure you secure a position.