Name: Alexandra Offord
Which university/course: Business and Finance, University of Hertfordshire
Job Title: Business Program Manager
Brief description of your job:

I belong to CSS (Customer Support Services) EMEA Dynamics and SMS&P (Small and Medium Solutions and Partners) and I support field enablement for my organisation (whereby communication is carried out in a way that those outside of Dynamics and SMS&P can understand). A large part of my role is internal and external communications; this involves planning, developing content, and supporting processes.

Which 101 team are you in?

Office Champs

Description: The goal for the year ahead is to achieve 1 million Office downloads and we do this by working with universities and colleges to drive awareness among their students and staff that they receive Office 365 for free. Promotion includes the institutions sending round communications from us to students or ‘Office Champs’ attending the intuitions ourselves, to attend Freshers Fairs and libraries.

Why I chose it: I chose this 101 team, as during my second year at university, as a student, I benefitted from using the free O365 download; however, the numbers who do are very small, which is why I decided I wanted to help drive awareness and make sure more students know Office is free for them!

My role: I work is to increase Office downloads in Southern institutions by communicating with and attending these institutions.

Aspire

Description: As part of Aspire, we organise events to inspire young women to pursue a range of careers within the technological industry.

Why I chose it: I chose Aspire, as I want young women to believe they can have a career in the technological industry. Just look at Microsoft, they strongly promote diversity and inclusion and of course welcome women- therefore young women need to know that there is a future for them in the tech industry, it’s not all about the ‘Steve’s’.

My role: Aspire is due to kick-off in the upcoming weeks, so I am eagerly awaiting my role in the team.

Tell us about a funny story you’ve had at Microsoft?

During one of my first Skype calls to meet one of my new colleagues, in the middle of her talking, I sat on the controller and ended the call! I was like oh my gosh I’ve hung up on her to everyone around in the office and I couldn’t apologise enough when I went back on the call- she was so nice about it, so don’t worry about making any mistakes!

A top tip for being successful during the application process:

My top tip would have to be to come prepared. If you’re reading this, then I’m sure you are! But you can really tell who has done their research and who has not; the hiring managers at the assessment day will notice your enthusiasm and knowledge of Microsoft and the internship and it really does go a long way!

How was the transition from university life to working life?

Honestly, working life gives you a lot more of a routine than uni, which is good, but at the same time can be tiring. As an intern at Microsoft, there is a great social life, so there is no missing the social side of uni. There is a large intern community plus the apprentices and graduates, who are always up for going out or having some down-time playing ping pong or Xbox.

Is there anything you’d change about your internship?

There is nothing I would change about my internship. To me, an internship at Microsoft is a good balance between your work role and time for your personal development. So as a Microsoft intern, 70% of your time is spent in your job role and the other 30% focusses on your personal development and what you can get out of the internship. This includes attending trainings, the 101 teams, taking Microsoft Office Specialist Exams and setting up mentoring sessions with managers and leaders across the business.

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