“The best advice I can give is be yourself”. Find out how  Daniel applied to Microsoft for his graduate role and how you can too!

Name: Dan Ponting 

University/Course: Northumbria – BSc Ethical Hacking for Computer Security 

Job Title: Associate Consultant in Apps 

Brief description of job role: Delivering high quality technical solutions to customers allowing them to maximise their investment in Microsoft technologies 


Why did you choose the Microsoft Graduate Programme? 

Doing a technical degree, I hunted around looking for graduate roles that were relevant to my course. I have used technology throughout the whole of my life, and the vast majority of that technology has been powered by Microsoft, so why wouldn’t I want to work for them? I knew Microsoft were one of the biggest technology firms in the world so what a fantastic place to begin your career. So when I saw that they were hiring for relevant roles, I knew straight away that it was the company I wanted to work for.

A top tip for being successful during the Graduate application process: 

Everyone always says this with all application processes, but the best advice I can give is be yourself. Microsoft is a very well-established company that has been hiring graduates for a very long time and they are very aware at the type of person that they are looking to hire. The type of person you are is just as important to Microsoft as much as your technical ability. But remember that you are also scoping Microsoft, to make sure that it the company that YOU also want to work for. Because of this make sure your true mannerisms come across. Answer any questions that Microsoft asks of you truthfully, but also make sure you ask questions of Microsoft to ensure that this is the role for you.  

 “The type of person you are is just as important to Microsoft as much as your technical ability”

How was the application process for you? 

As I was not a Microsoft intern previously, the whole application process was new to me. Initially I applied for the graduate program here with pessimistic expectations. I was sure there were a million-other people that were more suited for the job than me. But I gradually proceeded throughout the various stages of the application by being myself and showing my passion for technology and the industry. The final stage of the application, the assessment centre, was the most challenging part – but at the same time it was the most motivating. Getting to visit Microsoft UK headquarters, meet the employees and feel the general atmosphere of the company motivated me to give my absolute all to get the job. It motivated me to give my all at that final stage to ensure I was successful with my application.

What opportunities has working at Microsoft provided you? (Games Con, travelling etc.) 

I have only been with Microsoft for just over two months now, but I have already been inundated with different opportunities. During the first week I joined, we were invited to a whole host of team building exercises such as zorbing and Go Ape, building the relationships between all the new starters. Alongside this I spent three weeks in Romania conducting several types of training (such as presentation skills and technical foundations) with MACHs from all over Europe alongside trainers from all over the world – showcasing Microsoft truly global presence. Further to travelling opportunities, Microsoft also provide the ability to take Microsoft certifications for free. I have already taken my first Microsoft Technology Associate certification, and I’m on the way to achieving my second.


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