Name: Jashan Johal
University/Course: University of Leicester, Computer Science with Management
Job Title: Adoption & Change Management Junior Consultant
Brief description of your job: An Adoption and Change Management Consultant at Microsoft focuses on the people side of change how we can empower our customers to better their current way of working, using O365 Applications. With new technological advances, often the cultural and people side to making that change is often overlooked, even though it is imperative for business and technological transformation. The world is an ever changing place, so encouraging this change is fundamental to the growth of our customers and their employees alike.
Where are you based: I am based in UK HQ Thames Valley Park in Reading, but a lot of my time is spent at Customer sites across the country. Even sometimes beyond!
Job on a day to day basis: No day is ever the same – that’s what I love about the job the most. I get to work with customers from various industries that have different challenges, needs and business objectives. As a result, I am constantly faced with different obstacles to overcome – this makes my role at Microsoft extremely interesting and so exciting! To watch customers travel through the process of change is extremely rewarding and fantastic to see, even when the going gets tough. Often, we forget there is a real cultural change in technological transformation, so to be able to support our customers first hand and watch them make previous processes and methods more efficiently in their way of working is incredibly rewarding.
What is the highlights of your role: In the last week of January 2018, I hosted a week long program for the Intern community, titled ‘Mindfulness Week 2018’ which hosted a great week of advocating mindful practices. Events included free Yoga and deep breathing sessions, as well as Morning walks and runs and finally Nimi Johal, a guest speaker and Life Coach giving a session to the Intern community about being Mindful in the workplace and beyond. It was an incredible week and I am so happy to work for a company which encourages you to bring your passions into the workplace. Not many companies give you the opportunity to develop your personal interests. I received a great feedback from the Intern Community and I look forward to hosting another session before the year is over, as well as in the near future! (The picture below are a small handful of the pictures taken during the Mindful Workshop)
Another highlight for me would be completing the Prosci Change Management Certification and becoming an accredited Change Management Practitioner was particularly awesome! During a three-day experiential learning program at TVP, I gained the skills, knowledge and tools to drive successful change initiatives. This experience pieced together a lot of the concepts I had heard before completing the course. It was a great experience, one that was extremely rewarding! I look forward to continuing my studies and even dissertation work when I return to University to Change Management. It was nothing short of an insightful, exciting and empowering experience! The picture below is of Me (Left) and Rhea (Right) proudly holding our Prosci Certificates.
The last highlight I’d like to share is being asked to be a panellist for Digigirlz – an initiative which is designed to encourage year eight girls to take up a career in a STEM related subject. As one of three interns to study Computer Science, I was approached to be a part of the panel team in front all 200 young women invited to TVP, with the hope of being inspired into going into tech related roles as part of the Digigirlz day.
I was nervous, but so excited! to be given the prospect of talking to students about my journey into my degree and passion was something that I didn’t think much of. However, when preparing for the questions, I realized I have come quite a long way, and I am so proud of my personal journey. We worked through the questions and afterwards the attendees had a lot of questions which were highly inquisitive and out of the box. I was inspired by the questions that were phrased to me, as well as their conviction with the challenges throughout the day.
After the talk, I was approached by several girls from the event – who were inspired my words and wanted to know more about where to begin (how to get into writing code, where to begin, what to read) – to know that any of my words could inspire the next generation of Women in technology astounds me, and I am so proud to be part of a company which promotes this movement, something that I am extremely passionate about. Also, Teachers asked me if they could put the words I said in my talk on their boards at school! – couldn’t believe this!
I could really go on and on about some of the great highlights and experienced during my placement year. Each day had brought so many highlights – this is what makes the program a once in a lifetime experience and one that I continue to enjoy every day!
What has surprised you the most about working at Microsoft: I would say the advocacy to “come as you are, and love what you do”. The work-life balance is important here, especially your personal wellbeing. You are encouraged to have time to invest in your hobbies and passions. Everybody at Microsoft is eager to help and to network. I can always ask my manager, my colleagues and my mentors for advice about my career, maintain a steep learning curve and improving my job performance and experiences regularly.
“Come as you are, and love what you do”
How was the transition from university life to working life: The transition was different to say the least! At University the time of your day is often broken up and goes into the evening, whereas at work it is a full day. Getting used to the 9am’s every day, a time at University that is disliked by all was different. However after the first month, it became second nature! I plan to take the organisational skills I have learnt back to University and I look forward to sharing the great things I have learnt whilst on placement.
“I look forward to sharing the great things I have learnt whilst on placement”
How was the application process for you: The application process was challenging but a great experience – at each stage, I felt like I was learning more about myself. The Assessment centre was an intense day, but I met some great friends and got to see TVP campus. It inspired me to push back all of the fear and nervousness I had and to chase after my dream!
A top tip for being successful during the application process: Be yourself! I’m sure you’ve heard everyone say this, but it is so important! The more you are yourself, the better. The assessors will be able to read through who you are and who you are trying to be. The more you’re yourself, the better. The assessors want to know you for you and see if you’re the right fit for the company. And always, always smile – whatever the outcome. Chin up and keep a positive mindset on board and it’ll support you through the journey. Not just here, but everywhere. Finally, ask for feedback. As horrid as it may be to hear about your shortfalls, it’s just as important to work on them. Take the time out to ask for feedback and to work on it in a pragmatic way. Good Luck!