An Apprentice Insight into Loop

By Jacob McQuillan

As an apprentice at Microsoft we are allowed to get involved with lots of different things that may not be included in our normal day to day job role. Something which some of us apprentices have been involved in is Loop.

Loop is a website that is used internally within Microsoft. The idea came from the FY15 apprentices who found an issue; it was hard to start here and reach out effectively to the right people. As you may expect in a massive company such as Microsoft, it’s difficult to know everyone, especially when you’ve just started! So they began creating Loop in order for people to connect and learn more when they start out at Microsoft.

Taking over

First came the website creation, followed by the thinking behind design, marketing and more. Then when us FY16 apprentices arrived, two of the nine of us joined the team in order to help out; that is until the FY15 apprentices finished their apprenticeships and moved on to other jobs. That’s when we took charge of Loop to continue its development.

There are lots of things that you may not think about when creating a website. One of the things is development of course - so far three different people have been developing Loop at different times. Then there's marketing - how are we going to let people within Microsoft know that Loop even exists? Any new ideas and anything else to do with Loop can be brought up in our weekly meeting to assign tasks and have a general health check to see what stages Loop is at and what comes next. So as you can see just by mentioning a few things, it is something that is helping all of us developing our skills.

The Team

The team consists of a business lead, a development lead and a team lead who is responsible for overseeing the entire project. Within each role everyone has responsibilities and these are assigned out at our weekly meetings.

What have we learnt

Being able to get involved with this project has helped all of us. We have been able to develop and learn different skills such as reaching out to people for help, good communication and presentation skills.

The fact that Microsoft allows us to do these things incorporates the idea of a growth mindset too, the idea being that you are always looking to improve yourself through dedication and hard work. Essentially you should always be learning and improving new or existing skills, and as you can see this project, or any projects we become involved in here at Microsoft, are so beneficial to you and your learning.

Us apprentices are just hoping that Loop has a positive impact on Microsoft, that it’s accepted and people are using this in order to expand their network by meeting new people and creating those connections. If this is happening then we know that Loop has a success and we have positively affected Microsoft.

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