Apprentice Role Insight - Software Support Engineer

Name: Sam Whaley

Role: Software Support Engineer

Department: CSS (Customer Services & Support)

Location: Thames Valley Park, Reading.

Background Information

Microsoft has always been an inspirational company to me and I was lucky enough to find out about the apprenticeship scheme when it was first launched back in 2014. Even though I was mid-way through A-levels at the time I decided to apply anyway and see what happened, knowing that one day I wanted to work there. I got through to the final interview stages but it was not meant to be and I wasn’t offered a job.

At the time it was hard but I knew Microsoft was my future and so patiently completed my A-levels and waited till the following year. This time round I was offered a place on the apprenticeship! I was over the moon and the experience taught me that you should never give up - always follow your dreams even in the face of failure.

Previously living in a small town called Swanage, in Dorset, I have moved up to Reading for the apprenticeship, bought a car, rented a flat and really feel like I have matured and grown up leading an exciting and interesting life – definitely the right choice for me.

Application Process for my role

Online application – Simply submitting details about you.

Psychometric tests – These were simple scenarios-based questions which aren’t too difficult. Try not to over think these – they aren’t trying to catch you out!

Video interview – My top tip for this is to just stay calm, speak honestly and whatever feels right. This was the most challenging aspect of the process due to the unknown nature of the test – but whatever you do don’t panic!

Assessment centre – The assessment centre in my opinion is the best part of the process. You get to go to the Microsoft UK headquarters, meet new people and have a really fun day. Okay so there are a few challenges on the way but I took a lot from the day and made sure that I enjoyed it. I would recommend anyone who goes to do the same!

Top Tip for the Application Process - Just be yourself and enjoy it!

My Role

I work as Software Support Engineer in CSS (Customer Service & Support), Premier Mission Critical Support, creating applications to enhance team productivity and efficiency.

My experience so far has been amazing. Since joining the company I have made life-long friends, attended awesome company events, placed into a team where I have trust, freedom and respect and am able to work to my maximum ability comfortably day in day out. What has surprised me the most since joining is just how friendly and helpful everyone in Microsoft actually is – its touching to see everyone is interested and willing to help you no matter what!

My #1 Top Tip for making the most of your internship/apprenticeship

Everything happens for a reason – live it, love it, learn from it.

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