Apprentice Role Profile: Support Engineer

Name: Ruby Bedford

Previous education path:
Before Microsoft, I attended Reading Blue Coat School where I completed my A-Levels in ICT, History and PE. I loved school, but as everyone else in my year started to think about going to university, it dawned on me that it wasn’t what I wanted to do. When I found out about the Microsoft Apprenticeship Scheme, I decided not to complete a UCAS application and dedicated my time to getting an Apprenticeship. Although at the time it felt like a massive risk, it is the best decision I ever made!

What course are you studying as part of your Apprenticeship?
I will complete a Level 3 NVQ in IT Systems and Networking. We attend six weeks of class-room based training, and achieve 3 MTA’s (Microsoft Technical Association exams). Outside of this training, we build a portfolio of coursework and have regular meetings with our QA assessors.

Job Title: Support Engineer

Brief description of your job:
As a Support Engineer, my role is to help fix problems customers are having with a Microsoft product. The piece of software that I support is Power BI. I need to be able to clearly communicate with the customer to successfully troubleshoot the problem.

Job on a day-to-day basis:
The first thing I do when I get in is check my unread emails and action anything which is outstanding. I then get on a conference call with all the Support Engineers for Power BI across EMEA to discuss the new cases that have come in over the last 24 hours and decide who will take responsibility for them. Also, in this call people talk about other problems they are having, this is particularly useful for me as it means I can learn even more about a wide variety of cases. Following this call, I spend the rest of the day working on cases, attending any meetings I may have and getting involved in 101 teams (101 teams are intern/apprentice run and lead initiatives that form part of your responsibilities whilst at Microsoft). The opportunities here are vast and you will find yourself doing some new and different every day!

What is the highlight of your role:
The highlight of my role so far has been the sheer amount I have learned. I have had the opportunity to meet and interact with a variety of different people within and outside of the organisation, learning so much. Even though I am the youngest member of the team, I am never treated differently and people are always so willing to help me!

A top tip for being successful during the application process:
My biggest tip for the application process is to be yourself - Microsoft want to see who you really are and if you are a good fit for the company. Also, make sure you do lots of research before you complete any stage of the application process as that paid off for me.

Highlight of being at Microsoft?
There have been lots of highlights so far - I am loving everything I do! However, something that stands out for me is the events that we can get involved in. Earlier in the year, we got to attend Future Decoded, Microsoft’s biggest UK event. It was amazing to experience something on that scale, it makes you fully appreciate the scale of the organisation we work for!

How was the transition from school/college life to working-life?
The transition from school to working-life was a lot different to anything I had expected. I never went to college, so I had never experienced the freedom you get from that. However, I have settled into working-life and the longer days are so much easier than I thought! The support you receive to guide you through the transition is great.

What has surprised you the most about working at Microsoft?
Everyone here is so lovely, and despite my age I have been accepted as a member of the team and know that I can always ask for help or even a chat to see what someone else’s job role is.

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