Apprentice Role Profile - Support Engineer

Name: Joe Hardie

Role: Support Engineer

Department: Customer Services & Support

Location: TVP, Reading

Background Information

I went to Highdown school in Reading, I enjoyed my time at school and did quite well in my GCSEs but when I found out about the apprenticeship scheme at Microsoft, I knew I would gain great experience in the work place while learning about technology. I joined the apprenticeship scheme straight after my GCSEs, I was only just 16 when I started making me the youngest Microsoft employee in the world!

Application Process for your role

The first stage of the application for the apprenticeship scheme is the online application, you will need to send your CV so make sure it is up to date and includes all relevant experience. After that, you will do an online scenario test, they will ask you how you would react in situations you may come across in the apprenticeship. Think about what you would do in the situation and answer them as well as you can. Next is the video interview, for me this was the hardest part of the process, you will be asked difficult questions and it will feel strange to sit talking to your computer. If you get through that, you will be invited to the assessment centre. You will take part in various activities on the day to test a bunch of different skills. You will be with others that have applied for the apprenticeship, try not to compete with them, Microsoft are looking for people that can work well as a team.

My top tip for the process overall is to believe in yourself. Microsoft don’t look for people with top grades and lots of experience, they want people that are passionate about technology, have good team work skills and willingness to learn.

My Role

My role in Microsoft is a Support Engineer in Customer Service & Support. A Support Engineer will help customers to fix problems they have with Microsoft products. The products that I support Microsoft's Identity Management systems, Forefront Identity Manager and Microsoft Identity Manager. The customers I will support are professional and premier customers, most of them will have a contract for reactive support hours they can have with us. As a Support Engineer, you need to know how to gather the right information and how to troubleshoot it.
What I enjoy about my role is that I have real engagments with customers and am able to make an impact on them, it feels really rewarding and I feel valued to the company. All of the apprentices are treated the same as anyone else, we have real responsibilities at the company. The people I work with are all a lot older than me but I still get on well with them and they treat me just like anyone else in team, being in the team gives me real exposure to a work environment which will help me in any future jobs.

My experience so far

Working for the company is honestly incredible, I have always been interested in technology and I would have never expected to be working for one of the biggest tech companies in the world at the age of 16. The thing that surprised me at Microsoft is how friendly everyone is, even if people are high up in the business or busy in their roles they will try to find time to talk to you if you ask.

Your #1 top tip

My #1 top tip would be to do as much as possible, getting to opportunity to work at Microsoft at such an early point in my career is amazing and you should definitely take advantage of it while you are there. This includes networking, getting involved in 101 teams and going to events. I have already had lots of opportunities to do things like this and have really enjoyed them, such as helping at Microsoft events and talking to young people about the apprenticeship and careers in technology.

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