Apprentice Year Reflection - Joe Hardie

7 months ago I walked into Microsoft without knowing any of the other apprentices or any of my colleagues, I didn’t know what it was like to be in a professional environment or even much about the job role I would be doing. So 7 months later how have I grown as a professional and as a person?
Being an apprentice at Microsoft you will have plenty of opportunities to practice things like public speaking, communication and networking. Looking back on when I started, I now feel that I am much more confident overall and therefore I have improved skills in public speaking and communicating. Having responsibilities, it is important to have skills in time management and productivity so that you can spend the right amount of time on a task and do it quickly. Having had practice on this I now am able to plan what work to prioritise and how to concentrate best to complete work faster. I am not the only one to notice a change in myself, my friends and family have told me how I have changed from being on the Apprenticeship scheme as well.

The skills and knowledge I have gained so far will help me with whatever I might go on to do in the future, I will be able to do better at interviews and make myself more hireable. I can perform better at a job that I hope to move onto after the apprenticeship and I will have 18 months experience at one of the largest companies in the world!
I have really enjoyed my apprenticeship so far and I have had some amazing opportunities that I couldn’t get anywhere else. I really enjoyed helping out at Future Decoded, Microsoft’s largest event in the UK, where I was able to talk to partners and see some of the latest technology. Another event we held was DigiGirlz, an event to encourage girls to get into technology which was really fun for us and for the girls that came in from local schools.

I remember when I applied for the apprenticeship, I was thinking about if it was the right thing for me to do and if I was ready to go into the world of work but mostly I was thinking about how many people would apply for it and that my chance of getting in was very low. My advice for you if you are applying is to be calm, focus on what makes you different to others and remember that Microsoft are looking at your personality, team work and willingness to learn, you don’t need top grades. Even if you aren’t successful, the application process is similar to some you may come across for jobs in the future and so it will give you an insight into what they may be like.
So if you have applied for the apprenticeship scheme or you are thinking about it, then my advice is to go for it! Whether you have applied for the business or technical stream you will definitely make amazing friends, have a bunch of fun, learn a lot and develop great skills that will help you in your future!

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