Apprentice Year Reflection - Nicole Ryle

Was joining the Microsoft Apprenticeship Scheme a good decision? YES.

I didn’t realise how much this programme would help me develop as a person, but it really has. As apprentices, each day we are put out of our comfort zones, we learn new things and we grow as people.


For me, before joining Microsoft I was very under confident – especially in terms of public speaking. As a child I was always very shy, therefore I was apprehensive when applying for the Microsoft Apprenticeship. Would it be for me? Would I fit in? At first the Microsoft UK Headquarters seemed so daunting, however now, when I come to work I feel relaxed and comfortable.

My personal growth

When I joined, I was told about times where I’d have to network and present to people. Initially, the thought of doing this terrified me and seemed beyond my capabilities. Nevertheless, now that I have started to network and present, it has naturally become part of my job role and I love it!

The reasons why I think my confidence has grown:

  • Everyone at Microsoft is kind, welcoming and willing to help;
  • My fellow FY16 Apprentices are all so lovely and so easy to get along with – definitely friends for life!
  • As apprentices we are given lots of support.

As part of the Get On Team I have been going to schools and presenting to students about my journey and the Microsoft Apprenticeship Scheme. As well as this, there are always so many opportunities to get involved with here at Microsoft. For instance, I was given the chance to go back to my old school to present to the current Sixth Form. I was so excited to go back and see my old teachers, but at the same time I was extremely nervous… When I finally plucked up the courage to organise a date, I headed back to my old school and presented. It went really well and all the students were very engaged. The nicest thing was that my teacher acknowledged how I was much more confident since being at Microsoft. I never thought I would be able to get up in front of 50 people and present, but now this seems to be becoming a regular occurrence! As well as my teacher noticing my increase in confidence, my family and friends have also recognised this.

I feel extremely grateful that I got a place on the Microsoft Apprenticeship Programme. I get to meet so many amazing people day-on-day and I am now confident enough to be able to talk to these people and expand my knowledge! Thanks Microsoft!

My Top Tip

My top tip for anyone who is unsure on whether to apply would be :

Don’t let anything get in your way! Apply, apply, apply!

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