Areege Al Zubaidi - A Year in Review

IMAG0457In three weeks time I will be handing in my Windows 8 device, turning my monitor off, returning my “Microsoft Employee” ID badge, and ending my internship at Microsoft. I remember reading this blog around this time last year, just before my little adventure in technology land was about to start, and seeing everyone say “I cant believe how fast the year flies by” over, and over again. Sitting on this side of the year, I see why that is such a common saying. Time really does fly by, it’s like being on a rollercoaster, except better.

I work within the Customer and Partner Advocacy team, which is a global team focused on making sure that all of Microsoft’s customers and partners have the very best experience possible. Different teams look at customer surveys and the accessibility of all of our products and software. My team is called Customer and Field Advocacy, and I am a Customer and Field Advocate – which means that I fight the corner for our customers and partners with internal game changers when they have had exceptionally bad experiences with Microsoft products.

As part of this job I have dealt with scores and scores of scorned customers and partners, and tried my best to leverage all of the connections I’ve made within the company to turn their frowns upside down. It’s a huge responsibility, and can be a little overwhelming, but it makes for a very interesting day and is very fulfilling when you can sit back at the end of the day knowing that you’ve made a difference in a customer’s experience with Microsoft. As a marketer, it’s also really fulfilling to know that I have helped change a customer’s negative perception of Microsoft in some way.

I came into Microsoft via the marketing stream – I study marketing at Bournemouth University. Alongside advocating for customers and partners I am the UK Marketing Manager for my team’s brand – GetHelp – in the UK. This is an internal facing role, and involves getting to grips with what the UK subsidiary is prioritising at any moment in time, and moulding our messaging to be both relevant and engaging to them. It’s about repositioning GetHelp and making sure that everyone knows where to go when those sticky customer issues come their way. This role has been really interesting because I’ve had free reign over what activities we do in the UK, and I’ve been able to work on an integrated marketing plan for us.

Outside of my main job I’m also the promotional manager for this blog. I think I’ve read every blog post we’ve put out this year, and have found them all really interesting. I love working on the blog, and am really proud to be a part of such a small, all-intern team that has had such a big impact on what other prospective Microsofties think of the company.

My advice to anyone thinking of coming to Microsoft in the coming years would be to network from day one, and get stuck in! Also, try the cheesecake from the canteen, its delicious!

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