Ben Kosky - Microsoft UK Intern of the Year FY15
Role – Solution Sales Professional
Business Management at Exeter University
My Key Responsibilities & Business Impact
I was given a huge amount of responsibilities during my time at Microsoft. Arguably the most important being the Lead for the Microsoft Azure (Cloud) customer workshops. These workshops involved a significant amount of customer focussed responsibilities, including driving demand and follow ups to ensure sales revenue and business opportunities were driven to impact Microsoft’s Sales and the Cloud business.
Through leading the Azure customer workshops I have had the opportunity to deliver a significant amount of business impact. Through driving demand and managing the relationship with customers, the workshops have generated several million dollars of revenue for the business in the UK. However, I also delivered impact outside of sales through being the Lead for the Reading Schools Get On Initiative, which targets young people, inspiring them of the opportunities that the IT industry holds. This has a huge amount of impact for Microsoft inspiring the future generation about our products and services.
What key skills I developed
I grasped a huge amount of different skills and competencies during my placement year. The first was time management and organisation. As I was given a significant amount of responsibility it was vital that I managed my time effectively to ensure the customer workshops ran effectively and smoothly to provide business impact.
Through the organisation of key customer workshops it also built my confidence to network and present to key customers and stakeholders a skill that I set myself to develop at the start of the year. Finally, I developed my capacity to lead and manage others including customers, partners and also my peers. All these skills will be vital throughout my career and when completing my final year at Exeter University.
Why I’d recommend the Microsoft Internship Programme
I cannot recommend the Microsoft placement enough. It is the responsibility that they give you which separates the programmefrom others, which is key in order to progress and develop you as an individual, to build various skills and competences. Secondly, it is the flat organisational structure and culture at Microsoft that differentiates it from other programmes. It is truly remarkable how much time is spent on your personal development from HR to very senior leaders around the company. It truly motivates you as you are treated as a valued member of your team and the company as a whole.
Some of the Opportunities I got involved in
As highlighted previously I was given the opportunity to be the Lead for the Reading Schools Get on Initiative managing a team of 15 interns and apprentices. This opportunity really developed my capacity to lead and manage, skills which will be invaluable for my future career. I also got involved with the organisation of the UK Imagine Cup competition, which is a UK application competition for students. I was Lead Organiser with a fellow intern, which really developed my time management to balance my responsibilities of my role and the orchestration of the competition itself. The opportunities to get involved with various projects at Microsoft is amazing and there is almost too much to do, it is unfortunate you can’t do everything!
My Key Tips for a successful Placement Year
Firstly, I would say be proactive. It is such a huge opportunity to be part of such a successful and fantastic company so really try and grasp the opportunities that are available. If that is getting involved with a project or reaching out to the various inspiring people and stakeholders within the company.
Secondly, enjoy it! Not everyone gets such a fantastic opportunity so have fun and enjoy your time. If you love what you do you are more likely to succeed, to be innovative and therefore make a lasting impact!