BYF Ireland - Intern Role Profile - Corporate Citizenship

Sinéad Cowen

Role: Community Affairs Intern

Department: Citizenship and Public Relations

Location: Dublin, Ireland

Hi everyone!

My name is Sinéad and I am the Community Affairs intern at Microsoft Ireland. This opportunity to contribute to the Be Your Future blog recently came my way and I jumped at the chance to share my amazing experience thus far at Microsoft!

My Background

I’m originally from a place called County Offaly, which is located in the midlands, right in the heart of Ireland. However, I’ve been a city slicker since I left home to attend University – first in Galway for 4 years and then Dublin, where I currently reside.
To say I took the ‘scenic route’ through college would be an understatement! My academic career to date includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Irish Language and Sociology & Politics at NUIG in Galway. Although I loved Galway, my degree wasn’t where my passion lay, and so I followed it up with a postgraduate Higher Diploma in Business Studies. Finally, I had found my real interest and this ultimately led me to complete a Masters in Strategic Management and Planning at the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.
It was during the final semester of my Masters that I decided to apply for the Microsoft Intern Programme. My friend Gavin was finishing up his internship and moving onto a MACH role, and his enthusiasm about the programme really sparked my interest. Choosing a career path after university can be a daunting experience – the sheer volume of companies and graduate programmes is overwhelming to say the least. However, the way Gavin described Microsoft – a thriving organisation, with a stellar reputation in the industry that has stood the test of time (30 years in Ireland) that was undergoing transformation under new leadership from Satya Nadella. It sounded like an exciting time to be at Microsoft, so I submitted an application and thankfully was successful!

My Role

My role is Community Affairs intern. I work to deliver the company’s Corporate Citizenship strategy and help manage our relationship with the wider community and our charity partners. I am also involved in external events that arises as a result of our CSR activity.
What I love most about my job is the variance of the work – every day is different and I’ve been lucky enough to be part of some really exciting initiatives such as Hour of Code and our YouthSpark programme – both initiatives are led by the Leadership Team, as part of Satya’s strategy to empower every individual to achieve and do more.

My Experience so far

As you may have guessed from this enthusiastic post, my experience so far has been a fantastic one. One of the best things about my role is that it’s very broad, which means I engage with people from all over the organisation. I have met some great people during my time here and feel really supported by my managers. My role has brought about some unique opportunities too. I got to co-ordinate a site-wide charity initiative that raised over €10,500 for the Irish Cancer Society and was also asked to take part in a new joiner event, where I spoke to Microsoft Ireland’s Corporate Citizenship Strategy and some of our big wins in this area so far to new employees. Some of these big wins include Microsoft being acknowledged by Chambers Ireland CSR Award for Excellence in the Community 2015, as well as the title of ‘Most Generous Firm based in Ireland’ from Business in The Community.
Microsoft Ireland does a lot for the community and I am delighted to be part of the team that drives this volunteerism and passion, as well as promoting it to the public. The level of support for CSR at Microsoft is overwhelming – which speaks volumes of the people who work here.

My Top Tip

If you are applying for the Internship Programme, my top tip for being successful is to be enthusiastic and really show your interest in the company. Microsoft values brand loyalty and evangelism and if you can show your knowledge of not only what we do, but the passion that drives what we do here, it won’t go unnoticed.

Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more, so think about what that statement means to you and how you can show that it aligns with your own personal goals and objectives.

To anyone who is thinking of applying – I couldn’t encourage you enough. You won’t regret it!

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