BYF Slovakia - MACH - Technology Evangelist
We are proud to say that International Insights continues to grow! We are now fortunate enough to be joined by further posts from further EMEA subsidiaries, providing you with an increasingly holistic view of Microsoft Early-in-Career opportunities across the globe!
These opportunities include Apprentice, Intern and Grad opportunities.
Today, the brilliant Marek, our Slovakian colleague has kindly provided us with a fantastic overview of himself, his time at Microsoft as a MACH (Graduate) and the route he's taken to get here.
It's a great read and a really valuable insight!
Microsoft is a company I’ve always wanted to work for,
...and when I was a kid I actually wanted to be Bill Gates. Today I’m proud to say that I now work for Microsoft. I initially started in Microsoft as a Technology Evangelist focusing on Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone. I was responsible for working closely with developers and startups to help them understand the Windows platform and to drive the adoption of the Windows OS. After some time spent on position I was offered opportunity to take a new challenge and to become Account Technology Strategist. I decided to accept this challenge and my current main responsibility is to help our customers to get full potential out of our services and solutions.
I first thought about applying to Microsoft when I was studying at the University in Bratislava. My course focused on Informatics and Information technologies, and I kept learning more and more about Microsoft products. The one thing that really influenced my perception of Microsoft was getting involved in their global student technology competition called Imagine Cup. This is an annual Microsoft competition, where students team up to work on exciting technology projects.
The worldwide final always takes place in different parts of the world too (e.g. Soul, Cairo, Warsaw, New York, Sydney, and St. Petersburg).
Together with my teammates, we entered into the software design category and created software to help solve the issues of slow and intermittent internet connection (OwNet). Our target users were students from third world countries, as well as businessmen who may lack internet access whilst travelling by plane or train. We worked on the solution for almost a year and won the local Slovak Finals, which led us to the Worldwide Finals in Sydney. The whole competition was an unbelievable experience! Thanks to Imagine Cup, I was able to really advance my technical and soft skills, meet lots of new people and experience an incredible free trip to Australia. Ok, so we didn’t win the worldwide finals, but we came away feeling like winners because of what we gained from the whole competition. I also got to understand the significant contribution and effort Microsoft makes towards shaping the future of technology, and their investment in future talent.
After Imagine Cup, I stayed in contact with one of the Microsoft employees in Slovakia and at a later date he challenged me to create a Windows 8 application for the big discounts provider in Slovakia. This opportunity eventually led to me becoming a full-time Microsoft employee within MACH programme. After a few interview rounds, Microsoft’s Slovak General Manager ended my final interview with “Welcome on board”. That was the day I got my dream job!
Looking back, there were a few key actions that helped me secure my dream job at Microsoft, which were:
- Studying pays off – some people say that grades are not important and that practical knowledge is far better but I believe it’s a mixture of both. If I hadn’t achieved good grades, I wouldn’t have been able to participate in Imagine Cup, which became a fundamental part of my career journey.
- Invest in yourself – always define what would you like to know and learn. If there’s an opportunity to achieve something – sacrifice your time, it is always worth it!
- Try to get practical knowledge during your studies – any work experience during studies will always be advantageous, especially when you apply for a graduate position.
- Be confident during the interview – Make a strong impression on everyone you make, show that you know what you want and remain confident in your own ability.
- Always be prepared – I must admit, that on my way to Microsoft I had also a bit of luck, but there is a saying: “Fortune favors the prepared“.