Graduate Role Profile - Technical Associate Consultant

Name: Dan Bhatt-Lewis

Which university/course: University of the West of England (UWE), BSc Forensic Computing & Security

Job Title: Technical Associate Consultant in Secure Infrastructure

Brief description of your job: Consultants deliver and work on customised projects and implementations for customers, allowing them to maximise their experience with Microsoft technologies. My personal role is still in the process of being defined in terms of what technologies and projects I’ll be working on, which is very exciting. The initial months give an opportunity to shadow more experienced team members and find an area that I’m truly interested in.

A top tip for being successful during the Graduate application process

  • Relax & be yourself.
  • Make sure you have done your research on the company. What is it currently doing, its mission statement and culture?
  • Know yourself, your strengths and work out how you can best frame or demonstrate them.
  • If someone mentions an acronym you don’t recognise, ask!

How was the application process for you?
As I wasn’t a Microsoft intern, I began the application process from scratch.
The process was quite challenging. It was the first time I have had to do a recorded video interview, which was an odd experience!
The assessment centre at the end of the process was incredibly motivating. When I got to the offices and saw the buildings and the buzz, I didn’t want to leave without knowing I gave the assessment centre my best.

Highlight of being at Microsoft so far?
Without question, the highlight so far was being given the opportunity to spend 3 weeks in Dubai to complete introductory training. 9 of us from the UK joined roughly 35 other graduates from all over Europe to learn from some fantastic teachers. We were given free time at the weekends to explore the city and go on excursions. I didn’t think my first month at Microsoft would give me the opportunity to go sandboarding down dunes in the desert or go up the world’s tallest building!
It’s also hard not to mention some of the amazing speakers that came to talk to us in our first week. From the new UK CEO to a representative from the Microsoft Research Lab, all the speakers were truly inspirational.

What concerns did you have before joining Microsoft? Are they still concerns?
Coming from university, I think it’s probably normal to be intimidated by Microsoft’s size and market position before joining. Over the build-up to the first day and the first couple of weeks it’s really easy to have an ‘inferiority complex’. The HR team, the managers and other graduates really make sure you feel at home and begin developing from day 1. There is so much support and access to resources, even a library! Everybody around you wants you to succeed and you can feel that in the culture and the atmosphere at Microsoft. It’s very easy to settle in.

Has your perception of technology changed since working at Microsoft? Was the technology industry what you expected?
It’s hard to comprehend the reach and impact that technology has on almost everything we do. I think being at Microsoft has opened my eyes to how much we really achieve and how fast paced the industry is. There are some very exciting projects going on here and you can get involved with them pretty soon after starting.
I think what surprised me the most is how collaborative the technology industry is. Whether between internal teams at Microsoft or working with partners, there really is a drive to innovate and give customers the best possible experience and solutions.

How was the transition from university life to working life?
The adjustment was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. My expectation was that it would be difficult transitioning from university and managing your own time to normal working hours, but it wasn’t. When you love what you’re doing and work with amazing people, you’ll find that you’re excited about getting up to go to work.

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