BYF Norway Graduate Role Profile - Account Executive

Alina Selezneva

Which university/course:
MSC in Marketing & Brand Management from Norwegian School of Economics in Norway. Earlier: unis in London, Helsinki, New Zealand

Job title:
Account Executive Public Sector

Brief description of your job:
As an Account Executive for 45 municipalities in Norway I am responsible for growing year over year business in each municipality. My focus is to bring digitalisation into public sector, making sure my customers consume a whole portfolio of Microsoft products; especially cloud services such as CRM Online, Office 365, Azure etc. I lead a team of highly qualified professionals working with my customers internally and develop strategy for sale and consumption within each account with partners and partner sellers.

Highlight of being at Microsoft so far?
MGX (Microsoft Global Exchange), which is a one-week annual conference in USA. This year, MGX was held in Orlando with 13,000 employees from across the world. We had the opportunity to go to Universal Studios, have Enrique Iglesias and Justin Timberlake sing at a corporate party and much much more! It is events like this where you realise you are in the right place and are extremely grateful for being a part of it all and are ready to give back 100% when coming back to work.

Western Europe party at MGX

Why did you choose the Microsoft Graduate Programme?
The main reason was my big passion for technology. I believe technology is the future and is, and will be, transforming all spheres of our lives. I find it extremely interesting to work in the technology industry and keep up with the latest products and trends.

A top tip for being successful during the Graduate application process:
ENERGY! Recruiters at Microsoft look for energy in potential candidates. Show your energy and that you are ready to run 24/7. Be prepared and do your homework well! Read the BYF blog, talk to recruiters, current MACHs, check Microsoft websites, read some books about technology. Show that you know what’s going on in the Digital Transformation age. The 4th Industrial Revolution is already here.

What has surprised you the most about working at Microsoft?
For me it must be the friendliness of employees which makes the experience even more amazing! There is no such thing as a stupid question. Everyone, absolutely everyone is eager to help you and is interested in your success. Another thing is the Microsoft culture. Culture at Microsoft is amazing, really! Everybody has their Growth Mindset hat on and believes that nothing is impossible, everyone can achieve whatever they want. Teambuilding events throughout the year really helped to bring people together, and encourage great working relationships.

Team building in Olso

How was the application process for you?
For me personally it was a long, but rewarding, process. It took two months from the time I applied, to when I was offered a job. I had a situations test, a video interview, a skype interview, and phone calls. Then it was the assessment centre, where I had to prepare two presentations, had a group activity and a presentation. We also had a personal interview during the day and 4 interviews afterwards. My endeavours were rewarded in the end, and I was quickly able to celebrate at the kick-off event.

Kick-off event in August

What concerns did you have before joining Microsoft? Are they still concerns?
How on earth would I be able to work at Microsoft with a business background and no idea about IT whatsoever. HOW? How would I manage it? These were my main concerns.
The first 6 months in the company was a learning curve, as I did not quite understand all the abbreviations and IT language used. After a while all the language and abbreviations becomes normal to you and you start using it daily, so don’t be afraid, you will learn it all! Microsoft has amazing course portals, where you can take courses at your own pace and still learn fast.

Has your perception of technology changed since working at Microsoft?
Was the technology industry what you expected? After reading a couple of books about digital disruption I kind of had an idea that technology would keep changing our lives, but I could not imagine that it would happen at such a fast pace. Driverless cars, robots serving you in the stores, Cortana being your personal assistant and booking flights for you. The future is already here!

What are your future aspirations at Microsoft?
Senior Leadership Team in Norway, maybe WE. I am absolutely interested in transforming the Norwegian sub and empowering each and every person and organization in Norway to achieve more by using our own and our partners’ products and cloud services.

To finish, I will leave you with an image of our teambuilding dinner at MGX. Coming together and doing little things like this, is really what makes Microsoft stand out and create a working culture like no other!

Eager to read more?