Graduate Role Profile - Andrew Desmond

Name: Andrew Desmond

Which university/course: Bachelor of Commerce UCD & MSc in Digital Innovation UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business school

Job Title: Global Systems Integrator & Nordics Operations Account Manager (OAM) in Customer Partner & Field Mature Markets (CP&F)

Brief description of your job:
Simply, my role is the post sales process. When a sale is made in any of the Nordic countries or a global account, by a sales person, it’s my job to help the customer with any issues they have. I have monthly calls with my partners and I try, by understanding their business, to make it easy for them to do business with Microsoft.

Why did you choose the Microsoft Graduate Programme?
Easy! Last year when I applied, the tag line on the recruitment page was ‘Come as you are, and do what you love’ This really stood out to me, no other graduate role I applied for was interested in the person, they were all looking for a certain skill set. This statement told me that Microsoft really do invest in their people, which is important to me. I knew I would have to work hard in any grad programme, so I might as well as do it for a company that gives back as much as you put in.

A top tip for being successful during the Graduate application process:
Be yourself.... how cliché! In all honestly this is true, but to make it more real, really think about what gets you excited...find out what is your passion. Then make this passion your bedrock for the interview, it’s hard to get stuck on answering a question on something that you really love. I think it helped me - I love start-ups and I spent 90% of my interviews talking about start-up’s and very little about Microsoft. My tip is that they are investing in people’s potential, so show them your potential.

How was the application process for you?
Honestly, I had a very poor work experience, and still wonder today how I even got to the assessment centre. One thing I did like was how quick the process was; for me it was all done in 4 weeks. I did have my few hiccups along the way, like not knowing when the application deadline was!!  The final assessment centre is difficult but is ran expertly and everyone makes you feel at home. The atmosphere is like that of school trip, rather than that of a final round interview!

Highlight of being at Microsoft so far?
2 highlights:

1. Spent a week in Munich, in November, with all 15 Irish MACH’s (explain this term) and the small group of 268 EMEA MACH’s, enjoying the Munich culture and meeting loads of new nationalities.

2. Getting to see Satya Nadella (CEO) and Brad Smith, (President and Chief Legal Officer) at the Autumn Connection, which was an event where everyone came together to listen to the decisions about the strategic direction of Microsoft.

How was the transition from university life to working life?
I was used to the sink or swim onboarding nature, having recently done a masters. I suppose the two big differences are that relationships and teams matter. In college, you could get away with doing most of the work yourself if needs be, but in Microsoft you need to lean-in on your network every day. Secondly, in college missing meetings and not delivering was common, given that the projects usually had a short scope.

What are your future aspirations at Microsoft?
To complete the MACH programme and training over two-years. I’d love to go back and do an MBA in about 3-4 years’ time. I’d like to try a project management role, but at the minute I have great exposure to project management.

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