Graduate Role Profile - Partner Channel Engagement Manager

Polly Cartwright

Which university/course:
I went to Bournemouth University and studied Event Management

Job Title:
Partner Channel Engagement Manager

Brief description of your job:
My job is technically in Sales SMSP, however my focus is more on the marketing area. Rather than me having to hit numbers, I go out to big organisations and speak to them and try to make Microsoft seem cool, making them want to use Microsoft products and then scale our products out to their smaller businesses.

Why did you choose the Microsoft Graduate Programme?

I was an intern at Microsoft and my parents live in Wokingham so location-wise it was perfect! Also, I had never had experience in Sales and I wanted it in a place where I had originally worked before so I knew a bit about the business. There is a great culture here, it is flexi-working because of mobility and cloud! I'm really into performing and wanted to continue with my hobbies, the flexibility at Microsoft allows this.

Tell us a bit about the application process and a top tip?

As I was an intern here the application process for the graduate scheme was slightly different, I applied through an online application followed by an assessment centre. Mine was a bit weird as I had an interview for a role in Sales, however not for any job which was available. I got a call a few weeks later - they had found a role for me so I came in and had a chat with my now manager and I got the job! My top tip is to be yourself, I know it is cliché but when you come in you don't want to build a fake persona. If they like you for who you are, you'll be successful and a good fit. Have fun, be yourself and be confident!

Highlight of being at Microsoft so far?

My intern year was really cool! I got to attend the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival; it is a huge advertising event which takes over this area of France. All the big technology companies attend, for example: Facebook, Google, Yahoo, AOL, Microsoft etc. They invite their clients and show off their products - basically it is a huge networking event for a week! There were lots of advertising awards going on too - kind of like the BRITs - the prize was a Cannes Lion! We also had a Microsoft stand outside, where we were demoing the surface hubs, surface pros and playing games to interact with customers. It was so much fun and definitely a highlight!

What has surprised you the most about working at Microsoft?

Not everyone is techy! There aren't that many tech roles in comparison to the high number of non-tech positions. I like this because I freaked out when I first joined as I am not very technical!

What are your future aspirations at Microsoft?

I am a big dreamer so every day it will probably change! But I am a people person so I would like my role to progress into me doing a lot of presentations and key note sessions on our technology. Maybe I would like to do an evangelist role where I can get out there. My ultimate dream would be a TV presenter though but that isn't exactly realistic!

You said a hobby of yours is performing, tell us a bit more about that and any others…

So, I am auditioning next week to be in a Hairspray musical, rehearsals will be Tues/Thurs evenings. I have always loved performing! I was also thinking about volunteering at a local radio station for experience as that is another dream of mine.

Would you say that your passion for performing has helped you?

Yes, I think so! It has given me confidence and I have always been myself. It definitely helped me during my intern year because my manager who interview me used to be a dancer so we clicked instantly. Microsoft has allowed me to continue with my passions, my team are very supportive and have already claimed that they'll be coming to watch the musical!

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