Graduate Role Profile - Associate Project Manager

Name: Marta Gasik

Which university/course: University College London, BSc Information Management for Business

Job Title: Associate Project Manager

Brief description of your job: I work on Microsoft Services projects. Working closely with Technical Consultants, Digital Architects and people responsible for long-term relationships with Microsoft clients, I ensure our projects progress according to plan and keep our customers happy with what we deliver!

A top tip for being successful during the Graduate application process
Think carefully about your strengths and interests and how they align with Microsoft's business. When you are passionate and willing to learn, Microsoft is a great place to help you develop your skills and perform in the job. During the Assessment Centre, you have to definitely be honest with interviewers about what motivates you to work - they will be looking at aligning you to one of the job roles available, and you want it to be the best fit possible.

How was the application process for you?
I loved the process - at every step the interviewers were friendly and made me feel comfortable, we always had interesting conversations and it never felt like an interrogation. The time span between submitting my application and getting the job offer was around 3 months, which gave me plenty of time to prepare and do my research.

Highlight of being at Microsoft so far?
As I am answering these questions I am sat in a training room on the 42nd floor of a Dubai skyscraper - alongside all EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) consultants and project managers, I am here for three weeks long training, only three weeks after starting the graduate scheme.

What has surprised you the most about working at Microsoft?
How diverse but similar people are. The first get-together with other MACHs (Microsoft Academy for College Hires) was the most bizarre experience, as I had never met any of them before but everyone got on straight away. The company culture is very strong and people are in general passionate, willing to help, interested in opinions of others and positive. You will feel welcome and have plenty of places to go for help.

What are your future aspirations at Microsoft?
In the first year, I will focus on understanding my role in detail and experiencing as many different projects as possible. Nobody here expects you to know what to do to excel in your role on day 1, the first months are spent on intense learning - both in classroom and from experienced colleagues. As a project manager, I want to also get to know the responsibilities of more senior roles I interact with and decide where I want to be as my career progresses.

How was the transition from university life to working life?
Surprisingly smooth - the first weeks at Microsoft for me were spent on training. I was alongside a number of other MACHs so we could go through the process together, which did increase my confidence. In the UK, every MACH also gets a 'buddy' - more experienced employee who joined through MACH a few years back and can help us in settling in the company and our role. They help you navigate through on-boarding and are the first mentor in the company.

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