Graduate Stories - by Alex Cooper

alex cooper 1I’ll start off by saying that mygraduate experience hasn’t exactly been the most orthodox one. But nonetheless, since starting in September, it has been one of the best rides I’ve been on. Theprogramme starts off with a month of on-boarding training which is organised and run by the previous years’ recruits. This can seem a bit daunting at first, but believe me it’s worth it! The training gives you a great grounding in what the business is all about, what the other sectors do, and where you fit in. It’s also a great opportunity to meet the UK senior leadership team (so make sure you have some questions prepared!).

After the month’s training, I was put into my first rotation on a project in my role as an associate project manager. This was a great experience where I was given lots of responsibilities. I got to spend two days a week on site in London with the team, and while I was there I was able to sit in on customer and programme level meetings which was a great opportunity and one I really enjoyed.

alex cooper 2Now onto the unorthodox bit which was where I realised that project management wasn’t for me at the time. This was because I was missing the technical side of things too much and wanted to get back into it. I expressed my wish to make a role change to management, and the company were so supportive in letting me make the move. This is one of the best things about working at Microsoft, they’re really supportive of your personal development and want to make sure you’re happy in what you’re doing. So as a result, I’m now an associate consultant!

Speaking of support, the amount you get as a newhire is just incredible. When you start, you get a buddy who is agraduate in the year above, a mentor and a personal development manager. These three people were all pivotal in my role switch, and have given me so much support and guidance since I started. The scheme is truly set up to help you succeed.

alex cooper 3I’m writing this on what is my first day back after being at Microsoft Services University (MSSU). MSSU was a 10-day training course which takes place at Microsoft HQ in Redmond, and it was incredible! The campus over there is bigger than anything you can imagine (there’s shuttle taxis to get around!), and it was great to meet and work with different people from all around the world. It’s also a great opportunity to meet some of the international Microsoft graduateswho’ll have started the same time as you, and start branching out your network! Those of us who went together from the UK now all have an amazing relationship, and there’s a real sense of camaraderie.

So like I said, not the most orthodox of journey’s for my first couple of months here, but one I wouldn’t change for the world – working here is just amazing!

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