Intern Diaries - Seattle Off-Site

Jack Ryderimages

Role: Microsoft Advertising Digital Strategist
University: Leeds – Management With Marketing

Seattle3For a week in mid-Septembermyselfandanother intern (also a Jack) were lucky enough to travel to Seattle for a global offsite within the Xbox Advertising Team. My role within Microsoft has changed slightly since joining the company as I started off as an Xbox Trade Marketing Manager and now I take a much more holistic approach and look at Microsoft Advertising in general and the digital strategy of this area of the business. Despite my change in roles, the offsite was still hugely relevant and a great deal was gained throughout the 3 days we were in Microsoft HQ.I’d never been to or heard of an offsite before, and just expected us to be chatting for the majority of the time and experiencing the fine, local ales Seattle had to offer… Unsurprisingly I was prettyfar off the mark and although I did get to sample the local beverages, it was a challenging 3 days as both of us were bombarded by information, acronyms and statistics.

JJ Seattle

The first of the three days had a strong focus on the non-US teams as we all listened to the progress, performance and pain points of our colleagues from around the globe. One of the main points that stood out to me was the degree to which the operations of the various Xbox Advertising Departments differed; the objectives were the same but each team had their own twist on how they executed each task and achieved each goal. This made it clear to me as to why Microsoft spends such a great deal on getting its employees from all across the world into one room in Seattle. There’s so much to be gained from understanding how these different teams go about the same tasks, learning how they dealt with particular problems and overcame them. Consequently, this can help prevent other teams wasting valuable time, money and effort on the same problem, strengthening Microsoft.

The following day was certainly different as this was the first chance we had to meet the US team since we had a day of talks planned with these guys. The vibes were certainly different but among all the clapping, ‘whooping’ and cheering it was really useful to get the perspective of the US teams too. Operations are certainly different in America, after all, it is a completely different market, however, it was still extremely interesting to hear about the future of Xbox Advertising and we got a few sneak peeks along the way, which always goes down well.

The trip as a whole was fantastic and apart from being dragged up to perform a duet of ‘500 Miles’ by The Proclaimersin karaoke on a party boat, it was all really enjoyable. Both of us were extremely lucky to get the opportunity to visit Microsoft HQ as this isn’t something that happens regularly… My key point is that whatever opportunities you have, be it going to Seattle or Reading, you should get yourself involved to make the most of your year. Also, you can’t get a better place to work than Microsoft #justsaying.

Want to know more about the work stream you are interested in? Keep following the blog for more Intern Insights!

Eager to read more?