Intern Role Profile - Finance
Role: Financial Analyst – Consumer Channels Group
University Course: Reading University – Business and Management
My role within finance is focused on supporting the Consumer Channels Group (CCG) part of Microsoft. Being a financial analyst the main aspect of my role is spent delving into numbers and identifying what they tell us about current performance and what impact they will have on the business going forward. My view of the CCG business from a financial perspective is vast as I focus on three very different areas- these being revenue analysis, operating expenses investigation and reconciliation and P&L management. The finance role gives you a chance to get to a grips with a number of reporting tools, forecast models and of course lots of Excel experience! My Excel skills have improved dramatically and I’ve found myself making my own reports, building excel forecast files and using powerview. I constantly find I am stretching myself in my role and challenging myself to overcome various situations and difficulties in one of the fastest moving parts of Microsoft!
Favourite Aspects of My Role
Where to start with this? Definitely the best thing is the level of responsibility I have. I’m not ‘making the tea’, as an intern you are treated as a full time employee you are assigned important projects with elements to undertake and own. For example I am solely responsible for managing marketing spend in CCG and my team all rely on me for this when managing their P&L’s. It is opportunities like this that allow me to know that my financial acumen and work really are making a difference to the team and people around me, as well as impacting the strategic decisions within Microsoft. The second is the chance to work with business partners and individuals outside of the finance function. It enables me to communicate and network with so many different people, giving me an even deeper knowledge of the various parts of the CCG business. They really value the help and support I give them as it aids them in resolving issues, making their working life easier. This comes back to the idea that you really do make an impact and make a difference to Microsoft and your colleagues as an intern!
How my role has changed my perceptions
Before coming to Microsoft I had a set idea of how I expected finance to be within industry, but Microsoft has changed that vastly. At Microsoft, finance is not seen so much as one big department but as a supporting function that is there to aid and stabilise the individual parts of the company. Every department has a team assigned specifically to them, who work with the business to ensure all their financial queries are answered and a play key roles in the strategic decisions to drive the business forward whilst maintaining financial stability and growth.
Microsoft offer an endless amount of opportunities in and around intern’s everyday role that allow us to really stretch ourselves and develop skills and improve the overall placement experience. The 101 teams are fantastic to be a part of as they offer projects that are a contrast to your normal role as an intern, enabling you to reach and develop a whole different set of skills. I am part of the Get On Work Experience Team who organise for local unemployed youths to come into Microsoft for a week of work experience. Watching them come in at the start and seeing them grow as the week goes on is truly rewarding as you feel they really do take things away from what you’ve organised and it has had an effect on their future. Some opportunities will just open up from the people you talk to, so talk to as many people as you can! I’m a keen Xbox fan so wanted to make connections in the Xbox department to explore what goes on there on a day to day basis and what a role would entail. A few meetings and discussions later I had the opportunity to attend and help out on the Xbox stand at Euro gamer in Earl’s Court along with organising a team of interns to help!
- Demonstrate Competencies: Discuss the skills you have based on your previous experiences whether that be in university, employment or anything else that’s suitable! Show that you possess the attributes that Microsoft are looking for!
- Be Passionate: Show that Microsoft is truly where you want to work- do your research on the company and show an interest and excitement in our products, latest news etc. Secondly show your passion for the field, express why your passion for the field is far superior to that of the next candidate to show why you are the best person to fit that role.
- Stay Calm and Be Confident- It’s easy to panic during interviews and assessment centres, however there is no need to have scripted answers to every possible question. The best approach is to be confident and be yourself by coming across in a natural manner and showing that you believe in your own abilities and your own skillset.