Intern Reflection Post- Indy Lehal
Hey lovely readers! It's Thursday again and the BYF team has another post from the "Back to Uni" series in store for you. This time we reached out to Indy, an FY15 intern who worked for the Advertising & Online department. We promise you his post is worth reading!
I have been asked to put together a blog post that summarizes my experience as an FY15 intern at Microsoft. This will probably be one of the hardest things to articulate as the below may come across as somewhat exaggerated, a little over-dramatic and to a certain extent.... unrealistic. However, I promise you that what you are about to read is the reality that I lived in for 15 months and what I humbly call ‘the best year of my life’.
But first… how exactly did I end up getting there?
Well, as a part of the International Business degree that I am currently completing at the University of Kent, I applied to Microsoft in an effort to gain some invaluable experience in the real world of business. From which, I was successful in the initial marketing stream application process and was invited to an assessment center at Microsoft UK HQ in Reading. I kept in touch with all my fellow candidates from the day and slowly saw that all of the roles I was eligible for were being filled. I feared the worst as the day finally came for my call back from HR, which to my surprise ended with me being informed that I was the highest scoring candidate from my assessment center and had been referred for an alternative role!
This is how my journey as the first Business Management intern within the UK Advertising & Online (A&O) department started.
I am often asked, “So what exactly did you do in your role?” or “What is like working in digital advertising for Microsoft?”.
The fundamental aspect of my role was to assist in facilitating the running of the department, as an extension of my manager, the UK Business Manager for A&O and a key member in the UK Leadership Team. However, I quickly learned that business management is an extremely dynamic process and as such, no one-day was the same throughout my placement. The very foundation of my role was based on being flexible, as I was constantly adapting to work on a number of projects, with a number of different teams, across various levels of management. This meant that, for example, on Monday I would start a job with the Trade Marketing team, by Wednesday I would be fully immersed in a task with the Sales team and by Friday I would be working with my fellow interns on a 101-team project, all whilst making sure that I was taking care of my day-to-day duties within the Business Management team.
To be honest, I first thought that this would be an extremely overwhelming role and my year would be a bit chaotic. However, it proved to be the reason why my year was so successful. I was able to work on projects, such as the management of the UK Christmas campaign for John Lewis, assist in the planning and execution of Advertising Week Europe 2015, have my name against Bing’s Q4 campaign (Bing Originals) and lastly get invited to Cannes for the week. This was probably one of the best weeks of my internship, if not my life! Demoing key Microsoft technology to the media industry’s elite in the South of France during the day, before nightly yacht parties, street parties, after parties and after-after parties with Walk The Moon... Safe to say, Cannes definitely agreed with us!
As I said at the start of this article, it really is difficult to try and put into words what impact this year had on my life, as it is something I wont be forgetting anytime soon! I so much about how to navigate my way around one of the world’s most iconic technology companies, got hands-on experience with key projects that some people wait years to work on in their career, networked and built relationships with a number of different leaders and lastly, shared this experience with an incredible set of interns who I can happily say made my year what it was!
Well that’s all good, but what about now?
I am currently in the last stretch of my university degree and I can happily say that I returned more motivated, driven and committed to getting the best possible grade I can. I have had a taste of the life that I want and I won’t settle for anything less than the experience I had last year. I know the quality of my work has improved since my 2nd year, as I am applying what I am learning to real life examples from my Microsoft experience and this is reflected in my marks! What makes writing this post that much better is that I now know that I will be returning to Microsoft later this year. I was successful in my application for a graduate position and I will be starting in a Sales MACH role in September. I don’t really know what will be coming my way in the next chapter of my career, but if its anything like my placement year... I have no doubt it will be nothing short of phenomenal!