Intern Reflection Post- Sam Spilsbury
"The first thing that became abundantly clear, even before I started my internship, was that Microsoft value their interns just as highly as any other employee in the company." -Sam Spilsbury
Hello lovely readers! This week the Be Your Future blog is back again with another intern reflection episode from our series "Back to Uni". This time our FY15 Intern, Sam Spilsbury who will soon begin his adventure as a MACH has decided to share his experience going back to university.
Hey everyone, my name is Sam and I am currently in my final year at the university of Exeter. Undertaking a year in industry was probably – no, definitely - the best decision I have ever made. Not only it was an educational experience like no other, it was by far the most exciting, adventurous and downright fun year of my life. It truly inspired me to get excited about graduation and joining the working world on a permanent basis. Here’s why!
It’s second year, the morning after my assessment centre with Microsoft.
“Hi Sam, I’m calling from Microsoft. Is now a good time to talk?”
“Hi, yes absolutely!” (I think I managed to keep the tremor out of my voice but I’m unashamed to say my heart tripled its pace.)
“Great. Firstly, thank you for attending the assessment centre yesterday, we hope you enjoyed the day. We’re delighted to offer you a role within the UK Trade Marketing team in our Advertising and Online business group”.
I hadn’t jumped up and down on a bed like I did that morning since I was six years old… Anyone who has been through the emotional agony that is industrial placement or graduate job applications will understand why. Finally, after months of applications, interviews and travelling to assessment centres, I had started my career.
The first thing that became abundantly clear, even before I started my internship, was that Microsoft value their interns just as highly as any other employee in the company. I could feel the expectation of me - the overriding sense of responsibility that would serve as the catalyst for a year of very, very hard work. But that’s why I loved working for Microsoft: the atmosphere and the culture was so conducive to productivity and well, fun, that I felt more like I was serving a duty than clocking in hours for an employer.
I thoroughly enjoyed my role and I couldn’t have asked for a more encouraging and supportive team. I was responsible for a variety of daily, weekly and monthly tasks; from internal and external communications regarding our latest offerings to product demonstrations and client presentations. To say that I felt Microsoft trusted me as a brand ambassador would be an understatement – I was engaging with some of our top-spending clients on a weekly basis so the need to be professional at all times was of paramount importance. But beyond the seller-client relationship there exists a fundamental human relationship, and capitalising on this is where I really thrived during my internship. Meeting new people, hearing their praises and concerns for Microsoft Advertising and then connecting them with the right people at Microsoft to drive new business gave me the most personal satisfaction from my role.
My passion for my role and the company as a whole was a mutual feeling amongst us interns. I think this was reflected in the friendships we made during the year, including a holiday to Mexico, countless memorable (sort of) nights out and University visits a year later. What’s funny is that I genuinely can’t decide whether we had more fun inside or outside the office! Lunch, tea, 101 team meetings, Xbox sessions, we’d always have some excuse to catch up during the day and interns are always encouraged to work together as much as possible. I can, however, unequivocally say that travelling to Cannes to represent Microsoft at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity was the best and most fun week of my life, let alone my internship. During the days I would give demonstrations of Windows 10 to partner and client executives, as well as to Microsoft’s senior leadership team. And in the evenings? Street parties, boat parties, Microsoft-hosted parties, you name it; we did it in Cannes.
At the time of writing, I am approaching my finals in my fourth year at University. And what a hidden gem fourth year has been. Having experienced a taster of working life, you’re thrown back into the glorious existence that is student life with one last chance to enjoy it. You also know that you need to work hard, just like I now know that if I get my 2:1 I’ll be re-joining Microsoft as a graduate in September. Who knows what adventures this next chapter will hold…? I do. Seattle for MGX, the opportunity to work in an entirely new area (Sales) with an exciting new team, and a new group of peers who have all been chosen by the same company as me for their values, character and work ethic. I honestly could not be more excited.