Intern Role Profile
NAME: Gabriele Navagrudskaite
ROLE: Associate Pursuit Lead (Sales Stream)
DEPARTMENT: Pursuit Team within the EMEA Dynamics Global Domain, Microsoft Consulting Services
Location: Reading, UK
I am originally from Vilnius, Lithuania and I moved to England 3 years ago when I started studying for a BSc Management degree at Warwick Business School. During my second year I started exploring different opportunities for an intercalated year, and due to my interest in technology, decided to pursue an industrial placement in an IT company. After researching the industry, I decided to apply for Microsoft’s scheme and went through their process of recruitment, which included an online application form, video interview, skype interview and assessment centre.
I applied to the sales stream and I am now working in the EMEA Dynamics Global Domain (DGD) within Microsoft Consulting Services. My role title is Associate Pursuit Lead, and I sit within the smaller Pursuit team. DGD mainly helps local subsidiaries to sell, deliver and manage large global scale projects across the EMEA region, which includes Dynamics business solutions (Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics CRM). The pursuit team is responsible for all of DGD’s pre-sales and sales processes, which includes preparing sales proposals, delivering presentations, meeting customers, managing the relationship with the key local subsidiary’s sellers and more.
As an Associate Pursuit Lead I not only had an opportunity to get involved in various pre-sales processes but also to collaborate with IT Solution Architects, Project Managers and various roles within the local subsidiaries, which has broadened my understanding of the different positions across the wider DGD team and beyond as well as taught me the importance of collaboration. I have also significantly improved my cooking skills throughout the year as I was responsible for treating my team with a homemade Tiramisu once in a while!
As a part of my role I was responsible for organising and attending numerous Microsoft internal Dynamics Readiness Sessions across the EMEA region (including France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Czech Republic and Russia). This was an amazing opportunity that allowed me to broaden my understanding about Microsoft Dynamics business solutions, improve my presentation skills, build relationships with senior Microsoft employees in different countries as well as understand their market specific business needs.
As a part of my personal development during my internship year I am co-leading a Reading Events team of 7 people, which is a part of Microsoft’s GetOn Initiative. Our team is responsible for organising inspiring events for pupils across the UK at Microsoft’s UK HQ (Reading), where we share different IT career route opportunities (including apprenticeships and internships), organise some coding activities (e.g. BBC Micro:bit, The Hour of Code), arrange guest speaker talks from across the business, organise HQ tours, CV help workshops, etc. Being a part of this 101 team has not only been a great personal development opportunity, but also a very rewarding experience, as by doing that I was able to help inspire many young people and positively change their perceptions about careers in Technology.
Most Memorable Experiences
Microsoft Convergence EMEA 2015
One of the most memorable events that I had the opportunity to participate in was the Microsoft Convergence EMEA 2015 in Barcelona. I was responsible for organising all the major client meetings with our DGD Leadership Team. I had an amazing opportunity to attend the conference including keynotes, customer success stories (including Real Madrid, Metro Bank, Caterpillar, etc.), and networking with major clients CxO’s and Microsoft employees from across the globe.
Dynamics Briefing Centre in Seattle, Washington
Another memorable experience was the opportunity to help organise one of our major prospective client’s 4-day visit to the Dynamics Briefing Centre in Seattle, Washington (home of Microsoft!). I contributed by planning all aspects for the event and had a chance to attend the workshop sessions/guest talks, etc., which included understanding the client needs, building their business solution, looking into fit/gap analysis, identifying risks, etc.
As a part of your personal development you also have some great opportunities to volunteer in various events, initiatives and campaigns. For example, I was involved in the Guide Dogs fundraising event which was organised by UK Services Interns. Altogether we sold dozens of Krispy Kreme doughnuts and all for the good cause!
Tip 1: Research and know what you’re passionate about
My personal advice would be to do your research well, and only apply to a few companies that you are genuinely passionate about, rather than apply to many. I believe that it really shines through when you do things with passion, and you will not only have a better chance of getting the role but you are also more likely enjoy the application/recruitment process itself!
Tip 2: Make sure you do things beyond your academic life/have your passion
In order to stand out during the application process you need to show that you have hobbies/interests/passions beyond your academic success. Whatever it is – be it running a society, being a part of a sports club, having your own stock portfolio, or even running your own start-up. Having said that, it’s also important to relate how each of those experiences will help you be successful in the specific stream that you are applying to. In general, you don’t have to be technical at all to join Microsoft (except technical roles), but a lot of emphasis is put on personality and passion, therefore these things are very important and will be looked at during the recruitment process.