Intern Role Profile - Marketing
Name: Laura-Jane Ellard
Role: Education Marketing
Department: Education, Public Sector
Location: TVP with the flexibility to work from CP as well
Hey, I’m Laura and I am currently working in Education Marketing here at Microsoft as part of my Business and Management placement year at University of Reading. I knew that I wanted to do marketing in some way, but I wasn’t sure exactly, so I chose a breadth university course, covering marketing, finance, organisational behaviour and much more. Once I had the breadth knowledge, I wanted to dive deeper into marketing, so I applied for a marketing stream at Microsoft.
I was lucky enough to be selected into the Education team, which I was overwhelmed by as Education is a passion of mine and so I knew the role would be perfectly suited to me. But
more often than not, you will not know what area of the business will be best for you and that’s fine! When you attend the assessment centre, the managers of each role that you are applying for will be there and they know better than anyone whether you suit the role or not. Being a Microsoft employee is more than the grades and qualifications you have to offer – it is all about being outgoing, enthusiastic, confident and all of those other traits that make you a good person to work with.
The Application Process
My application process began with an online application, as many placement applications do. This included general information, CV and some more tailored questions which focused on your motivation and experience.
My advice: Whatever happens, give it a go! I wasn’t going to apply because I thought it was too competitive and that I wouldn’t be up to their standards – yet here I am.
Following this was the video interview, which I thought was the most difficult part of the entire process. This involved answering pre-recorded questions to yourself – it’s very strange. As you have no reaction to go off of, this can be tricky but it can be done.
My advice: When the time starts it does not mean you have to start rambling straight away. Take a few seconds to structure your thoughts before you start, and if you have said all that you want to say, don’t feel like you then have to fill the rest of the time. A short, concise answer is often the best option.
Then it got easier with the Skype interview. This is a live ‘face-to-face’ interview with someone from the staffing team. They will ask you a series of questions which are the normal types of questions you would expect – the business, your motivation etc.
My advice: Remember that the interviewer is still a person! I was terrified that they would just grill me for hours, but in actual fact I had a lovely woman who I was able to have a chat with and get my point across in a more relaxed, thoughtful way.
Last but certainly not least was the assessment centre. A day’s worth of interviews, presentations, group tasks and networking and, believe it or not, the most enjoyable part of the whole process. This is a chance to get to know the company and the people you may be working with.
My advice: By this point in the process, they know if you are capable of doing the job or not, so take a step back from trying to get across your amazing grades and work experience and just be yourself. Take this as an opportunity to chat with new people, network with different areas of the business and show your personality. This will have much more of an impact than trying to clamber above the rest to get the job.
My Role in Education Marketing
Although this blog post is intended to give you all an indication of what the Education Marketing Intern role is, a lot of the work I do is aimed at helping make teaching and learning more effective and efficient in order to create better learning outcomes for you all as students. So I have included some extra detail below that may be of interest to you all – check out some of the links for more information.
I now work in Education Marketing, which falls under Public Sector. My role changes on a day to day basis and that is what I love about it. Some of the things it involves includes:
A large part of my role is planning, organising and running events, which focus on various different things. In the past 6 months I have been involved in events with different areas of the business including Surface, Minecraft, our academies and some of our most important partners in the education business.
Microsoft Education was also the main sponsor for Future Decoded, and I was given the responsibility of planning and delivering the event alongside my manager, who was away for 2 weeks of the process, leaving me in charge. A scary experience to say the least – but all went well and I learnt more than I thought possible.
As Education Marketing intern you will also be responsible for working in the v-team for the BETT Show, a third part event for which Microsoft is a worldwide sponsor. This year, we are expecting 38,000 people to attend, with at least 11,000 of those coming to our stand, where we will have the latest and greatest in education, as well as our own Learn Live Theatre! An amazing experience.
Managing campaigns has also been a big part of my role so far. My highlights would be the partnerships we offered with The Guardian and Tatler. These campaigns involved sourcing advertisements, sourcing and editing articles, running events and managing the communications and time scales attached to large campaigns such as these.
Designing and creating some new and exciting assets for the education business is perhaps my favourite part of the role. You get the opportunity to design yourself, brief designers, work with the agencies and edit the assets before they are released. Some of the things I have been involved with this year including Day in the Life Infographics, Devices e-Book and Windows 10 and Surface Videos – all of which can now be seen on the Microsofteduk SlideShare.
A big part of this is the #TheFeed– a new e-magazine that the Education team have released to share the stories from our communities and how they are using our technologies to improve education. Each month I get a space in the magazine to write about things from a student’s point of view, incorporating all the things that I have learnt whilst on my internship and how I will use it when I’m back at university – just like you guys are.
The digital marketing side of the role is quite varied as well. This involves pushing exciting content out through our Twitter and Facebook channels, as well as writing posts for our Schools, Further Education and Higher Education blogs.
EduConnect is one of my favourite commitments this year. It is an internal initiative which aims to get Microsoft employees volunteering in education and impact students across the UK. This has involved a great deal of planning, setting metrics, managing expectations, holding events and loads more fantastic opportunities for both personal and professional development. As well as giving you an opportunity to get recognition from senior stakeholders in our US Head Offices, it also gives you a chance to work with your own communities – perhaps your old schools or the university you’re at. We also got the chance to spend the day with Michel Van der Bel, the UK MD! This year we are aiming to reach 15,000 students and I’d love to see an intern come into my role and take that even further!
Outside of my main role I am also part of two 101 Teams – these are stretch projects which you can sign up for, similar to societies at university, where you can develop your skills in other areas. I am part of Be Your Future (of course) and lead on the content creation, collation and management of the blog.
I am also part of the events and content teams for Microsoft Aspire, which aims to get young women engaged in the technology industry and make them aware that it’s not all techy roles – look at me for example!
My Experience So Far
Microsoft is a great company to work for – everyone is supportive, helpful and willing to give you responsibility and let you take risks. I hate to say ‘they give you loads of responsibility’, because I know when I heard that when I was applying, I didn’t really believe it – but they do and you team will be there to support you all the way.
The Education team especially is an amazing team, made up of intelligent and driven people that are great fun to work with. With such a vast range of knowledge across the team, it is a great opportunity to network and speak to people who can give you insights into things you will would never have been exposed to otherwise.
You could quite easily come here, do your job and breeze the year, but this is an opportunity that’s been given to you for you to build. Your manager will support you, but it is down to you to seek new, exciting opportunities in order to make the most of your internship year.
My Top Tip
Be you and make sure you achieve what you came here for. Yes, your team will give you projects and responsibilities throughout the year and this will give you experience, but it may never achieve what you intended to during the year. Make sure your manager knows what you want to get out of your internship and they'll be more than helpful in aligning your requirements to your core responsibilities throughout the year.