Intern Role Profile - Marketing

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Dan Oates – Windows Consumer Marketing
University: Birmingham University – Business Management (Year in Industry)

My Job Role

Hey, I’m Dan and I’ve been an intern in the Windows Consumer Marketing team for the past 12 months. My role has allowed me to get involved in some great projects, varied experiences and some really exciting parts of the business. Working within the Windows Business Group, my role is to ensure that our Windows marketing activity lands across the business. On a day to day basis this involves social media and managing the WindowsUK Facebook and Twitter pages, whilst also getting involved in Windows influencer and PR support, internal Windows apps marketing, device management, doing demo’s internally and externally and also assisting with events across the business. I have also operated as the Promotional Lead for the Be Your Future Blog. This has involved managing the Microsoft UK Recruitment Facebook and Twitter social media pages and engaging with the student audience on a regular basis. Whilst also developing promotional ideas, campaigns and content.

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What have I learnt?

It is true when they say that you learn from yourexperiences. The many varied experiences and opportunities I’ve had the chance to become involved in over this past year have allowed me to develop a broad range of skills. Working across a number of high profile events, such as Future Decoded, EGX and BETT has dramatically improved my organisational, project management, networking and business skills. Whilst various side projects has allowed me to project manage, motivate and run a team.

Working within the Windows BG, I have gained a considerable amount of knowledge within my business area. I have been able to understand the fundamentals in Windows marketing within Microsoft UK and also what success can look like in multi-million pound campaigns. In addition, I have been part of the team that is launching Windows 10, one of the biggest product launches in Microsoft’s history – which looking back on, is quite a cool thing to say! I have been able to support the launch in being part of the internal evangelism and PR/Influencer work streams, whilst also taking a lead in social media. These have taught me a great deal about the planning process and strategy when launching a product.

Throughout the year I have alsodeveloped skills in marketing and social media. Much to people’s belief, social media isn’t just sitting on Facebook and Twitterall day, but a lot more goes on behind the scenes! My creation and involvement in redeveloping WindowsUK’s social presence through a creation of a Windows 10 Social Plan & Strategy, has developed my marketing skills and has allowed me to understand the importance of analysing your audience, setting a strategy and objectives and then developing a messaging framework, of which storytelling can have a key role. Storytelling through #DoGreatThings and Windows’ values has been one of the key things I have really enjoyed this year and is something I hope tocontinue to do in the future. The Windows’ World Book Day video was one such example.

Moreover, social media has enhanced my creativity skills. In the constantneedfor engagingandbetter content,social has allowed me to developan open mind for contentideas and has been an element I’ve particularly enjoyed.Managing a page with thousands of followers has allowed me to understand the importance of relating to your audience and developing a consistent and engaging tone of voice. Social media provides a great low cost marketing tool that allows Microsoft to engage, communicate and build a relationship with a certain target audience online and I have learnt firsthand about the benefits this can have.

Moreover through a series of demos, events and presentations I have become comfortable speaking to large audiences. The highlight of which was at presenting the Be Your Future promotional strategy to an audience of 100 Graduate Employers and Social Media agencies. An event we went on to win ‘The Best Use of SoMe (Social Media) in Graduate Recruitment within the IT Sector’ at the conference. Woooo!

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Other cool things I’ve done this year:

I’ve had the chance to meet and showcase a range of devices to Chris Capossela, Chief Marketing Officer of Microsoft, whilst he was over in the UK as part of Future Decoded. WhilstI’ve also been involved in filming for football Transfer Deadline Day with Paul Merson and Matt le Tissier as part of our HP Stream, Value PC campaign. Moreover, I was lucky enough to attend a gig with Professor Green as part of our activities with HP. All great experiences and ones I definitely didn’t expectto haveon my internship!

In addition, I was heavily involved in an idea featuring Be Your Future and Cortana. We actually managed to get Be Your Future programmed into the real Cortana. Try it yourselves! Ask Cortana ‘Have you heard of the Be Your Future Blog’, the response will surprise you. Check is out here.

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Key challenges

One of the key challenges this year has been managing all of my responsibilities. Device management and events can often take a lot of time, especially when this involves multiple parts of the business and can often take a number of days. Coupled with this, getting involved in multiple side and work projects and managing multiple social channels, of which can be a single job in itself, has meant managing my responsibilities has been an ongoing but exciting challenge. Upon reflection, I would have liked to get my teeth more into certain things, however the broad scope of my work has meant this has often been tricky. However, on the contrary, the broad range of experiences I’ve had the chance to become involved in has allowed me to develop skills in other areas.

Key tips

• Utilise the intern network. Speak to as many people as you can and get involved in as much as you can in the first couple of weeks. People quickly settle into routine and it can become harder to utilise the network if you don’t get stuck in from the get-go.

• Develop networks with other parts of the business. Opportunities can arise in the least likely of places. These can be developed through 1-1 meetings, project work, social events, Microsoft events and sporting activities.

• Don’t be afraid to ask. The culture at Microsoft is incredibly collaborative, flexible and encouraging. Everyone, no matter how high up, is always willing to give you their time and offer help and guidance if possible. All you need to do is ask! :)

And finally,

Thanks for reading, I’ve had an incredible year and if you’re joining us soon I’m sure you will too. You’ll probably hear this a lot but an internship at Microsoft, really is what you make of it, so go get ’em!

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