Intern Role Profile - Marketing
My head was in the Cloud for 12 months…
My Job Role
Hi, I’m Nathan and I’m a Product Marketing Manager for the Cloud & Enterprise Business Group in Microsoft UK.
My role involves supporting on and leading marketing and operational activities for some of our products in Microsoft. The products I work with are some of the most complex in the business by far. They are our technical infrastructure solutions, mobility solutions and data solutions, including Microsoft Azure, Windows Server, Enterprise Mobility Suite, SQL Server, PowerBI and the Internet of Things plus more. However, this does not mean I am technical in anyway, but if you want to learn more Microsoft Azure I wrote an article doing my best to explain it using ice cream here.
The average person on the street will most likely have never heard of these products before and neither had I before I joined. That’s because we work in a commercial or B2B (business to business) market. However, the trends in the technology industry such as cloud computing, big data, mobility and IoT all stem from these products so it’s a really exciting, dynamic and fast paced environment to work in!
How did I fit in?
What do I do in all of this? Each member of my team act like the ‘CEO’ or ‘Managing Director’ of their specific products and their goal is to ensure that the targets are met for each of these products through executing our go-to-market strategies – it’s by no means a simple task! I work on a variety of activities and projects such as customer evidence, customer events, both in person and virtual and also other stretch projects. As an intern in a product team I see a lot of the business in the UK so I’m constantly working across departments, picking up new projects and managing my time differently each week – I absolutely love it!
Most exciting projects
Two of the biggest projects that have been on-going throughout the year are customer evidence and customer events. With customer evidence I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of Microsoft UK’s most innovative customers and in fact some of the biggest businesses and organisations in the UK. Our goal at Microsoft is to show off the great work our customers are doing and how Microsoft technology has empowered them to do some of these amazing things. For example, Just Giving was a customer who really showed the power of data and how it’s affecting people and charities in extremely positive ways (click here to see the video). I’ve also had the unique insight to visit the UCAS offices where I got to meet the teams who support our university applications behind the scenes (click here to see the video). We also got the chance to do some filming at my university – Lancaster University – where my brother was interviewed on his recent experiences using UCAS on results day.
Customer events, in particular virtual ones through webinars have also been a major priority this year. I’ve reached 1000s of individuals through webinars engaging with them on our products and how they work. This has led to millions of dollars in pipeline for the UK (to learn more about my role check out this article).
Other cool opportunities
One of the coolest things I’ve done this year was going to Seattle with my team in September. We travelled over there to attend the Cloud & Enterprise Global Summit, where all the Cloud & Enterprise teams in Microsoft across the world all come together to discuss the year ahead. We would spend each morning with key notes from high level executives at Microsoft such as Scott Guthrie, the Head of Cloud & Enterprise worldwide, Chris Capossela, the Chief Marketing Officer at Microsoft plus many more. This was a truly incredible experience and my knowledge of the business and products at least tripled in this week and it really set my internship off to a fantastic start. Whilst out there we also got to have a team social weekend out on one of the islands near Seattle and this was a great chance to get to know the team I’d be working with for the rest of my internship.
I was also part of a stretch project, a 101 team, called GenOne where I took on a project with a small team of 4. We worked on a project throughout the year on the Internet of Things and we had three main objectives.
- Drive internal readiness of IoT into core customer engagement teams spanning across sales and services
- Assisting with the development of the IoT Partner Ecosystem
- Engage with customers on how IoT can generate commercial value within their organisation
To accomplish these we attended and organised events with Microsoft Partners and prospective customers demoing Microsoft Internet of Things solutions and networking with key individuals plus many other activities. This ended in us presenting our project back to Michel Van Der Bel the CEO of Microsoft UK, Clare Barclay the General Manager of the UK SMS&P Team and also Theresa McHenry the HR Director for the UK. We’ve also had the chance to travel to Amsterdam to present our project to Edwin Hageman the CEO of Microsoft Netherlands (to learn more about what we did in Amsterdam read the article here).
Key Challenges & Tips for Success
Now that I’ve been here a year I can reflect on some of the things I found difficult in my at Microsoft, but also some of the things I’ve done that have made me successful.
One of the biggest challenges someone can face, especially interns, is figuring out where you sit in the organisation. In a company like Microsoft that spans across the globe and has thousands and thousands of people working in it, it can be difficult to understand how your role or team impacts the business. For me, once you’ve figured out how your work impacts others, or who may rely on you then you become much more motivated to work hard. Take some time to go through the organisational structure and build a stakeholder and network map of key individuals and teams you work with and how everyone interlinks. You’ll get more context behind everything if you understand that and it’ll really help!
One of my biggest tips for success is working hard. It sounds obvious, but nothing replaces hard work and the progress you make can be outstanding. I entered into an area of the business I knew very little about and a lot of people who have worked in Microsoft for years still can’t get their head around how complex this part of the business is. It took a serious amount of work for me before I began to understand some of the products, why we work in certain ways or how to actually complete some of my tasks. My hard work over the year consistently paid off in the results of my work and I was also lucky enough to be awarded a Marketing & Operations Intern Award and also Runner Up in Business Impact in our intern awards.
My final tip is to get stuck in when you join a company or start an internship. Learn as much as you can, meet people, get involved socially and just enjoy it. You have so much more motivation to work hard and do well if you enjoy what you do. I’ve had an amazing year at Microsoft and I’d recommend the internship program here to everyone!