Interns' Proudest Moments

What has my biggest achievement been at Microsoft? – Tech Traineeship Graduation Event

Before I dive into an anecdote, I’d just like to note that, not only has this been my biggest achievement here at Microsoft, but it has also been a life changing moment for many other key individuals. For me, this is what makes my biggest achievement that bit more meaningful, momentous and memorable!

In July 2016, I nominated myself as the volunteer Marketing Manager for the Tech Traineeship. When I discovered the staggering number of young people in the UK, out of employment and out of education, I was both saddened and shocked. But then, I went on to learn about the Tech Traineeship programme, and was resorted with faith. This programme run between Microsoft and QA, allows young people out of education and employment to get work ready and tech ready. Providing them with the relevant professional work skills and qualifications, the tech traineeship supports and guides young people into apprenticeships and full-time jobs.

Amongst my many duties as marketing manager, the most challenging yet rewarding task to date, was when I managed and organised the final Graduation event. Not only did the Graduation event allow us to celebrate and recognise the achievements of each individual trainee, but on a more personal level, it presented itself as an opportunity to stretch and challenge myself. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, not only was I undertaking my day-to-day role as a Services Marketing Executive, but I was single handily events managing, what would soon be the most successful tech traineeship graduation ceremony.

From being in liaison with the Managing Directors of some of the countries biggest youth training companies, to working with Microsoft’s Principal Technical Evangelist – David Coplin, I’d only then realised just the scale and calibre, of the biggest day of 12 young people’s lives. As the days grew closer to the event, my working days grew longer and more intense. My ability to balance and fulfil two job roles at once, not only made me realise my own full potential, but made me appreciate the need to challenge oneself. As through this event, my professional network grew and widened, as did my knowledge and mind set.

Now, to the day of Graduation event … I have to get on stage to introduce myself to 70 people. Whilst the nerves did kick in, my overall emotion was of relief and joy that so many people had attended. This made me realise, that all of those extra hours I had spent on every little detail toward this event, had all been worthwhile. Not forgetting that I had somehow managed to get David Coplin – Microsoft’s Principal Technical Evangelist to do the closing key speech around the future of technology, thus the importance of investing into the current future generation. Not only this, but I’d finally got to meet Ben Pike, the Managing Director of QA, which for me, was a huge pleasure. Managing to ensure that the event was streamed live on our Microsoft UK Facebook page, the event successfully managed to attract 79, 894 people, who collectively watched an average of 117 minutes. Wow! For me, these statistics and figures really depicted the success of this event. What left me – almost - teary eyed, was when my fellow Tech Traineeship team presented me with flowers on stage, in recognition of my hard work. It goes to show, that hard work never goes unnoticed!

The fact that I single handily organised, what was described as “the best graduation event to date,” taught me several things. So, what did I learn from this experience? That with a determined focused and motivated mind set, we each have the ability to execute any given task, to the best of our abilities. It also proved one key thing that I was told at the start of my internship. As an intern at Microsoft, you are given the freedom to grow as an individual. In my experience, this freedom allowed me to work and meet people across the Microsoft business and mega stakeholder businesses, that I would have probably never had interacted with. I mean, when else would I have had the opportunity to work with our Principal Technical Evangelist, whilst ensuring that 12 young people had the best graduation ceremony ever?

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