Kieran Bhardwaj - Associate Consultant MACH
If you’d asked me what I wanted to be when I was 6 years old – I would have told you I wanted to work at Microsoft. By the time I turned 7 I’d forgotten all about that dream (as little kids do) and didn’t really think about it again until the day I got my job offer! So what changed in the middle, and how did I end up here anyway?! For you to understand that I should probably fill a few more details in.
I have always been – and will always be – a techy at heart. I love technology and enjoy playing with it, but didn’t do IT GCSE, didn’t even do Computing A-Level or a Computer Science degree. Instead I opted to follow a route of Physics and Maths as I enjoy finding out how the world works. My main part time job throughout my academic life was in a Pharmacy, working with and learning about all the medications, not very IT based. But my passion for technology never faded. When I finished my Masters and considered a research career, although interesting, it never held any spark of excitement for me. As such I turned to one of my best friends (Paul Harfield – MCS MACH) and said the immortal words “What do I do with my life?” He told me I should consider working for this amazing company he had just started at, and directed me to this very blog. After getting over my initial laughter at the fact he was suggesting I applied to Microsoft without even an IT GCSE; he reassured me I had totally misunderstood the company and should apply anyway. The rest, as they say, is history.
Arriving on the first day, I felt like an imposter. Even though I had gotten the job, I was still expecting to be the least technical – struggling to keep up with my peers. So imagine my shock as I realised two thirds of the other grads in my department didn’t have Computer Science degrees and their expertise varied from Physics, to Law and English Literature! This smashed my pre-conceptions and opened my eyes to realising Microsoft employ more than just IT-nerds. My role as a client-infrastructure consultant in Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) is varied but no matter whether I am on client-site talking through deploying our server stack, or in the office putting together a proof of concept lab, all the time I am able to do what I enjoy – play with technology. I have a great mix of client interaction and problem solving, and get to share this love of technology with the clients I meet. Better still, is the ability to work on some really large scale projects and be deeply involved in delivering end solutions to customers as large as Microsoft.
So my advice for someone thinking of applying? As clichéd as the motto is, you really should come as you are, do what you love. Don’t try to be anyone but yourself in your application. If you love technology – come through the front doors loving technology. If its sociology that makes you tick, the come and show that. There really is something for everyone here – so most of all, don’t come with preconceptions. Leave them at home.