Maria Ledezma - Year in Review

maria2It feels like yesterday when I was filling in my Microsoft application. Now I am sat here in my last week of what has been the most interesting and exciting year of my life. I have learnt more in the past year than I have done since being at University and I am sure that every single intern would agree! They would also tell you that time flies when you are working here! I remember meeting my personal mentor back in July and her saying how this year would fly by and it really did. It is crazy how by the time that you understand everything and become really good at your job, it is almost time to leave and you wish you had another year to do it all over again.

This year I was the Finance Intern in EMEA CSS however, you will now know it as GBS (Global Business Support). My role consisted of managing the headcount costs for a section of the business analysing variances at month close and completing forecast and budget activities actively engaging with members from all levels in the CSS business.

Before writing this blog I thought about what I would do if I were to do my internship all over again. And this is it:

Firstly, understand your role and expectations- Meet up with your manager and understand your commitments and responsibilities and what your manager expects from you. I would also tell him about what you aim to achieve this year in terms of career and personal development.When I first started, my managers said that you can make your internship experience whatever you want it to be. And that is so true. Also arrange a meeting to learn about your key stakeholders and what they expect from you. It is very important that you are able to align your objectives with theirs so that you can work more effectively together. You may also want to ask your manager to recommend to you a mentor in your area of the business who can help you develop.

Secondly, take on opportunities- Once you feel comfortable doing your day to day job, find opportunities around the business. Being a Microsoft intern means identifying opportunities to develop and drive business impact. I was lucky enough to be involved in managing the costs for another section of the business within EMEA CSS Finance which allowed me to widen my circle of network and get an insight into projects going on in my area of the business.

Thirdly, find your passion- Find out what the rest of your team do and what their role means. Remember that you are not just here to do your role, for a lot of you it will be the first time that you have a real job so remember that you are also here to learn what roles you like.Although I have been working in Finance, I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet with members in Marketing and Sales across the business as well as had the privilege of shadowing Sales roles. It is also a great opportunity to network and get to know really exciting and interesting people. So do not be shy to buy anyone a coffee and meet with them for 30 minutes. People at Microsoft love to help J

If you have the time and your manager is okay with you doing so, I would also strongly recommend being part of a 101 team. It may not seem relevant to your job but you get to develop and find out skills that you did not even know you had! Plus, it is great opportunity get to know other interns and work on projects which may have an impact on the business.

It is a fantastic year! It will be stressful, difficult and challenging at times but that will just push you even harder. Remember that nothing worth doing is easy.

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