Megan Hampton - Apprentice Project Administrator
Role Title: Project Administrator, MCS.
Hello everyone, I’m an apprentice for Microsoft UK working in the services department – the last 5 months have been nothing other than mind-blowing. I was originally living near Wolverhampton and made the decision to move down to Reading for the apprenticeship programme, I can honestly say it’s been one of the best decisions of my life. The friends I have met along the way will definitely be friends for life and the opportunities I have through working for Microsoft are unbelievable. The apprenticeship has changed my life for the better and I advise everyone to push themselves and aim higher.
My role within Microsoft is a Project Administrator for MCS (you will soon realise Microsoft is full of acronyms). It is difficult to sum up what I do in my role in a short paragraph as every day it changes, in my team it is our job to manage all the administration of a project. We track hours on projects through billing them to codes, ensure all financials of a project are correct and on track, create codes to track presale hours onto etc. It sounds very complicated and I’m sure everyone else’s role does too – do not worry. If there is one thing I have learnt from Microsoft is that asking questions is completely normal, no matter how silly they sound. Everyone here is so helpful and can always make time for you.
My favourite aspects of being an apprentice at Microsoft are definitely the people I have met along the way. As there are only a small group of apprentices, it means that we have all become a very close group – I know we will be friends for a very long time! Some of us have recently moved in together in a 6 bed house in Reading, it really is like being a student but we get paid! As well as the people I have met, I love the fact Microsoft encourage what we call ‘stretch projects’. I am involved in a scheme called Get On, we visit local schools and colleges to tell them about the different options they have and make them more aware of the avenues into Tech.
What I have learned
My whole time at Microsoft has been a complete learning curve. I am no longer memorising out of a textbook or writing long winded essays, instead I am developing skills and gaining business experience to help me succeed in my career. There are plenty of ways to develop yourself here at Microsoft and you have access to the most amazing resources, including the people around you. Working for a company of this size, you are guaranteed to be surrounded by excellence every day, we have the best people in the industry sitting next to us. The ability to learn from others is something Microsoft loves – the fact we can all help each other develop as ‘One Microsoft’ best describes the learning culture at Microsoft.
A lot of people have the perception that being an apprentice means that you spend your days making tea, faxing and filing away paperwork. People generally perceive apprentices to be a less valuable member of the team. At Microsoft this is completely the opposite. The people at Microsoft are excited about the ‘fresh and innovative’ ideas we can bring to the company, they get us involved in as much as possible and genuinely value our opinion. I work with people who are a lot older than me and have a lot more experience/knowledge to bring to the team – however, they seem to be interested in is my opinion. This never fails to amaze me.
If I had one piece of advice for anybody thinking about applying for the apprenticeship would be to just go for it! Even if you’re unsure whether you want to go to university, get a job or get an apprenticeship – either way just apply. The application isn’t long or strenuous and could bring you an amazing opportunity, you will gain skills and experience just by going through the process. And remember, the application is for 16-24 year olds Microsoft aren’t expecting you to be a genius or the next CEO – just be yourself and enjoy the process. Try not to stress too much.