Role Insight: Data Analyst - by Sofie Cawley

Sofie Cawley 2Hello everyone! I’m Sofie and I study Accounting and Financial Management at Loughborough University. I gained a placement as a Data Analyst in Microsoft Advertising Support, specifically Bing Search,based in Victoria, London. I have chosen to write a piece for the blog to give you guys an insight into what a Data Analyst Intern role entails at Microsoft.

So, first things first – how I got here. As my degree suggests I am a numbers person, but after two years learning the ropes of accounting I realised it wasn’t for me. I wanted to keep with the numbers theme and when I heard Microsoft offered data analysis roles I was keen to learn more. Few companies offered such a role so it was my aim to give this application my best shot. It was in fact the first placement I applied for and maybe this played in my favour – not over thinking what I was writing. Spending quality time on your application is imperative, not just researching the company but also defining your own attributes and strengths.

It’s hard to believe I am already halfway through my year; the previous interns weren’t wrong when saying the year flies by! Having said this, it’s been a non-stop. My main role involves analysing customer satisfaction surveys of Bing Search advertisers to find insights to improve performance and the internal customer support process – but also to inform the wider team of monthly performance. Sofie Cawley 1This is key as performance is scrutinised on a monthly basis to ensure we, as a team, and subsequently Bing as a whole are on track to meet KPIs (key performance indicators). I’ve learnt a lot about Excel functions, pivot tables and charts as a result. Alongside this, the Yahoo! Bing Search Alliance have been launching in various countries worldwide over the past couple of years and I am currently aiding the transition into Taiwan and Hong Kong, regularly communicating with the Customer Service reps over there. I help them with the outreach reporting file and checking for consistency on a daily basis. As a team of six members we are a fairly small team due to the majority being based in the US. This means I’ve got to know my team well and really feel like I fit in here.

As well as my day-to-day role commitments I have been involved in several projects and events, many with other Interns. I have visited four universities as a part of the Milk round team, demoed 8.1 Surfaces at the O2 Campus Party (a tech festival) and currently have a Work Experience student shadowing me for the week. My manager has been very supportive in letting me get involved in these stretch projects as she understands the benefit for my career, it’s great how flexible it really is here!

Sofie Cawley 3Along with 10 or so other Interns based in London I chose to live at home, which is near Brighton for me. Although my commute is almost an hour and half door-to-door, I don’t regret my decision to live at home one bit. I am still able to get involved in the benefits of intern life –regularly going for meals out after work and occasional nights out. Apart from paying for my rail ticket for the year I have had more money to spend on a few luxuries and don’t feel at all left out living further out. This is true for the other interns in my position too.

So I hope that gives you an idea of what it’s like to be an Intern here at Microsoft. My advice for the interview process and onwards is to be yourself and show your passion for the company and its products. And lastly…remember to do your research!

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