Role Insight: MTC Lab Engineer by Hussam El-Anis

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Hi all, my name is Sam and I am a Lab Engineer at the Microsoft Technology Centre (MTC) in Edinburgh. As you’ve most probably guessed, it’s a techy role (yay!).

Before I dive into what I do as a Lab Engineer, let me first explain what the Microsoft Technology Centre (MTC) is and how it fits into Microsoft. The Microsoft Technology Centres are collaborative environments that provide access to innovative technologies and world-class expertise, enabling customers to envision, design, and deploy solutions to meet their exact needs. In simpler terms, the MTC allows Microsoft Partners and employees the chance to demonstrate the latest and greatest Microsoft solutions to their clients by using demos delivered via the MTC datacentre or cloud. Such demos allow the clients to envision how such solutions would work in their own environment.

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A typical session layout: The MTC Demo room

* What do I do?
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The MTC sounds cool, but what do I actually do? On a daily bases, I look after the MTC in Edinburgh and I am responsible for deploying all the demos through our datacentre to the MTC Room (as shown in the pictures) and assisting partners/staff with all the technical aspects of a demo. Other than that, I’ve been working on other projects for the MTC which allow partners and staff todemo more than what is currently possible. A great working example of this would be one of my projects which involves taking our own MTC datacentre and connecting it to Microsoft Azure (Microsoft’s cloud service) using Hyper-V and System Centre. This offers a Hybrid datacentre, where some data and services are stored and offered from our on premise datacentre and the rest in Microsoft Azure. This specific project is being delivered primarily with the help of the Microsoft System Centre suite of products (e.g. Virtual Machine Manager, Azure Pack and Operations Manager).

imageMid-demo session

In this role, I also tend to do a lot of customer facing work, I might be called in by staff or partners to help assist in their customer sessions from a technical perspective. In such sessions I would help out by answering some of the more ‘techie’ questions, specifically questions on the technologies that we offer (e.g. Machine Virtualisation, Software-Defined networking etc.), that the partner may not have a great deal of knowledge of.

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What else do I get up to?
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Outside of my role, I’ve been involved in a couple of Microsoft Apprentice events, where I’ve had to deliver presentations that have provided future apprentices useful insights into my career and life at Microsoft. I had a similar event quite recently, but with high schools, and not knowing I was delivering a presentation with a minister in the room! Thankfully, all went well that day and he was impressed by the end of it :)

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Since then, I’ve got involved in an internal scheme called Microsoft Pitch Perfect, where we were placed into groups and had to come up with the ‘perfect pitch’ to sell a certain type of technology. My focus was Yammer (The Enterprise Social platform) and the challenge was to come up with an example of how I could sell it to a University. Excitingly, I won the perfect pitch in my group and won a Nokia 1020! That’s right, the cool 42 megapixel camera!

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Every day is a new journey at Microsoft! Seriously, you find yourself exploring and doing new things all the time! You get the privilege of working closely with people who have years of industry experience across many verticals from sales to services, who alsoprovide excellent guidance and insights. During my time here, I have also expanded my external network rapidly, meeting people from IBM, BT, SMART, Inframon, Charteris, Polycom and more! I honestly think joining Microsoft will change your perspective of the “working life”, especially with the flexibility options many
interns receive e.g. working from home when needed!

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Final thoughts…
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Finally, I thought I would end this blog by giving off my two cents: “In my opinion, one of the biggest things which scares students from applying for positions at great companies such as Microsoft is the fear of rejection. However, in my case, I believe confidence building was one of the biggest factors that helped me land a job at Microsoft. Being an intern for 8 months now, I have already made many connections throughout the industry and have access to all the latest and greatest technology. If you never apply, you will never see what amazing opportunities lay behind the door!”

image(My last picture of the day – Just another day in the office…. me in PJ’s at our MGX event)

I hope you’ve found my article helpful and I wish you all the best of luck!
If you’ve any questions please pop them in the comments box and I’ll get back to you!

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