STEPH BROWN: Associate Consultant

Steph Brown BYFHi, my name is Steph and I’m an Associate Consultant on the MCS (Microsoft Consultancy Services) MACH Scheme, starting in September 2012. Before Microsoft I studied Physics at the University of Birmingham. During my degree, there was no one thing that I knew I wanted to do afterwards. I looked into Nuclear, Medical, Banking, Research and IT industries and during my final year I applied to all these areas for graduate schemes. The Microsoft scheme looked really interesting on paper but my desire to work for them came after the assessment center. Seeing the campus and people made me see what a great place it is to work.

During my Physics degree I learnt basic C++ skills, but I was nowhere near a coder and so the idea of joining Microsoft – a huge IT company known for its software development was very daunting. But I needn’t have worried – the MCS Mach scheme gave us a great ramp up, starting with two weeks of training and just getting used to being in the company and the way it works. Following the initial training we were put into our rotations. On the MCS scheme we move around 4 areas of the business – 6 weeks at a time – to get a feel of where we would like to work in the long term. There was no expectation of us being able to code/know the products inside out, just that we were willing to learn!

My first rotation was working with Sharepoint, working on customer site in London and in Zurich which was a great experience! My second was on the Windows Phone team and Windows Centre of Excellence team working on the recent RBS/NatWest app release. This rotation made me realise that although I wasn’t a coder to begin with, I would like to code in my day to day job. The third rotation was acting as a Project Coordinator on a large scale Government project which was stressful but really interesting. My last rotation, which I have just over 2 weeks left of, is working on SQL Infrastructure and using Powershell scripts to automate deployments.

The projects I have been on so far have been so varied in the technologies used, but they have all been as interesting and fun as the last.

One of the many great things about working for Microsoft is the training which we receive, in the 6 months of being here I have been to Seattle for 10 days and Munich for 3 days for different training opportunities. In July, we will also be flown out to Atlanta for another set of training days which will be a great end to a fantastic first year on the MACH scheme.

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