Jess Boyle - Intern to MACH
How fast time flies, two years ago I was writing my first Intern Be Your Future Blog, now I’m writing my first MACH one. Have things changed? Absolutely.
I started life at Microsoft as an Intern for EMEA Customer Service and Support as a Project Co-ordinator, within the operations stream. I loved my time with EMEA CSS and learnt a lot, from coding on SharePoint to general communication skills, as most of my time was spent on conference calls across EMEA. And of course the travelling was amazing – Amsterdam, Dublin, and tobogganing down a black ski slope in Munich (that was a major error on my behalf – must wear my glasses at all times, lesson learnt!).
Yet now I am an Account Executive for the Manufacturing, Utilities and Services (MUS) sector within EPG. So what made me choose sales?
From day one within my internship I wanted to explore; this was down to many reasons. One, I did not want to pigeon hole myself into one segment – it is far too easy to forget you have a wealth of knowledge and experience on your doorstep as you are too focused on ‘getting the job done’. Two, I wanted to find my fit – I didn’t want to rely on EMEA CSS being the ‘be all and end all’ of my graduate career – I needed to see if somewhere else in the business suited me better. Because of this I met with inspirational people from across Microsoft to really understand the skill set they had and see what it takes to be successful. I stumbled across sales and instantly wanted to be part of it.
I now had a goal. Next, I had to prove that an Intern from EMEA CSS can be successful in Sales (as both roles have completely different skill sets). This is where taking on stretch projects within sales came in, and yes, I had to work harder, longer hours and even some weekends, but this gave me the valuable experience that I needed to prove I have the relevant skills for sales. Here’s where I will pause and highlight that next to no other company will give you the flexibility to explore like Microsoft. They understand that the role you have as an Intern or MACH may be different to what your end career aspirations are – but if you have aspirations, go after them.
Life as an Account Executive and EPG is worlds apart from a Project Co-ordinator and EMEA CSS. I went from having no customer exposure, to meeting customers on a weekly basis. It’s no longer about internal operations and efficiency, it’s around managing customer relationships and working towards a measurable commitment – but ‘I’m lovin it’, and after all a sales role was my aspiration. Throughout this blog, it wasn’t just about giving you an honest reflection of my transition from an Intern to a MACH – but I wanted to demonstrate that there are no limits. Coming in as an Intern or indeed a MACH doesn’t mean that you cannot be inquisitive and explore Microsoft as a business. After all, you’ll need this hunger to be successful.