What is a Microsoft Apprenticeship scheme?
by Harriet Richardson
Apprentice in HR.
The Microsoft apprenticeship scheme is an 18 month program based in Reading. There are two branches that you can apply to, which are the Business stream and the Technical stream. As well as gaining invaluable work experience, you also gain a qualification after 12months being here. For the business side you get a Level 3 business qualification and the Technical side you get a level 3 qualification in advanced IT.
Within these two streams, there are a variety of different roles in which you will be placed. Although they vary for each new apprentice intake, this year there are apprentices within Marketing, Sales, Services and Human Resources from the business section and there are apprentices in Application Development and Global Business Support for the technical stream.
There are many benefits of working here. There are the obvious ones such as getting to work in one of the most well-known companies in the world and getting a Level 3 business qualification without having to go to college, but there are also less well known benefits. For example, you’ll be issued a work laptop, and depending on your job role, you might also get a work phone. If you’re really keen on raising money for charity, Microsoft will allow you three extra days off a year to do charity events, and they’ll also match what you raise. I think the best benefit is the experience you gain from working here. You learn so many new things about yourself and about corporate life. You will meet so many important people on a daily basis.
Are you eligible?
If you’re aged 16-24 and haven’t been to university, you qualify to apply! The minimum requirements are 5 A* – C grades at GCSE. The application process is fairly straight forward, you apply online and fill in the online CV and the questions set on the main application form. If you’re eligible for the scheme, you will progress to the next round which is a strengths based questionnaire. It asks you about different business scenarios and it’s all about how you approach certain situations and your preferred way of working. The stage after that is a one way video interview! It’s quite a surreal experience, as you’re asked a question by a pre-recording and you’re given a time limit to answer it. Your webcam records your answer, and once you’re done, it gets sent back to us here at Microsoft. If you pass this stage, you’re considered for the assessment centres. For one of these, you come in for the day and do a variety of tasks, like a group interview, a one on one interview and various team building activities.