My main responsibility is to establish relationships with my customers. I need to understand their problems and find out where our technology can produce business impact for them. I provide value through my knowledge of the client to let them go regularly and talk with people in a variety of job roles from the business.
Despite the technical label of my role, there is no requirement for any technical knowledge. It is important that we know the business implications of our products and success stories, and where appropriate, seek technical help from the wider Microsoft team and use a Microsoft approach to achieve things.
What does a normal week look like?
Mondays are always the busiest. The entire team is in the office. People are preparing for a busy week. We have a team meeting to set our priorities. A large part of my second half of the year is shadowing other business roles around the company to find my personal preferences.
I keep an account with a senior TAM on my team, so every Wednesday I go to London. In our meetings, I try to understand any problems that are occurring to the customer so that we can be proactive about fixing potential future issues through upgrades, training, or deployment.
Walking on Fridays, I usually work from home because there are no customer meetings that I need to attend in person. Microsoft promotes flexible working, with a culture that focuses on the effects you make rather than the hours you spend in the office. I feel that at home I can focus on my spreadsheet and admin tasks, which are often at the end of the week.
Can you tell us about your role?
A highlight for me is having a secondary TAM on the actual account. It has opened up opportunities that I never thought an internship would offer. The most concrete part of this responsibility is to build and present a service review deck each month. I create a PowerPoint presentation detailing the client’s recent cases. I have divided these into reactive and active cases. It can be described as fixing a problem and preventing a problem, respectively.
To get all the relevant information for the deck I use Excel, which is a great tool to extract values from raw data. I use this to design graphs, tables, and other visual representations. This helps to keep track of everything that is being passed on to the customer and the impact Microsoft products are having.
What surprised you most about working at Microsoft?
Microsoft is doing a lot. I think Microsoft was all about Microsoft Office products and Windows and that was the extent of the entire Microsoft portfolio. This could not be further from the truth. What really caught my eye were Dynamics, Azure, and the team. They represent everything I value as an individual: customer passion, analytics, security, and collaboration.
Many companies have great slogans, but they do not necessarily put them into practice.
Microsoft does. It actively strives to, “Empower every individual and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” And, believe it or not, I’m still not tired of hearing this. In each placement year application I made, I mentioned a desire to embed charity work within my job, but I didn’t think it would be something I could do in my everyday role. My team walks into a national reservation park every quarter for some fun together and to help maintain this self-funded park so that it looks great for visitors.
What is the transition from Microsoft to Microsoft?
At university it was always about getting notes for an exam and hoping that the notes would be good for an exam that was three months away. It was predictable, and it didn’t really give me a chance to learn the soft skills this placement has given me. I never liked practical subjects in school, so I thought I learned best through books. However, I would say that 80 percent of my learning and personal development came from my job role. The learning opportunities here are endless. The remaining 20 percent comprises dedicated career planning time and exams that have been certified Microsoft Office.