Name: Giorgio Sardo
Degree and University: MSc Computer Engineering, Polytechnic of Turin, Italy
Work Title: Associate Computer Consultant, Microsoft
What do you actually do? I am responsible for liaising with programme managers, designers and developers in the planning and implementation of solutions to any problems we may have. Sometimes I work in a team of two to ten other people.
Were you always interested in IT as a career? Yes, always, it is my passion, that is why I went on the MACH (Microsoft Academy For College Hires) scheme, which is a one-year, long-term talent development programme. Also, in 2006, I took part in the Microsoft Championship Imagine Cup and after that I travelled round the world visiting Microsoft facilities and meeting with a lot of Microsoft employees. That gave me a better understanding of how Microsoft functions. It is a huge company and there are many different roles within it. Being involved in MACH gives you an introduction to the company with lots of networking, to show you how the company works and if the job you are doing is what you are really suited to.
What do you like most about what you do and are there any downsides? I love working with people and meeting people and the opportunity to learn from them. I like collaborating with lots of other people and I have the opportunity to see what is happening in the world of computers before anyone else and that’s very exciting.
It’s not a downside, but when I started, the most challenging thing was to try and understand the whole company strategy, but once I was familiar with the company structure things got easier.
What do you need to succeed at what you do? You need to be mentally agile and passionate. You should be able to challenge yourself at any time. After a few months working as a consultant I was invited to be a speaker at MIX, a huge industry gathering in Las Vegas, where I delivered a 75 minute presentation on the new Silverlight for mobiles technology in front of my peers. That was both exciting and challenging. You need to be ready to step in if there are any problems and there are always problems.
What would be your best piece of advice for graduates? Try to get on a development programme like the MACH scheme. This has given me the chance to travel round the world while getting training and mentoring which has helped me realise my full potential. Every day I learn new things. At some stage I may want to move into management and lead a whole team of people after I have headed more projects. It’s not that easy and I will have to prove to my colleagues that I’m ready for it. I’m happy where I am at the moment but I’d like to experience other areas of the business such as the sales sector or the marketing sector so I can fully understand all parts of the business. Then I’ll be able to make an informed decision of what my career in the future will be.