Degree/university: Computer science, BSc Essex University, MSc Sussex University
Year of graduation: 2003
Occupation: Associate consultant at Microsoft
What do you do in your job?
Basically, we make solutions for customers. For example, we show a company what it is possible to do with Microsoft technology. I have been involved with many projects. One was a test project designing a user interface for the NHS IT systems. Another was working for a company that enabled books from the British Library to be able to be read on the internet. My day-to-day work depends on how big the project is. I am a software developer, so I develop programs. Sometimes I get to meet the customer myself, other times it will be a larger project and we will work together as a team.
What was your motivation in applying?
I had been interested in applying technology so that it made a difference to people’s lives, and able to make them do more in their lives, and Microsoft gave me that opportunity. The graduate scheme gave a lot of good experience, lots of training, and you got to do some of the Microsoft exams too. It is a very friendly place and I got the impression that everyone seems relaxed. The good working culture really appealed to me.
What did the application process involve?
First of all you had to do an application form online. Once you’d emailed your application you had a telephone interview with the recruitment team. After that, you went to the offices for tests, and a face to face interview. Finally I got called to the Microsoft campus for two interviews; I had to give a presentation and do a group exercise.
What do you enjoy about your job?
The fact that I make things that make a real difference. Like with the British Library, books that people had never been able to read before because they were behind glass have become accessible. Or working with the NHS knowing that in the future I will have helped doctors and nurses do their job better. It’s a really rewarding job and what was great is that I actually won the British Computer Society’s 2006 Young IT Practitioner of the Year award.
Most challenging part of your job?
You have to be very inventive as a consultant. In the beginning that was quite challenging, but after 18 months I’ve got used to it.
Advice to readers considering a career in your field:
If you have it, then really follow your passion for IT – there are a lot of opportunities out there. Get work experience as early as possible too – I did an internship and that really helped me with my career.