Tag Archives: 3rd year placement

Life at Microsoft, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Bing

You know my last post, giving advice on how to deal with placement applications?  Well, I’ve done something right there because it got me a one year internship with Microsoft.  Hurray! *does a happy dance*

To throw some light on what I’m actually going on about, I shall attempt to clarify.  Instead of spending my third year of studies on campus, I’m out on the job through Work Based Learning.  This means that I’m out on placement from uni, getting some real world experience while keeping a log of my progress with my workplace tutor.  Unfortunately I still have to do some work for uni to prove that I am actually making the most of my placement, but *SHAMELESS PLUG* tools like OneNote come in really handy for taking rough notes for proper write ups later on.  It’s only going to get worse from here on in, I promise you…

My placement started in July and my main duties concern the Microsoft Technology Centre (MTC), where I work as the lab engineer.  The MTC is an environment where we demonstrate business solutions to clients, covering everything from Office 365 to Windows Azure Pack.  Instead of the traditional death by Powerpoint, the MTC gives clients and partners the opportunity to see solutions in action and act upon anything that comes up in the sessions.  This of course means that the room contains a wonderful assortment of devices for folk to play while they learn about how awesome Microsoft products are.  I’m also in charge of the on premises datacentre, on which we host the virtual machines that run our demo environments.  Coming from two years of learning how to do things the Cisco way at uni, it was a massive culture shock to discover how powerful software defined networking is – very rarely do I need to physically configure anything in the datacentre as I can pretty much do it all virtually.  It’s a really exciting time to be at Microsoft as they’re working really hard to show off the wonders of the likes of Windows Server, Hyper-V, System Centre, Azure….the list goes on!

There’s so much to say about life at Microsoft – as you can imagine though, I work in a very fast moving environment and no two days are the same.  In addition to expanding on my initial training, I have the day job to take care of so things can get quite hairy at times; however, my colleagues are absolutely lovely and always happy to answer my inane questions.  Microsoft are also very focused on personal development and flexible working, which gives me the opportunity to pick up new skills or expand on my current knowledge, whether it be through certification or getting involved in work projects.  As long as the day job gets done, I’m free to get involved in whatever takes my fancy – within reason, of course!  The intern programme is a big part of my Microsoft life, with lots of events, projects and activities to get involved with.  I’m really enjoying my time there so far, becoming more and more immersed in Microsoft products as I go.  No doubt I’ll have more enthralling tales for you in the near future.

We do of course talk a lot about our competitors and Google isn’t exactly a dirty word round the office, but I do have to be careful when talking about search engines…anyway, who needs Siri when there’s Cortana?