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Microsoft Academy for College Hires : First year overview

 

Our key values:

 

If I were to pin-point a single shared characteristic of every MACH hire that I’ve ever encountered, it would be that they all dream of making a difference, of changing the world.By travelling with the MACH Academy we all got to experience first-hand one of Microsoft’s core values: diversity. Nobody in the Academy gave a second thought to where someone else was from, it never mattered; it just felt great to be part of such a diverse team, it really made us feel like we belong to something greater than ourselves.

 

Growing together – MACH Academy :

 

As time went on, people got to know one another better, getting a better feel for everyone’s skill levels, but more than that, as chats with fellow colleagues revealed, we all shared the same principles. It was like a second family, a home away from home, one might say.

During training sessions and in our spare time, we were so engaged that by the time we were to say goodbye or change location, most of time we felt like we were taking a big step, leaving loved ones behind, and it didn’t get easier after the first time. And if you think about it, the whole adventure happened over just 7 weeks – but it was more than enough for us to grow on each other.

I have a saying that I developed during the Academy: ”You learn with them, you grow with them.” And it stood the test of time, because when you’re going through the MACH Academy you can be sure you’ll get completely new insights as to what networking for a new Microsoft employee means.

Even though we encountered a couple of difficult situations and were under deadline pressure at times, as we only had 7 weeks to deliver a project that would have to be S.M.A.R.T. (which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Oriented), we still managed to deliver the project and present it to the leadership team at the end of the MACH Academy.

We attended technical trainings together, such as: 70-410 – Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012, 70-411 Administering Windows Server 2012 and 70-412 Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012. Even though they might seem boring to some, or like they’re aimed at novices, and despite the fact that some had prior knowledge of some of the topics presented, we all rolled our sleeves up and dove in, acknowledging the fact that there is always something to learn, there are always new or better ways to solve a potential issue.

We consider ourselves lucky to have had the Azure Fundamentals Services training delivered to MACHs at the tip of Western Europe, in lovely Portugal. Just as their national history combines tradition with an adventurous spirit, so too did our MACH teams adopt the new wave of cloud computing as the future of the industry and the way of the future for how businesses and individuals consider and process their work load, entertainment needs and means to get information across platforms and IoT devices, in the information age.

How amazing is it not to have to manage all that physical hardware? You can even manage everything on the go!

 

Developing the growth mindset – MSReady

 

The next adventure after the MACH Academy was Microsoft Ready, an education and networking event for Microsoft employees. It evolved from their previous MGX, S4, and TechReady conferences.

There is a special event prior to the main event, gathering MACHs from all over the world, MACH@MSReady. The MACH event started on the 15th of July and we attended several workshops that helped us understand how to engage more efficient with our customer and develop the customer obsessive mind-set, how we can lead change, and how we can own our development and make a difference in the organization.

We had a couple of break-out sessions, one of my favorites was the Career Jam, where we had the possibility to discuss with MACH Alumni-s and HR professionals who were willing to offer guidance and tips on how we can transition to a role in another country, and shared insights on how we can build a career at Microsoft. Besides that, we have learned how to avoid biases, embrace diversity, accept change and make every moment count.

The main event hosted ~20.000 participants, colleagues from all over the world, and we got to share knowledge, learn about other roles, see the new technology trends and how we can help our customers align with the digital transformation era.

We also had the chance to learn about the organization’s vision for the future from our executives and CEO.

On the 19th of July a Celebration Event was hosted at Las Vegas Festival Grounds, and we had the chance to listen to Lenny Kravitz and Ellie Goulding! Now that’s what I call a pleasant surprise !

 

The benefits of being a MACH:

 

As a MACH hire, you are presented a high-level overview about Microsoft as a brand, not just as a multinational corporation, and the opportunities that are available to you, both inside and outside of your desired/designated office/position. This experience can show you what modern technology and its perks can really do for you, as an individual, how it can help you in your day to day life, and how you can align yourself with Microsoft’s core goal of empowering every person and organization on this planet to achieve more.

I would say that all members of the MACH Academy that I’ve encountered during this journey gave me a bit of insight regarding how we can all change the world for the better, by working together.

While trying to figure out how to get our projects done, there were naturally some differences of opinion. But hey, if you truly enjoy diversity you simply cannot ask for a better opportunity to celebrate it than by debating which solution would lead to a better outcome for that specific set of initial conditions. In the end, we always embraced everyone’s ideas and focused on finding a cooperative solution – and forming happy lifelong memories.

After all is said and done, we can fortunately still connect with one another throughout the tools Microsoft puts at our disposal, even just to say ”Hello”, when time allows it, of course!

What we have developed during the MACH Academy and MSReady could genuinely be called a lifelong bond. And we learned how to be selfless, to listen, ask for feedback, and learn from every experience.

 

 

Andreea Giurgiu Technical Engineer Microsoft Romania

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