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Graduate insight into securing a role with Microsoft

Created on 25 Mar 2021

We recently caught up with Roxana about how she secured a role with Microsoft, how Bright Network helped her secure her role and her top tips for members looking to follow in her footsteps.

What stood out to you about Microsoft?

Although this may sound like a clichéd answer, I fell in love with Microsoft’s culture from the very beginning when I started my research on them. In each stage of the recruitment process, every single interviewer I met was nothing but welcoming and encouraging. I was still nervous (which is completely expected!) but I was put at ease as soon as the conversation started flowing.

It was obvious to me that my recruiters genuinely wanted to get to know me and my potential, and this support helped me enormously in the tasks I had to complete. I like Microsoft’s emphasis on having a ‘growth mindset’. You’re not expected to know everything when you step your foot through the door, but you are expected to be passionate and curious, and the company provides endless opportunities for both personal and professional development.

How did you build your commercial awareness before the interview?

I started building my commercial awareness before the recruitment season started because I knew most companies would have at least one question regarding this and I needed a strong foundation to build my answer on. I have attended webinars and other online employer events organised by my university's Careers Office as well as organisations such as Bright Network. This helped me stay on top of the trends which were happening in my industries of interest, so commercial awareness questions became much easier to answer!

Another great thing to do is subscribe to daily newsletters sent to your inbox, such as the one provided by The New York Times and Morning Brew. They give an overview of different events happening in the world as well as industry analysis and statistics, so you get a nice round-up by the end of the week.

What would be your top tip to members going through the application process?

Only think about yourself and your skills! And by this, I mean do not compare yourself with other candidates who you may meet along the way. It is a mistake I made in the past, and all it does is add unnecessary pressure.

Hiring managers are not trying to pitch you against each other, instead, they want to bring out everyone's best qualities - be yourself and show your passion for the role and the company. It shines through more than you think, and it will get you noticed.

How did Bright Network help you secure this role?

I participated in the Internship Experience UK Consulting track, as well as attended the selective Women in Leadership event. On top of that, I have attended other employer events organised by Bright Network where I got the chance to speak to company representatives who shared with us tips on company-specific application processes, company culture, and what they look for in an applicant.

I have learnt so much thanks to all those events, and they contributed to a big part of my preparation for the recruitment season. With each application, I felt more confident, and when you truly start to believe in your capabilities is when you succeed in the goal you've set for yourself.

Did you use Bright Network Academy in your career search and if so, how did that help you?

I did not use the Bright Network Academy for this recruitment season; however, I plan to use it before the start of my placement in July to learn the fundamentals of coding in Python.

What top three tips would you give Bright Network members looking to follow in your footsteps?

  1. Before starting your applications, take time to understand what industry you are truly interested in. It's better to focus on a couple of industries and be able to gain relevant experience and tailor your applications properly, rather than sending off CVs and cover letters everywhere in the hope of progressing to the next stage.
  2. Don't forfeit an opportunity because you believe you won't make it through the process because the company is too competitive or you're not attending a target university. Employers are really looking at your skills, potential and what you can bring to the company. Let your qualities shine through and ignore this 'background noise' - it pays off!
  3. Network! Yes, it is something that you will hear very often, but having your own network of fellow students and applicants is extremely useful, especially if someone has already gone through the recruitment process. There's no one better to ask for feedback or tips than the people who are in your exact position.

Looking to follow in Roxana Maria's footsteps? Discover live graduate opportunities with Microsoft.

Bright Network member, Roxana Maria
Roxana Maria, Aston University
Microsoft, Customer Success Manager