​What I learnt from 9 months of Internship at Microsoft

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Once upon a time, I worked at Microsoft and the following is a summary of the lessons I learned.

 

Business has always been about people

People and their needs matter. This is what needs to come first. Technology is merely an enabler. It is very important to focus on your relationship with your colleagues, suppliers, partners or customers. Without their support, you will fail, even with the best tech. My best works have always been those that I worked and presented in teams. There is always a lot to learn simply by listening and observing with team mates.

 

Presentation matters

If you want people to take you seriously, you need to work on the way you express it. I would often at the beginning struggle to find my words which would give the impression that I was confused or worse I had managed to confuse the person I was speaking to. Whether it is your presentation deck, your speech or the UI and UX of your system, make sure it conveys the message accurately. There are many tips online from where I have learned and you can learn from. Observing and learning from TED talks have helped me a lot.

 

Our future is digital

Whether you are into marketing, advertising, business, logistics, design, retail or education. Whatever the field,  it is important to keep yourself up to date. else you are losing opportunities and along with it customers and money. There are so many technologies out there that can help organizations save money or become more efficient if only they knew about their choices and how to implement them. I am not saying that you should enroll in computer science or software engineering course, but the internet is so much more than just GIFs of cats. Just teach yourself some basic coding concepts and ask questions. Ths has by far proven to be the most effective way for me. When  I tried something new and failed, I would ask questions. You would be reassured by how willing people are to help – either that or I had great friends and colleagues.

 

Data analytics is cool and very useful

A major role I had during my internship was to act as a marketing analyst. My interview itself consisted of a practical data analysis test. I learned that data is extremely important and useful in providing directions. I learn about more in depth excel functionalities that I did not know existed and which has been helping me since.One of the major tools that I am proud to have invested a lot of time and having mastered is PowerBI, this one really took my understanding of data and how we can intelligently analyze and visualize data in a real time scenario to a next level. Investing so much time into it did pay off as I was later given the opportunity to pitch to clients about PowerBI with my team to clients. Later during that same time period(2015),  I was also given the opportunity to showcase PowerBI and do a live demo at the Global Azure Bootcamp in Mauritius that was held at Voila Hotel. My passion and interest for analytics led me to do my dissertation/research on the impact of Marketing analytics on performance at an organizational level. I would love to discuss analytics further but that’s for another post.

 

Cultivate a Growth Mindset

Ths is by far one of the most important lessons I believe I learned. A growth mindset is a well-documented concept that has proven to help achieve results. People who believe a growth mindset believe that failures are part of learning and growing so they embrace it and continue to persevere in order to improve themselves. The notion is opposite to the ‘fixed mindset’ which is the belief that talent is an innate gift, intelligence is innate and predefined. The concept of the growth mindset has helped me a lot. It has acted as motivation when I was low and might have doubted myself or thought of giving up. I believe it has made me more resilient and enforced my interest in learning.

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