This month’s blog topic covers customer-facing experiences at Microsoft. Luckily, I have these daily and cherish them. This year is an exciting year for the surface business, for which I am completely grateful. With seven new product announcements recently, I am incredibly proud of the company I work for.

A different challenge every day

My role as a Surface Specialist intern at Microsoft manages the front-line commercial and technical aspects of sales opportunities. Whenever it appears, no two days are the same. With each day comes a new challenge and that is why I enjoy it. My biggest challenge so far was the one I least expected: hosting a VIP event for our enterprise customers.

Introducing the digital workplace

The Microsoft Store is a great place where we can captivate and educate our customers and partners – from market-traders to multi-nationals, no matter how big or small, all our customers are welcome. For the launch of the equipment, a room was developed at the Oxford Circus Store, which contained a modern apartment with a variety of modern workplace set-ups.

The modern concept of work is something we do, not where we go, and the scaffolding room has captured it perfectly. There is a surface for every user and every role, no matter where they work.

On 21 October, we welcomed over 30 clients from public sector and commercial enterprises to our event. They received 25 minutes of presentations on the Microsoft team, Microsoft Managed Desktop, Surface Hub 2S and Surface PC, which they were finally able to play. I was able to host the morning and then presented a performance on Surface Hub 2S. This was particularly exciting because it was my largest audience ever, filled with customers as well as over 15 Microsoft employees.

Group of Customers Listening to Presentation for Surface Launch Event at Microsoft Store

In terms of the products displayed, it was a fascinating day. The Microsoft team is transforming communications in firms around the world. While customers move beyond Skype, features such as private virtual teams, background blurring on video calls, and cross-device compatibility truly energize and empower our customers.

Microsoft Managed Desktop enables organizations to set less time and keep devices secure and empower their employees with great, premium devices. Surface devices give users unmatched productivity as well as a sense of value – a premium device indicating that the organization has invested in its employees. As an employee, there is nothing better than feeling valued. As a business, an attached workforce is a productive one and you are more likely to retain your top talent.

Cooperate in teams

As an apprentice, it was really exciting to work with various stakeholders to bring this up and I have learned a lot about teamwork and collaboration with teams. For the work event, I had to combine the goals of the marketing / PR, surface and store team to make the event a success.

Making connections at first was challenging and initially it was difficult to identify the right stakeholders. As an organization, Microsoft is very supportive of those early in their careers, so after a few polite requests I was able to pull together a plan.

Developing flexibility

But it does not matter if you are planning to build something completely but there will always be something wrong. In my case, the bacon sandwich for breakfast got stuck in the elevator! Very stressful but very tense at the time.

The ability to see problems without feelings is often difficult, but being able to see an end goal, changing my course and changing my perspective to get there teaches me a lot about how people work . I am most grateful that as many people I have joined to help in this event, they remain as close companions.

Identify a mentor early

My advice to anyone starting at Microsoft, or any company for that company, would be to quickly secure a mentor figure. Make sure that this mentor is not a ‘work giver’ and they can approach your problems with practical and fair solutions. Using a mentor as a sounding board for tasks helps you coach into a better collaborator and can also help a colleague with his or her teaching skills – a valuable feature.