When it comes to dream careers for an IT graduate, a role in Microsoft tops the list. After all, the company is one of the biggest players in the industry and because of its involvement in a wide range of different products, the exposure to different areas of expertise is immense.
In Malaysia, Microsoft is a sales, marketing and services organisation as part of the Asia Pacific region. “Microsoft Malaysia plays an integral role in catalysing the adoption of National Industry 4.0 related technologies among the enterprise business, small medium enterprises and government sectors,” explains Martin Loh, Technical Account Manager. “As part of Microsoft’s mission, the Malaysia team aims to empower and promote innovation, creativity and competitiveness in embracing the intensification of the digital transformation.”
Loh says that those with a passion for technology will thrive at Microsoft. “Being customer obsessed, genuinely wanting to help our customers, and always thinking about their needs. Someone with a growth mindset – having a learn-it-all mindset rather than a know-it-all. Having a continuous learning mentality is crucial as the industry moves and changes so quickly,” Loh describes the talent Microsoft is on the lookout for.
Loh himself perfectly fits this description. He started his career with Microsoft as a Technology Strategist in the Microsoft Enterprise segment. “Not only has the role allowed me to drive strategic discussions with customers enabling their achievement of business/IT goals through Microsoft but it has also let me gain a deeper understanding of Microsoft business models,” says Loh. This allowed him to further tap into his real desire – to be front-line facing. Loh explains that what he learnt as a Technology Strategist helped him transition into his current role as a Technical Account Manager where he supports and realises the values of a customer’s investment with Microsoft through in-depth planning and optimisation, driving adoption of cloud technologies, incident management and proactive remediation services.
THE MICROSOFT DNA
At the moment, Loh says that the company is putting big bets on its Cloud Computing services platform, Microsoft Azure, so much so that 95 per cent of the roles Microsoft is currently hiring are related to it (how’s that for a tip!). “We’re looking at talent who not just understands how technology works but how we can empower our customers to achieve more through these technologies,” shares Loh.
Having a continuous learning mentality is crucial as the industry moves and changes so quickly.
Loh says there are plenty of opportunities in customer-facing technology roles. “The industry is not just looking at talent in technology but also talent who can articulate technology to customers. It is one thing to study Computer Science or Information Systems but another to be able to converse with customers and understand their needs. We’re looking for talent that have a balance of both,” he says.
Here’s another piece of advice: According to Loh, the organisation hires mostly based on strengths and passion. “Skills are competencies – things you pick up through university, internships and life experiences. Strengths are more on what you love to do, what gets you going in the day, what are the things you get energy from and what are the experiences one goes through that applies one’s strengths. We align the strengths of a person to the opportunities,” says Loh. “However, if it is a technical role, then of course we’ll be looking for someone with a technical background with their passion in mind.” Take note that Microsoft hires graduates to start roles in January and June/July every year while summer internships are available across Southeast Asia.
What can one expect from being hired at Microsoft? In line with what Loh said about continuous learning, the organisation is big on bringing out the best in its employees. “Microsoft values one’s career advancement by investing in their talent and encouraging them to move around within the company to get different exposure and experiences. Microsoft also emphasises on good work-life balance, which is one of the crucial factors when considering a job nowadays,” says Loh. FYI: Microsoft employees get to travel across different countries for leadership conferences, technical development, shadowing programmes and more. The company also encourages employees to get involved in special interest groups (SIGs) such as yoga and marathon to help promote a fun and enjoyable workplace.
The final pointer on how to get your foot in? “We don’t hire the best students. We hire the right ones – the ones who want to serve the community and genuinely strive to empower our customers,” shares Loh.