15 Years at Microsoft

In May 2009, I hit my 15-year mark at Microsoft as a full-time employee. I thought this would be a good reason to share some of my highlights and career experience publically so others can better understand the opportunities offered working at Microsoft (yes, we are still hiring).

Some of my experienced-based highlights include:

  • Technical Acumen: I’ve architected and built large-scale demos (17 virtual servers + desktops + other systems/servers), plus numerous other demos that show off the Microsoft “stack”. Learning new technologies and explaining their benefit to others in the form cross-product solutions has become a passion of mine.
  • Leadership: I’ve grown my leadership skills, and specifically my ability to instil confidence and by being the “voice of reason” for sales, marketing, and business development teams. Related to this is keeping everyone focused on our vision and strategy. One tactic I’ve gotten very good at is summarizing tons of information down to just what’s needed for executives and the field to stay focused. Also related is my ability to cut through organizational boundaries and build partnerships, consensus and support.
  • Strategic Thinking: I’ve been fortunate enough to work on projects that had me analyzing market share, revenue per customer, costs per customer, marketing return-on-investment, and customer churn all combined to help establish a marketing vision and strategy.
  • Public Speaking: I’ve gained experience presenting to partners, press, analysts, large customers (CxO-level) at Microsoft Technology Centers and the Executive Briefing Center, and to up to 1000 Microsoft employees at the annual sales event. I’ve even been trained to present on TV, but haven’t had that opportunity yet.
  • Fiscal Responsibility: I’ve efficiently and effectively managed budgets ranging from a few thousand to one million dollars spread out over a single fiscal year.
  • Marketing: I’ve had great exposure to creating value propositions that drive engineering and marketing, to aligning specific marketing tactics to results so we can measure the ROI of our marketing spend and efforts, plus getting into the dirty/fun/creative parts of building and launching marketing campaigns.
  • People Management: I’ve always had positive individual and manager reviews. This includes having a few different managers comment on my ability to “get stuff done quickly”. 
  • Personal Recognition: In 2008 I received the Gold Star award for building Messenger TV (this is an internal award that says “good job”). In 2005 I was nominated & participated in a Leadership Development program (it’s for high-performing employees who are expected to become future leaders at Microsoft)

Roles at Microsoft where I’ve gained these experiences:

  • EMEA Director of Windows Live (current role in Consumer & Online), also included temporary assignments to fill in for:
    • UK Windows Live product management team manager
    • Western Europe Windows Live product manager
    • EMEA Marketing Communications for Windows Live (unofficially as role did not exist for 2 years)
  • Business Manager (Online Business Group, now Consumer & Online)
  • Business Manager (World-Wide Microsoft Technology Centers MTCs)
  • Group Program Manager (WW MTC Demo Platform) –team manager, with great senior employees
  • Group Program Manager (WW Demos Team) –team manager, built team nothing
  • Lead Program Manager (WW Demos Team) –team manager
  • Lead Program Manager for the WW SalesKit – as a team manager
  • Technologist for the Enterprise Customer Unit
  • Support Engineer for Corporate Network Support in Product Support Services

If you’re new to Microsoft, or about to join, then I hope you will have such a positive experience too.