Lisa Franklin talks about working at Worldwide Microsoft Services

Lisa Franklin is one of the few direct-MBA hires (Howard University) at WWESS and on the recuiting committee here. I asked her the following questions: What is your experience like? Was the ramp-up steep or not? Why pick to join Microsoft compared to other options from school?

You know what the problem is with pursuing your MBA…? It is very consuming. It interrupts your routine, it interrupts your life; however, you leave with a pretty definitive idea about what you would like to your professional future to entail. At least that’s how my experience went.

OK, well… maybe "problem" isn't the right word… How about "conundrum?"

I would be lying if I said that my ultimate goal was to always work for the leading software company in the world. In fact, I had always been conflicted in my professional life, because I felt that everything corporate was driven by numbers and less by people. Now the MBA in me, completely embraces the rationale behind this. I mean, I wouldn’t dare try to run a company or an organization and only use the accounts payable entries (would you?). Nonetheless, I wanted a balance and I historically had achieved that by volunteering in the evenings at local inner-city schools. Until now….   

During the first semester of my second year in the MBA program, I had an on-campus interview with a very “lively” and “honest” Microsoft recruiter named Lindsey. She had pulled my resume from the Monstertrak database and wanted to chat with me further. As I said previously, I had never given much thought to working for Microsoft, but I wasn’t going to give up an opportunity to interview with them either!  

Lindsey spoke less about the opportunities available at Microsoft and more about my background and passion. The weird thing is that I was actually tired of interviewing; at this point I already had three job offers post graduation. However, no one had ever asked me about my passion. You mean there were companies out there that actually cared! I was intrigued. This set the tone for my future interviews which included a visit to the Redmond campus. My interviews were culminated with the WWESS General Manager, Hardeep. His frankness, strategic approach, and clear interest in the career growth of his team sold me. Well, that and the fact that my recruiter called me at least once a day!

The transition: Now that I am here…what is it like……?

Well, the ramp-up was steep. I don’t think you can compare this experience with any other. Having been in other “corporate” environments, I had to unlearn some behaviors in addition to learning about the company and the industry. For instance: it’s okay to speak you mind in meetings you can even disagree with everyone in the room. In fact, it’s expected. Additionally, you can express your desire to do something different, or more challenging.  

Don’t get me wrong….the learning process is still in full swing.

I have however thought about it a lot and I have concluded that I am afforded the opportunity to live my passion everyday. I can use work hours to volunteer for organizations that inspire me or I can take on projects that stretch my skill set. I can even write blogs if I choose.

Simply put, I have learned a lot from the individuals that I have come in contact with in my short sixth month stint. Would I trade the experience? Never do.

But……one bit of advice

The faint at heart, need not apply.

~ Lisa Franklin