Summer Diaries: My experience with Microsoft – Snehi Pathak (HR/Sales)

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Summer Diaries: My experience with Microsoft – Snehi Pathak (HR/Sales)

Since I am doing HR in XLRI & I had applied for Sales & Marketing role in Microsoft, I prepared for a proper logical answer as to why I wanted to do my internship in a S&M role. Other than that since I have a passion for technology, I just equipped myself with any latest news or advancements.

Where did you do your summer internship?

I did my Summer internship in Microsoft GSMO (Global Sales & Marketing Operations)


What was the role offered?

I did my internship in the Small & Medium Business (SMB) segment of Microsoft GSMO.


Tell us about the GD and interview process of the company.

The GD was technically oriented & case based. So, it is advised to be familiar with Microsoft’s product portfolio, latest news, its competitors (the products they offer) & technology related news in general. For instance, during the time we had SIP, Microsoft had recently acquired Linkedln, so, it was expected of me to know all about it.

There were 2 rounds of interview. 1st round was more about my prior work experience & my technical expertise. Basically they were keen to know if I had passion for technology, was aware about the global developments in the technology space & learnings from my prior work experience. 2nd round of interview was a HR round & they asked general BQs.


What was your approach for preparing for the process? Any specific preparation you did for this company?

My approach was to read all about the companies I am applying, their HR processes, leadership, business related aspects of the product/service portfolio of the company & M&A related news (if any). Then next thing that I concentrated was on going through each & every point in my CV and recollecting my learnings so that I am well prepared with whatever I have mentioned (esp work exp).

Since I am doing HR in XLRI & I had applied for Sales & Marketing role in Microsoft, I prepared for a proper logical answer as to why I wanted to do my internship in a S&M role. Other than that since I have a passion for technology, I just equipped myself with any latest news or advancements.


Tell us about the internship project you worked on. (Describe in timeline/stages)

My internship project was to develop a go-to market strategy for MS Azure in the Startup space. I started off by doing my secondary research (read about services that Azure offers vis-à-vis its competitors, the current penetration level etc.), then I conducted my primary research (interacted with a lot of stakeholders inside Microsoft, around 60+ Start-ups etc.). I had prepared a questionnaire & had developed an understanding as to what information would help me to develop a go-to market strategy which was the objective of my project. Post that I did my analysis, outlined a strategy and also did a small pilot to develop a success case.


Tell us about the pre-internship and post-internship processes (homework you had to do before the official internship period, orientation process and PPO opportunities)

Since I got my project on the 1st day of my internship, I had not done any preparation specific to the project. We had a 3 day orientation process wherein we got to interact with the business leaders of various segments of Microsoft. They gave us an overview of their respective segments & the business processes associated with them. On the last day of the orientation, we got a chance to have a session with our respective project managers who briefed us about the project that was assigned to us & what was expected from us.

Yes, there are PPO opportunities in Microsoft.


What was your key learning from the internship period?

My key learning from the internship period is to have an open mind and also to develop a clear understanding of the problem before starting to work on it.


What were the key challenges that you faced during your internship?

The people I had to interact with senior folks who used to be very busy. So, getting time from them was a big challenge. (and that is expected 🙂 )


How relevant were the concepts taught in the classroom to the situations and pre-requisites of your internship?

I just had a basic idea of Sales & Marketing principles (Kottler helped here). However, my project was more of “on-the-job/field” type. So, I had to figure out the underlying problem and solutions only by interacting with “A LOT” of stakeholders (both internal & external) & potential customers.


How effective was the internship in terms of helping you make a choice about your career?

It was very effective since I learned a lot from my internship experience and it helped me to come to terms with & appreciate how Sales works.


Would you like to work for the same organisation if given a chance?

I will be working for the same organisation


Do you have past work-experience? If yes, did you find any significant change during your summer internship?

Yes, I have past work experience. During my stint in CTS, I was never given an end to end accountability of a live project, however, in Microsoft I got to work on an issue which was very important for the company. Hence, I was given an opportunity to work on it and also interact with some of the best minds that I had ever met in my life. I was asked to “go crazy” with the ideas and give them a solution that can help them to tap the Startup market.


How did you like the work culture of the company? (Mention the contribution of your mentor/other employees of the company during the execution of your project)

Microsoft has a collaborative & open culture. If you want to challenge yourself then this is the best place to work.

To tell you the truth “there is no concept of spoon feeding in Microsoft” which is probably the best thing. So, my manager used to push me to think on my own and take initiatives. He was always there whenever I needed his guidance but he made me to figure out the answers by myself. You can always seek help from anyone in Microsoft even the senior most business leader.



What suggestions/advice (specific preparation strategy) would you advise to juniors?
  • Clarify the problem statement & objective of the project assigned to you and what is expected from you from your manager. It is imperative that both you and your manager are on the same page.
  • Never hesitate to ask help/clarification when you need.
  • Give timely updates & seek regular feedback from your manager/mentor. Keep him in loop.
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