Monthly Archives: May 2013

Jobs in IT: Love to travel? Love consulting? The Microsoft Services team has jobs that take you places, http://bit.ly/12RFmS8

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Wanna work with me Wednesday

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Premier Field Engineering (PFE) provides technical leadership for Microsoft’s Premier customers around the world to promote health in their IT environments through onsite, remote and dedicated support services.
Okay, so what does all that really mean? If I’m a PFE, what will I be doing?
Cindy Parrish, one of Microsoft’s Recruiters has been talking to our PFE’s to get their personal stories. For the next several weeks we will answer that question, so that you have a clear picture of the PFE role at Microsoft.
Welcome to Wednesday and an explanation of what it’s like to be a PFE by a current PFE in their own words.
Here’s what Jack has to say about his job:

Why I love what I do

The best thing about being a PFE is the diverse projects and opportunities you’re involved with. Through PFE, I’ve been to places I never thought I’d go like Vancouver, BC. It’s also a great feeling to see projects you’ve worked on being applied in the real world.
The coolest project I’ve ever been a part of was for a major TV network. They used Windows XP desktops to display graphics on screen for their many shows. Since the different shows used the same desktop machines, their employees shared the same desktops and sometimes the previous user would lock the desktop not allowing the next user to log in, which by the way, needed to happen within the 5 minute commercial break between shows. So they tasked us with not only upgrading their desktops to Windows Vista but allowing the next user to be able to forcefully log off the previous user without having admin rights. So the solution was to create a custom button on the lock screen so that users will be able to log off the previous user and login all with those 5 minutes to be ready for the next show. So now whenever I watch that channel and a shows end, I think about the work we did there and how it was possible because of what we do as PFEs.

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Found a Mentor: Step #1 to my Success!

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Stories from Microsoft Europe, Middle East & Africa mentors and mentees’ on how such relationships can seriously impact YOUR CAREER!

A mentor can be critical to your growth and success in your career, which can also somehow impact your personal life. He/She is someone experienced that can help you guide your path in the area you are trying to develop into, build strong(er) business relationships, expend your network, provide you with sage advice in critical situations. A mentor should motivate you, challenge you and inspire you. Read some exciting mentors and mentees’ stories and see how such relationship can seriously impact your career!

Kristin – Senior Program Manager, UK: “I have had a couple of really amazing mentors during my career at Microsoft and I think the way they have helped me the most was their encouragement and total faith in my capabilities to go after things I was passionate about and be successful. Helping me to find my strengths and to play to them, while steering me towards activities that would increase those strengths. Showing me how to acknowledge my weaknesses and feel ok about them, to not let them drive my career. I think it’s important to work with mentors that have certain capabilities you admire, not to look for someone in a specific job you want to have in the future. I think a lot of people make that mistake, to limit themselves to one path and to only work with mentors in that path.”

Ramy – Dynamics CRM Associate Architect, Dubai: “The Mentorship program in Microsoft gives a great chance for individuals to learn from others. Finding the right mentor is key to get the most of the program. Before asking a colleague to be your mentor, you need to be sure that he/she will be able to provide you with what you are looking for. From my opinion, a good mentor doesn’t necessarily be at a higher level or more senior but has to be strongly experienced in the area where you need to develop and excel and that’s why a mentor is different from a manager. To be a good mentor, you need to have the ability to understand your mentee’s needs and to have the confidence that you will be able to help him/her for a successful career. I was assigned to a project where I had to define a strategy for a bank and I really didn’t know where I should start. I knew what I needed to do but didn’t know from where to start and whether my plan was the perfect one? Thanks to my mentor whom I shared everything in my head with. He listened, understood, gave me his advice and inputs, and the confidence that I needed to take it from there. It is very important for a mentee to know when is the right time to look for a different mentor as well. If he feels that he needs to learn something different at a specific point of time, the mentee should be very open, share this with his mentor and manager.”

Manuel and Marco – Premier Field Engineers (PFE), Portugal: Manuel & Marco– Premier Field Engineers (PFE), Portugal & Germany: In Premier Field Engineering organization each engineer is required to be trained to gain and maintain deep technical skills. Manuel and Marco have developed a process which allows a quick and seamless ramp up for new engineers. Here’s how it works! Last year the PFE team decided to group all the sources of information used by mentors and created a mentoring platform to support both mentees and mentors. The result was an automated guide for mentors and mentees. The guide walked though the readiness material, and allowed the mentee to define timelines and self-learning status checks. This facilitated a consistent approach and is independent to the region the mentor or mentee is located. When the mentee and mentor relationship is defined, the mentor conducts an extensive technical interview to pinpoint the mentees strengths and weaknesses and can then define a proper ramp-up plan. Depending on the engineer’s readiness and demand, a training timeline will be defined. In the application, every topic links the various readiness materials (videos, labs, workshop content and self-study material) so the mentee can increase his knowledge level in that subject much faster than before. The whole process can be observed by the mentor, mentee as well as their respective managers. This platform helps new hires to get faster results and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive!

Alexei – Dynamics AX Retail Architect, Russia: “Newcomers usually feel uncomfortable with a number of internal tools and procedures. Here in CoE (Center of Excellence for Dynamics) we are lucky to have them well documented but the documents cannot cover everything. If a mentee makes bi-weekly calls to discuss ongoing issues and tasks it would not be enough sometimes. Good start is to work together on Sure Step offerings and related examples from real projects. If specific delivery is required such as sizing, it would be better to have introduction session with a mentee to describe the process, templates and tools to be used, make some beta steps and verify the result after that.”

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Wanna work with me Wednesday

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Premier Field Engineering (PFE) provides technical leadership for Microsoft’s Premier customers around the world to promote health in their IT environments through onsite, remote and dedicated support services.
Okay, so what does all that really mean? If I’m a PFE, what will I be doing?
Cindy Parrish, one of Microsoft’s Recruiters has been talking to our PFE’s to get their personal stories. For the next several weeks we will answer that question, so that you have a clear picture of the PFE role at Microsoft.
Welcome to Wednesday and an explanation of what it’s like to be a PFE by a current PFE in their own words.

Here’s what Eric has to say about his job:

Do you want to know what it’s like to work in PFE at Microsoft? Well, here is my perspective…
This is the most unique, challenging and rewarding position I’ve experienced to-date in my career. In Premier Field Engineering as a whole, there can be significant variation in our role day to day based on which customers we are engaged to support. Most of that depends on whether we work on a transactional basis with different customers week to week or in a dedicated mode with designated customers. Myself – I am an Exchange PFE, dedicated to specific customers. My mission to our customers is to be their trusted advisor for all things related to Microsoft Exchange. This work can range from reactive support on service impacting problems, architecture and design guidance, configuration recommendations, health assessments, risk mitigation, procedural reviews (e.g., migration planning, disaster recovery processes, etc…), and performance analysis. Essentially, I’m here to be the customer’s trusted resource, a partner that advocates what’s in their best interest for sustained health with Microsoft Exchange. Sometimes that involves serving as a technical mentor, subject matter expert, or a conduit to Microsoft’s array of resources. Those resources can be internal institutional knowledge we possess, specialized escalation experts in Product Support Services and even product managers and engineers in our product group divisions. Even though we typically are engaged and deliver services to our customers independently by ourselves (on-site or remotely), we’re never left to solve everything on our own. The resources we have access to within Microsoft are vast and vital in this role. Believe it or not, nobody here knows it all. If you’ve been in the industry long enough you understand it’s an on-going process of learning and experience. There is a strong team oriented culture that facilitates knowledge sharing among our technical communities and helps us deliver the best service and product experiences to our customers. So, there is a large community of engineers and experts to help when you need it. Additionally, there are numerous opportunities for development through formal training courses or readiness events to help us keep our skills and knowledge at the cutting edge. And this doesn’t just pertain to technical development, as there are ample offerings for non-technical and soft-skill professional development.
This job is unique and different from any other position I’ve held when it comes to autonomy. To a large extent, we manage what and how we perform our work and deliver to customers. Since, we primarily work independently with our customers, we have a lot of autonomy without the constraints of being micro-managed. So, this is a highly self-driven and self-directed role. However, we can always reach out and seek management’s advice, recommendations and guidance as we encounter unclear or challenging situations. On top of that we even have a mentorship program that promotes us leveraging the wealth of knowledge and experience here for the betterment of us individually and as a whole. Of course we also collaborate and work with our Technical Account Managers to ensure we are delivering quality services and providing the value our customers deserve.
As a family man, this role offers me flexibility in a work-life balance that I greatly value. In my dedicated role, I appreciate that I can manage my work-schedule and determine when it’s appropriate for me to travel and be on-site with my customers. I’m able to work from home to support my customers remotely and manage my travel schedule for periodic on-site visits. At times, this is a balancing act with my personal schedule and customers’ business needs, but it’s predominantly manageable to suit us both. I greatly value my family time and commitments at home. These elements are significant to me so that I maintain a proper balance while helping customers and Microsoft be successful together.
With this autonomy comes the responsibility to make prudent decisions when it comes to all of these aspects. Ultimately, this role allows me to have an impact and make a difference and I feel that is what many of us genuinely seek. To be able to contribute and make a difference by helping others is what we pursue. At Microsoft and PFE we strive hard to put our people in a position to be successful, enabling us to provide an experience that our customers covet with our products, services and devices.
I didn’t even get around to mentioning many of the other awesome benefits of working at Microsoft. So, you’ll just have to trust me. There are a bounty of them!

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Wanna work with me Wednesday

Martinez

Premier Field Engineering (PFE) provides technical leadership for Microsoft’s Premier customers around the world to promote health in their IT environments through onsite, remote and dedicated support services.
Okay, so what does all that really mean? If I’m a PFE, what will I be doing?
Cindy Parrish, one of Microsoft’s Recruiters has been talking to our PFE’s to get their personal stories. For the next several weeks we will answer that question, so that you have a clear picture of the PFE role at Microsoft.
Welcome to Wednesday and an explanation of what it’s like to be a PFE by a current PFE in their own words.

Here’s what Martinez has to say about his job:

In 2005, I was awarded Microsoft Most Value Professional– an award given to independent experts outside Microsoft. This award gave me many opportunities in the Puerto Rico and Latin American Market. These opportunities were to speak, write and assist many Microsoft customers
In doing this, I had the opportunity to know more about Microsoft and their services. I met a Rapid Response Onsite Engineer and talked to him about what he did and his work and thought to myself, ‘I have to be one of them’.
In 2010 I had the opportunity to join Microsoft, with this opportunity came many challenges but I was up to the challenge to become a Premier Field Engineer. Since I joined Microsoft has been one of the most enjoyable journeys on my career, Microsoft has given me the right tools to increase my market value and to give our customers the best engineering knowledge available. As a Premier Field Engineer, I have the ability to control what I do, when I do it and how I will execute it. As a Premier Field Engineer I get to work with the most challenging customers, and very smart and brilliant peers. In PFE we are a family that support each other; as PFE we make our customers Heroes on their work and we become their Mentors. If you join Microsoft as PFE you will not just get recognized as Industry Expert inside Microsoft, but you can also become part of our Industry Leaders in your given technology.
What are you waiting for? Are you ready for the Challenge? I know you are, come join me and work me with me in the most brilliant, smarter and challenging group in Microsoft.

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Wanna work with me Wednesday

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Premier Field Engineering (PFE) provides technical leadership for Microsoft’s Premier customers around the world to promote health in their IT environments through onsite, remote and dedicated support services.
Okay, so what does all that really mean? If I’m a PFE, what will I be doing?
Cindy Parrish, one of Microsoft’s Recruiters has been talking to our PFE’s to get their personal stories. For the next several weeks we will answer that question, so that you have a clear picture of the PFE role at Microsoft.
Welcome to Wednesday and an explanation of what it’s like to be a PFE by a current PFE in their own words.
Here’s what Daniel has to say about his job:

Hello, my name is Daniel and I am a PFE at Microsoft that focuses on the Windows Server Platform. My time at Microsoft has been like a rollercoaster in that it has been non-stop excitement! If you like job satisfaction, challenges, opportunity and much more this is the place!
One week you may covering reactive work, the next week it could be delivering a workshop or one of our proactive deliveries like a Risk Assessment or a Health Check. Each week is different and bring different set of challenges, solutions and customers.
One of the most important things for me is job satisfaction. Being a PFE provides that whether I deliver a workshop, Risk Assessment, or reactive work. I know that when the engagement is over that I have done everything possible to ensure the customer is in better shape than when I arrived and that is a gratifying feeling.
Want to come and work with me?

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