Found a Mentor: Step #1 to my Success!

EMEA
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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