Author Archives: Tyra Nelson

About Tyra Nelson

Corporate Talent Sourcer for Microsoft Services

Gen Y’s Perspective on Microsoft Services




As many of you may already know, Microsoft has a very ‘cool’ program named MACH—Microsoft Academy for College Hire—which mainly focuses on identifying top talent among young graduates and equip them with knowledge, know-how, skills and/or competences required in professional life.


Those who have participated in the MACH program tend to land in senior roles at Microsoft.


Haddy El-Haggan and Sean Wasonga are two of these top young talents, who were spotted among thousands of applicants. Now as part of their “on-the-job training” they are working for Microsoft Services. We wanted to take this chance to benefit from their fresh perspectives and Generation Y’s point of view by asking them couple of questions about their life at Microsoft Services.



What’s your role at Microsoft?



I am an associate TAM in Services for South Africa


I am an associate TAM in Services for Microsoft Gulf and based in Dubai.




What are the top 3 things you like (or don’t like) about your role in Services, or about services in general?



First of all, the role en visions both the Business element and the Technical Side, which is presenting value of Microsoft Solutions in Technology and business for our customers.

This makes Technical Account Manager a trusted advisor to the customer and a sales resource to the business.


As we move into being a Devices and Services company, Services will play a pivotal aspect in the transformation of the organization. Having a role in Services, will give me the privilege to be a key element for this transformation.


The other thing I like, is the ‘tools’ we have. There are a variety of tools that can be used in Services , they are used for several reasons, such as easing of communication for customers, providing deliveries for them in a proper structure such as Unicorn, Axis, SDP and more…



First thing I like about my role is the opportunity of having a direct relationships with customers. It gives you the experience in both technical and relationship management side of the business. 


My role also encourages me to follow latest trends in the market, which is an ongoing learning process. And seeing the way we are embracing these trends to our daily business makes me more eager about my job.

The last thing is; the future is all about services. For example, we don’t measure success by just sales numbers, we want our services to be used and make our customer lives easier.


How much of your time you end up spending with customers, and how much for internal activities?



So far, interactions with customers have been quite a few, as the team is focusing on new financial year planning, but normally the interactions with customers is about 60-70 % of my time and 30-40 % for internal activities.

The customer interactions are mostly through proactive services (Trainings, workshops, Risk assessment).

But Microsoft Services has also reactive engines such as 24/7 Critical situations operations, Problem Resolution Services. The ones who are working for these groups spend their entire time with customers.



It really depends, there are days where we spend our entire time with our customers. Either in their office or having back to back calls to be able to understand their needs. And sometimes we focus on internal activities. Technology is changing everyday so we need to be up to date with relevant trainings and learning opportunities.



How important is CPE (Customer and Partner Experience) for services?


CPE is very important in the services, especially for the Technical Account Manager role. Customer and Partner Experience score is a key metric for a TAM. There are surveys to get customer feedback and based on these surveys we are able to see if we could deliver what was expected form us.



It is not important, it is actually the nature of the business itself. It’s all about customer satisfaction. Our core commitment is enabling our customer through Microsoft technologies, making their lives easier, making their businesses more productive. If they are not happy, it means that our job is not done yet.




What role Services plays in the company transformation?



Microsoft is transforming to a devices and services company. For a successful transformation, Services has the key element of presenting value of our products/Solutions to our customers.



Microsoft Services is a strategic segment for Microsoft. The way I see, Microsoft Services’ success enables all other segments in Microsoft. And it’s the same for the company’s transformation. With all organizational and people capabilities, Services is the key engine for a successful transformation to a Devices and Services company.


What’s the most difficult (funny) situation you have faced in your role?



I attended a chalk and talk session on Configuration Manager at ABSA group, it was being delivered by the Premier Field Engineer of configuration manager. We walked into the presentation room with the PFE and sat at different parts of the room, as I was a visitor and I was given a Barclays Tag.

When the Client came in, he asked where I was from, I said “Kenya”. His assumption was that, I was a representative of Barclays Kenya (Because of the Tag).

Throughout the session he kept explaining banking IT concepts to me, and how they can be influenced to help both ABSA and Barclays, people I should reach out to in the organization.

In the end he realized that I was Microsoft and we all had a good laugh.


How is your collaboration with other groups in Microsoft? (EPG, SMSP, Marketing… etc.)



Technical Account Manager is a Trusted Advisor and a Sales Resource. The most successful renewals take place when the TAM and the assigned seller are agreed on what actions each will do through the sales process.

The guidance services provides, is a best practice and more often result in better outcomes.

However, real success only comes with PARTNERSHIP between the Technical Account Manager and the Seller. (In either EPG – Enterprise and Partners Group or SMS&P – Small and Midmarket Solutions and Partners)



I am very new to the job, to be able to give a clear answer on this one, but EPG and Services have strong ties as two business groups. They are ultimately aiming for the same outcome. EPG sells Microsoft products and solutions and Services makes sure that customer has the best experience with these products and solutions. Services job is basically making customers’ live easier with capable technical people strong know-how such as in deployment to risk assessment, trainings or relevant business solutions scenarios etc. And it’s all about enabling customers through Microsoft Solutions.



Where and when do you see your next role (move) within Microsoft?



Coming from a specialist Technical background (Computer Security), the Opportunities to grow in services are immense, for now the TAM role will give me a defined understanding of the business element in Services, as my next role I would like to move into the Premier Field Engineer role specialism in either Security or application development management, in 1- 2 year period.



Need more time to come-up with an answer for this one 🙂



We wish good luck to Sean and Haddy for their unique journey at Microsoft and especially at Microsoft Services.



Learn more about MACH Program

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Wondering if making a change is right for you? Laila, a TAM in Saudi says: “Go for it! Don’t be afraid!”

Laila Bukhari, a passionate believer in technology and a great example of a female TAM in Services, started her journey at MS as a MACH. Since she joined MS, she experienced how the company appreciates talent while working with inspirational people. A little bit about herself, Laila studied Computer Science and worked in several organizations including MIT in the US before moving to her current role at MS. Let’s meet our talent and explore her journey further.

Laila Bukhari

So how did your journey start with MS?

Officially in 2012, I was hired as a MACH under the Services TAM track. I was pleasantly surprised of how welcoming and supportive the environment was, given I had an accelerated start as I covered a fellow-MACH while she was on maternity leave. As such, I started managing my colleagues’ commercial accounts during my third week at Microsoft!

I was a back-up TAM for 3 months for customer based in the Western region (Jeddah), and I can honestly say it was an incredibly valuable learning experience. Since being in a customer facing role, you are expected to manage your customer during the good and the bad times, but still quite valuable. The best achievement I recall was helping to position the first Premier Mission Critical (PMC) offering in Saudi Arabia and the third in MEA. Credit to my wonderful TAM colleague for closing that opportunity and delivering it, so it was really special to have my name included in the announcement for PMC, it is a great example of being part of a company and a team who knows when to say ‘thank you’ and ‘good job’!

I then relocated to the Eastern region (Al-Khobar) to manage accounts. There were no female TAMs in the East, so I was the first female TAM. I worked closely with a great peer mentor on the account handover, and during that time (Ramadan), a massive cyber-security attack hit my customer, causing a huge crisis for them and some of their affiliates. As an immediate call to action, my colleague and I mobilized the remediation efforts, I cancelled my vacation plans and worked very closely, around the clock, to ensure we had the best resources onsite and offsite available for the customer. Eventually, and with the great support of our army of PFE’s, consultants, CTS and GTSC engineers we were able to rebuild the customer’s IT infrastructure.

Looking back at this experience, I can say it wasn’t the best situation for my customer, but nevertheless, it was a rewarding learning experience, and as a result, my relationship with my customer grew stronger, positioning me as a trusted advisor.


“Come as you are, do what you love” – so from this inspiration, could you please let us know your experience so far as a female Technical Account Manager based in Saudi? What is the best part of your job and what do you like best about working at MS as a female employee?

I am quite an extrovert, I like getting into interesting discussions (technically and philosophically) about what I’m reading, what I’m doing (inside and outside of work) and what I intend to do. I am also a risk taker, I like to challenge the status quo, and this has worked well with my customers, and has paved a way for me to position critical services in a timely manner and capitalize on them, which strengthened Microsoft’s footprint in my accounts in general and my advisory status with my customer in specific. As such, as a TAM, the best part of my job is making an impact on our customers and helping them solve real-life issues as well as optimizing what already exists. As a female working at Microsoft, the best part of my job is working in a female-friendly and supportive environment with talented and inspiring people, especially our female colleagues (shout out to the PHENOMENAL ladies of MS Arabia)! I learn a lot from the great people I work with and I draw inspiration from them.


What advice would you give to other females from your country/area, potentially considering joining Microsoft?

I would say “Go for it & Don’t be afraid!” Our region and country is rapidly changing and there is great potential, so challenge yourself and be part of the change. Know that this company has many areas you can explore, so this is your chance, don’t shy away!

If you are considering to work for Microsoft, you’re in the right direction! Keep in mind that this is a company that challenges you and it is worth it!


Thanks Laila!  If you’re interested in seeing what careers are available for you, you can do that here!



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Working in Microsoft brings opportunities not many fresh graduates can get…

Ania recently joined the MACH program in Poland. Find out more about her experience and why she loves her job!



My journey with Microsoft began when I was right out of university – invited to take part in the recruitment process for MACH graduate program in Poland. My efforts proved successful and I was offered a place in the 2 year program to develop my skills on the position of Technical Account Manager.


Right now after well over a year in the role I am already acting as an independent trusted advisor to Premier Support customers. I am providing guidance around operations and optimization of their IT infrastructure. My role gives me an opportunity to learn how customer’s IT infrastructures work and how Microsoft products are utilized. It gives me insight into various challenges of IT management and possibility to assist the customers to overcome them. But the biggest value in Microsoft are people who are ready to share their knowledge and experience. They are passionate about their work and collaborating with them is an opportunity for someone like me who embraces technology.

You can learn more about our MACH program here

Interested in working for Microsoft Services? Check out our career opportunities!

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Microsoft Consulting Services is holding a recruiting event in Cambridge, MA

Microsoft Consulting Services is holding a recruiting event in Cambridge, MA

Career Invitational – Cambridge, MA

June 26th – 6:00pm – 9:00pm


One Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142

This event is FREE, but space is limited.

Resume and RSVP are mandatory to attend

Send your resume to

We invite you to attend an evening to meet, socialize, and most importantly network with other Professionals in Technology. This career invitational will give you the opportunity to ask any questions you might have about the company, the organization, and the day-to-day lifestyle of a Microsoft Senior Consultant.

We have many open positions in all technologies spaces. To be considered candidates should have current or previous consulting experience (5 years +) and be willing to travel in support of our commercial business.  Some of the technical skills which are focusing on include Dynamics (ERP/CRM) Application Development Manager, Desktop Deployment, Identity Access Management, System Center, Exchange, Lync, Virtualization, SharePoint Architecture/Infrastructure, and Windows Server.

Appetizers & Drinks will be served

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A day in the life of an Enterprise Architect: Nichola J. Pelot

Nic - work profile

I’d like to introduce you to Nichola J. Pelot. She’s an Architect, Enterprise Strategy in our Services group here at Microsoft.  Nichola has been with Microsoft for 9 month’s now, and she’s about to tell us what she does, and why she does it.


Tell us what you do in your day to day role:

Each day brings different challenges and different rewards, and it is rare that any two days are the same, which makes the role both exciting and rewarding.

At its core my role involves helping our clients understand how they can maximize their technology investments to deliver value for their business.

Often I am called upon to act as a bridge between the technical and business community; being a great listener, a great communicator, and having a great deal of empathy are key attributes to being successful.

Being able to understand the business drivers and challenges and speak to the business in their language is foundational.

Being able to talk to the technical teams in their language is crucial.

I tell friends that my role requires me to be bi-lingual – conversing in the language of technology one moment and in the language of business the next.

Switching between the two styles happens regularly and often occurs in meetings with both groups present.


My role involves helping an organization to change how it views technology, and as we all know, change is hard.

However, there is nothing more rewarding when you see both the business and IT come together with common goals, a common language and a common solution.


Practically speaking, I can be developing presentations to give to IT leaders or business leaders on one day; the next, working with the IT strategists on developing a framework to help define their approach to “going to the cloud” or “going mobile”; the next, preparing for and leading workshops to understand the employee or client journeys. Suffice to say, variety is at the heart of this role.


How does your role at Microsoft enable you to have an impact on the world?

My role helps me to have an impact on the world by helping others to excel.

By helping clients to accelerate delivery of a new product, new idea, new capability, I help them to be successful.

The clients I work with range from banking organizations, to engineering organizations, to travel organizations.

Each of them have an amazing set of offerings for their clients, by helping them to better serve their clients I am having a positive effect on the world.

Looking internally Microsoft has an amazing culture that embraces sharing. Sharing your experiences, your knowledge, and your ideas. As a result, I have an impact on my fellow employees by actively participating in this culture, and my fellow employees have had a huge impact on me in sharing what they know.


What made you decide to work at Microsoft?

I chose to come work for Microsoft based on my experiences of interacting with their employees.

The positive attitude, thirst for learning, and enthusiasm for Microsoft’s products, offerings, and capabilities was infectious, and I wanted to become part of that family.


What is it about Microsoft that keeps you here?

Being a relatively new employee, the same drivers that brought me here are keeping me here.

I have learnt not only are my colleagues enthused about the company and its products, but also, they are genuinely interested in me, my views and what I have to offer and are exceedingly willing to help however they can to make me successful


What activities do you enjoy in your spare time?

As a Floridian, by way of Scotland, I enjoy anything that involves being in the sunshine and the warmth. From paddle boarding, to swimming, to sailing.


nichola Pelot word cloud.jpg

Thank you Nichola!

If you are interested in a career with Microsoft Services, you can learn more and search for jobs here!  Microsoft Services Careers

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Women Think Next 2014 – Event

HeaderWomen Think Next is the annual center stage event for women in technology and was initiated by Microsoft in Israel with the objectives of networking, getting to know tech women colleagues in other hi-tech companies and creating new connections and business opportunities.

About the external audience, now prospects, that attended the 5th annual event on May 14:

Almost 600 tech female professionals attended, representing different positions in the booming Israeli hi-tech industry- They came across company sizes- from global hi tech companies to start-ups, tech units in the military, government etc., and also across levels and disciplines- R&D positions, Sales & Marketing and entrepreneurs. During the networking the women actively used the “LinkedIn- Boost your profile” booths.

On the agenda under the theme “Tech women leading the change”
Sue Bevington

Sue Bevington, Corporate VP HR, Sales Marketing and Services Group was talking about the unfolding transformation of the role of women in the workplace and in technology in particular and how all of women are at the VANGUARD of that transformation. In her words: “You lead that transformation to the finish line EACH DAY that you go to work and work harder than the job demands and move the industry forward; EACH DAY that you work towards personal advancement and excellence in your careers; EACH DAY that you inspire another girl, or boy, to choose this calling, to follow your lead, to reshape what technology can do for the world!”


Jennifer Chayes

Jennifer Chayes, Distinguished Scientist and Managing Director, Microsoft Research New England and NYC was talking about creating & leading Microsoft Research labs, her personal journey, what she has learned along the way and what helped her to get here. She shared lots of great learnings, among them: “Allow yourself to dream big dreams– see what’s missing in the world today…articulate your vision to inspire others to join you”. And “Never, ever let go. The key is to keep in the race, lean into the challenges, and try to surround yourself with amazing people who’ll always have your back”.


 Dana porter

Dana Porter – Rubinshtein, Director, Strategy & Business Management at ILDC, led a panel with varied participants that shared their personal journey around leading a change, each in her own org and environment:

  • Anat S. Amir, Founder of Mango Tree LTD, Former CMO of Google Africa and Head of Marketing for Android and Google Mobile in EMEA
  • Colonel Merav Davidovits, Tech Unit at the Israeli Defense Force
  • Prof. Yonina Eldar, Head of SAMPL Lab, Dept of Electrical Engineering, Technion
  • Shira Lev-Ami, CIO, Ministry of Health
  • Marni Mandell, Head of Business Development, Roojoom
  • Liora Shechter, CIO, Tel- Aviv municipality


The last part of the event was roundtables moderated by Microsoft women and more Networking.RT1 RT2 rt3
The next day, May 15, we held the Women Think Next- Students’ Edition with Top female students from CS/ related Eng tier 1 faculties, with Jennifer Chayes as keynote speaker focusing on her career journey and her time as a student.Microsoft employees spent time with the students, sharing with their employment experience and tips to jump start their career, and college positions were offered.

Read More & Pic of “Women Think Next- Students’ Edition”. 

Here are just a few quotes by participants: 

I left the morning, with my ‘batteries charged’ looking forward to my next professional challenge, knowing that I am not alone, not afraid to try and that I can and will succeed”. 

“Thank you for creating an event that focused on the strengths of women.

Thank you for allowing these amazing women to share their journeys and tips towards their success”. 

quotes 1 Quotes 2

Want to see the materials that enable us to Tell Our Story?

Pictures from Women Think Next eventmicrosoft_woman_booklet023 Movie Women@Microsoft in Israel


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Microsoft Consulting Services to host a Career Invitational on Thursday June 12th at 6:00pm in NYC!



If you have current or previous consulting experience (5+ years), are open to travel and have technical skills focusing on Dynamics (ERP/CRM), Application Development, Desktop Deployment, Identity Access Management, System Center, Exchange, Lync, SharePoint Architecture/Infrastructure or Windows Server – then you don’t want to miss this!

Appetizers and drinks will be served.

For more information and to register please click the following link:

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Microsoft to host a Senior Women’s VIP Networking event


On the evening of Thursday, May 29, 2014 SMSG Staffing will be hosting a Senior Women’s VIP Networking event for external females in the sales, services and marketing professions in the Seattle area.

Attendees will spend the evening engaging with senior leaders from across the SMSG organization.

Dinner & Drinks will be served and registration is limited.

If you’d like to take be considered for this exclusive opportunity, please email us with your resume to – Subject line: SMSG Women’s Networking Event, May 29th.



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“Change is the only constant”

change is the only constant

A lot has happened since I joined the MACH program.

Why I decided to join in the first place is something you can read on Meet the MACHs – Stefanie Steenbrugge.

This is the sequel of my story.


Only one year after my debut as a Marketing MACH, I was offered to take on an additional role as Partner Account Manager for Learning Partners. I immediately believed it was the perfect opportunity to get introduced into the world of sales and broaden my knowledge outside my comfort zone. I changed direction, but so did Microsoft, and so did the people around me. Managers and team members came and went. Colleagues became friends, all sharing experiences in one big international network of young professionals. Eager to learn and continuously adjusting to an ever-changing market, I acquired new skills whereas Microsoft acquired companies such as Nokia and Yammer.

Combining both roles was challenging, exhausting at some times. However, it taught me to work more efficiently and to prioritize, and at Microsoft hard work pays off. By the end of my second year I received a Gold Excellence award, a special honour for top performing employees. Each time I get to the next level, I can hardly believe I just did. Microsoft has the ability to reveal talents you thought you never had. Thanks to a wide range of soft skill trainings and the possibility to attend highly valued IT networking events, the sky is the limit. Never think something is a bridge too far. Always remember you are surrounded by many intelligent and highly motivated people who will never withhold a helping hand. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, from colleagues or customers, inside or outside your team. Use their suggestions as bricks to build any bridge you want.


What changes will you make this year? Start by checking out job opportunities in Microsoft Services here!

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This is your mission – should you choose to accept it….

public sector services


Join us in our Race to the Finish – FY14 Q4

Microsoft Public Sector Services in partnership with the local DC WiT Chapter, Military to Microsoft (M2M) and our Microsoft Services Diversity Champions is excited to announce our Mission Possible Event Series!

Throughout the month of May, we will be hosting exclusive interview events and networking opportunities across the entire Public Sector Services Business!

 Now is the time to refer your friends and colleagues!! 

Premier Field Engineer: Consultant:
Provides technical support for Microsoft’s enterprise customers world-wide through onsite and remote support services.  Act as the primary onsite technical contact, advanced technical troubleshooting support and problem resolution for customers, including issues escalated to the highest levels of management. Requires both broad and deep technology knowledge and the ability to architect a solution by mapping a customer’s business problem to an end-to-end technology solution.


Technology Targets:
  • SQL
  • Systems Center
  • Identity Management / FIM
  • Exchange / Platforms
  • Lync / Voice


To be considered for this exclusive event, please send candidate resumes to

Be sure to indicate “Mission Possible Events” in the Subject Line


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