Monday, 11 May 2015

Waingels College Interview Experience day – Microsoft Helping to Build Career

Subject: "Microsoft visit Waingels College to Guide student about Interview to make their career"
Article credit: Zain Luke Ali

Recently 25 Microsoft employees spent a day at Waingels College, Reading, to help over 200 students experience what it is like to have a job interview. This is the seventh year Microsoft has supported this event which aims to help students develop their interview skills to help them with their future careers. On the day, 20 exceptional students were selected to visit Microsoft for the day to learn more about what an inspiring place this is to work.

“It is a wonderful day”, says Rob Archer. “It is wonderful to see the students come out of their shells during the interview and tell you about their lives and then help them with tips for when they need to do this for real. I feel privileged to be empowered by Microsoft to be able to run these events and blessed to have the ongoing support from all that make this possible”.

Services' own Elliot Ball was selected as a top student at the 2012 interview day and was inspired to work for Microsoft following his visit. Elliot is now one of the first Microsoft apprentices, working in the Application and Development team for Salvador Alvarez Patuel. Returning to Waingels College for this year’s interview day, Elliot has experienced both sides of this day at the College.

In Elliot’s own words:

“Both positions were quite the experience”, says Elliot. “It was amazing to be able to go back to my old school after joining Microsoft. It was on that day and my visit to Microsoft afterwards that I decided this would be my dream place to work, and I was inspired to apply for the apprenticeship program.”

“I remember arriving in 2012 with a smile on my face, ready to take on the day. I was nervous about the interview but also very excited and had done a lot of research beforehand on everything Microsoft. It was interesting to see how things were laid out and the types of questions the interviewers asked me. As soon as the results were announced I sat there, surprised to discover I had been selected as one of the winning students. I felt very proud of myself – it was a very unique experience and a fantastic opportunity.”

“To be on the other side of the table and to see the latest students experiencing what I did was an opportunity I was not going to miss. To see how excited they were to hear about Microsoft really got to me. It was more difficult than expected to interview them but my colleague, Jamie Dalton helped me. It was quite an experience being on the other side of the table but very enjoyable. It was a difficult decision choosing the winning student at the end, and I really hope the students were inspired and that the interviews have helped them for the future.”

Feedback from Waingels College has been fantastic year on year and this year is no different:

“Waingels College has had the relationship with Microsoft for a number of years”, says Ann Keane-Maher (Head Teacher). “The interview day is a fantastic experience and we are delighted and grateful for the time that the Microsoft volunteers give to us as a school and to each student in particular. It has become a real highlight in the school calendar for Year 11 and the follow up visit to Microsoft for the winners is the icing on the cake. Pupils have felt so confident by the end of the process. It has made an incredible difference and we see all our pupils change their thinking about their future. We are proud to have Microsoft as a partner.”
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