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Empower Every Person… including Yourself! – My (Short) Story in Microsoft [ENG]

Warning: This post is over 365 days old. The information may be out of date.

I’ll spend next week in the Microsoft offices in Lyngby (Denmark) where, as you might know, an important part of the Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations engineering team works.

First time I came to this office was many years ago to attend a job interview that I failed miserably in that engineering team. Here’s the story:

One good day, somehow, I found myself connected to a remote interview with one of my long-time work-related idols: the engineer who, by the time I started learning to develop in Dynamics AX, was maintaining the only X++ focused blog on Internet. I failed this first interview, but he told me something along the lines of (I don’t remember the exact words): “it did not go very well but I will give you a GO today, so you can come here to a full interview cycle in a couple of weeks. Use this time wisely, prepare it better or you won’t do it.”. I prepared the best I could, came there, attend and failed 4 interviews in a row. When the hiring manager told me I was not going to get an offer, it was not of any surprise. I came back home frustrated and mad at me for the lost opportunity.

But the 3+ hours flying back to Spain are time enough to relax and reflect. I did an inventory of what just happened: It was the first time I came to Denmark; first time I was in a Microsoft office, and definitely first time I met any Microsoft employee, who were super welcoming during all day and, as I discovered the hard way, also were fairly smart on what they did on their day-to-day job. But even most importantly, someone in this (long-time venerated for me) engineering team thought I could do it and gave me the chance to try. I never thought I could do it myself! That was an inflection point. I keep wonderful memories of that experience and will unlikely forget it.

Book and notebook from my preparation time. It was short but intense :) I tried a couple more times and also didn’t succeed for different reasons, meanwhile I become an MVP and, years after, I got a call from a recruiter (38 months ago, but who is counting), went through the process again, and this time I nailed it! I became a Premier Field Engineer and I’m enjoying it since then (thanks, Christian!).

Next week I will come back there, nominated by my manager to attend a Technical Leadership Development Program, to the office where I failed the first and greatest time, if you can believe it. (Thanks, Carolin!)

Why Microsoft?

I have been more or less involved on hiring for my team in Microsoft throughout these years, and I like it. I did it already for my previous employers also, and I have always had in mind my first experience described above to drive my relationship with candidates since then. I hope I managed to transmit this growth mindset to them, no matter if the candidates finally got the offer or not. If, at some point, you have had an interview with me and you couldn’t give your best this day, that’s never a “No”, consider it as a “Not yet” in the worst case.

You can’t get bored at Microsoft. Seriously. You’d find way more opportunities to learn, teach, grow and experiment than you will ever have time to take. There are so many astounding things happening around, that the most difficult part would be choosing your favorite, including what are sometimes called “hard” and “soft” skills.

Growth mindset

I don’t like calling “soft skills” that way, I rather prefer the new trend of “human skills” as they may be seen as what distinguishes humans from machines (empathy, motivation, fear, confidence, and yes: leadership). There are two things I love working at Microsoft amongst the others: you can always be yourself*; and you are encouraged (empowered if you wish) to growth and help others growth.

Empower every person… including yourself!

Even as an individual contributor, I discovered one of the things I enjoy the most working here, what makes me prouder of what I achieved, is contributing to the success of others, which is not trivial considering such a talented team like my peers.

During this journey I’ve been involved in hiring, as mentioned, but also in mentoring some of our new joiners and volunteering on different initiatives that make our team more efficient, while we deliver better quality for our customers.

Other peers, of course, are taking their own paths, driving different initiatives, but always with the idea of growth and make others growth in mind. Diversity comes with an incredible range of behaviors and cultural differences, my team helps customers all around EMEA region, and this diversity is a never-ending source of fresh ideas that make the team better than the sum of its individuals.


I can’t wait to attend the program next week and see what this new opportunity takes, but hopefully this story empowers some reader to believe she/he can do it also, and we can meet there the next time. We have open positions on my team (and also on different teams and different regions, related or not with Dynamics family). Go and start your new adventure!


*I’m a declared introvert, so talking about myself is not something I typically enjoy. But growing is also taking controlled risks, and I hope this story inspires others to take the risk and eventually came and be our new colleague :)

Published first on LinkedIn, let me a comment there to see your thoughts!

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