My First Week at Microsoft

I’ve just finished week one as a Senior Customer Engineer (CE) at Microsoft and wanted to document how I thought things went.

Preboarding

Before I start to document week one, I want to talk about the preboarding process prior to my first official day.

Most preboarding tasks were handled remotely via email and several online tools. I was able to complete most of the standard company background check online. I did have to schedule a 15-minute appointment 20 minutes from our home in New Jersey just over the border into Pennsylvania to complete the identity verification component.

Microsoft has a simple web store front end for new hires that I used to order my new work computer. At first, I was sent a Surface Pro which turned out to be low spec’d for my new role. The error was quickly rectified with a replacement Surface Book 3.

At this point there was nothing to do but wait for my first day.

Onboarding

My role as a Customer Engineer is 100% remote. I’ll be working from my home office (starting in New Jersey with a move to North Carolina).

Day One – Monday, May 17, 2021

My first day started with a phone call from my new manager at 9AM. This was the first time we spoke as we had only exchanged email previously and he was not part of my interview loop. After the initial introduction, we got down to the business of getting me online and connected. The initial login process was simple, I was quickly logged in to my Surface Book and connected to the corporate network.

Once connected we switched from phone to Microsoft Teams for the next hour or so. He took me through some initial team information, invited me to all upcoming team meetings and directed me on how to start working my way through the corporate onboarding process.

I spent the rest of the day working through some of the mandatory assigned training that all US employees are required to complete.

Day Two – Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Day two started by meeting with my “onboarding buddy” via Teams. My buddy is a member of my direct team performing the same job role. This initial meeting was to get introduced and start walking through the role and responsibilities of a Customer Engineer. I was provided with a ton of information in the hour-long session – links, videos, and more PowerPoint decks to review than any human should be subjected to.

I spent the next few hours reviewing some of the provided information and continued to work through my assigned corporate onboarding material.

In the afternoon I had a two-hour session with my manager to continue learning about Microsoft, the Manufacturing Customer Success Unit, and the expectations for me in my new role.

I ended the day working on HR related tasks to ensure that all my personal information was correct. After all – I do want to get compensated at some point 🙂

Day Three – Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Day three started with more corporate learning. It’s been 14 years since I started at a new company, but things have changed when it comes to core culture training. Microsoft not only talks the talk – they also walk the walk.

Even though my role is 100% remote I normally would have attended a multi-day in-person orientation session. Being more than a year into the Covid-19 pandemic, Microsoft has moved to a virtual New Employee Orientation (NEO) Session. Today was the day for my half-day virtual NEO Session. The three-hour session went by quickly – great presenters, great content, and excited attendees.

Finished the day out completing the final new hire forms as my account had finished propagating through the US HR systems.

Day Four – Thursday, May 20, 2021

Day four left me to my own devices. No meetings, no check-ins, just time to work through and process the past three days and the information firehose.

Part of my new role is the delivery of Managed Intellectual Property (MIP). MIP content is the delivery of a workshop and/or assessment to drive customer knowledge on a particular topic. To ensure that a Customer Engineer fully understands the content being delivered, each CE must be accredited before they can deliver a MIP to a customer. I reviewed the current list of available MIPs, decided on my first accreditation, and spent the day beginning to learn the content for delivery.

Day Five – Friday, May 21, 2021

Day five started with back-to-back meetings – check-in with my manager, check-in with my onboarding buddy, and my first official team meeting where I got to meet the rest of my team (virtually). Thankful for cameras so I could put names to faces.

I spent the afternoon continuing to study for my first MIP accreditation.

It also quickly became apparent that today was the day current and former members of the Mars Incorporated CSU team realized that I had started at Microsoft. It was great to hear from so many wishing me well on my new journey. The offers to help and provide guidance were appreciated and I will certainly take up those offers in the future.

Wrapping Up

My first week at Microsoft was great! Overall, onboarding is proceeding smoothly given the challenges of doing everything remote.

I’m happy to be working in a friendly and welcoming environment. There’s still a long way to go, and I’ll make sure to continue writing about it.

If you’ve read this far, thanks for your time. I really hope you got some value from this post.

John Bowersox
Disciple. Husband. Father. Cloud Architect & Engineer.

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