Today is a pretty special day as I cross the 20 year milestone as an employee with Microsoft. I still remember my first day like it was yesterday. So many things have transpired since January 2001. I was hired just before Microsoft ANNOUNCED (Feb 5) and then SHIPPED (Oct 25) Windows XP and Office XP. That year, Microsoft launched the original XBOX (Nov 15) and I remember sleeping on the sidewalk in front of Best Buy and hanging out with about 100 folks waiting for the doors to open.
I have, and continue to, work with some of the sharpest minds in the industry. I’ve seen many come and many go over the years. I have been mentored and coached by some of the great leaders in the industry and am thankful for many of the learnings that have stayed with me.
My most favorite part about being an employee with Microsoft is that they give me the freedom to take risks and to try and be the best representative to our customers and partners. My passion is our customers. I love learning about their business and the people that work for them.
One of my most fond memories with Microsoft is spending two weeks in Kenya as part of Microsoft’s MySkills4Afrika program. During that trip I got to put all of the pieces together – my skills, my passions, and my love for customers – and visit one of my colleague’s customers, Karirana Estates. The highlight is that we spent half a day learning about their business including the field visit to pick tea leaves to learning their entire process to make tea and getting it into the hands of their customers (story).
Today I am grateful. I am grateful for a company that has invested so much into me. I’m a better person, both professionally and personally, thanks to Microsoft.