Getting Connected to Microsoft
I was volunteering at IEEE in the student branch of my university (Telecommunications Engineering Department of Technical University of Madrid – ETSIT-UPM) when a technical evangelist introduced the Microsoft Student Tech Club (STC) initiative. After that introduction, I talked to some friends and decided to found the STC of my University.
During my first years at the STC, I participated in Imagine Cup, a competition I love, but I didn’t qualify to the finals. That didn’t stop me from trying (and failing again, hahaha).
Becoming an MSP
I soon fell in love with the program and moved from building robots and programming some apps to organizing events and learning a lot about marketing. I made so much noise that in June 2008 I entered the Microsoft Student Partner (MSP) program. That was the boost I needed to keep on spreading the word and engage more students into the program.
Lectures and Microsoft events taught me a lot about technology, but Microsoft also boosted my marketing, innovation and creativity skills. I also developed some XNA apps for Windows Phone 7 (and now for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8).
During my first exchange experience in 2009 I kept in contact with the MSPs from Singapore (my destination) and mentored the ones that would stay in Madrid. It was in 2010 when I entered the competition to be a student representative of the Microsoft Students to Business Program at the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Washington D.C. with a video I filmed at home the night before one of my finals (it was pretty funny).
Worldwide Partner Conference
At WPC I met amazing people that shared interests with me, people that soon became friends, close friends. There I got to know Azure and all its potential from Steve Ballmer; I had the chance to meet some of those people I’ve always dream to meet (Bill Buxton, Jon Roskill…) and get in touch with professionals from all around the globe. I learned more about Windows Phone 7 from Augusto Valdez himself (and interviewed him) and also checked out Ford SYNC.
We tweeted, blogged, interviewed, learned, recorded and networked so much that I couldn’t say no when Kimberly Voltero offered me to go back to WPC the following year.
When I came back to Spain, Microsoft offered me a grant to work at Technical University of Madrid Entrepreneurship Department, where I learned everything I know about entrepreneurship and BizSpark. That led me to take some courses during my following exchange experiences (in China and Brazil) about business and entrepreneurship.
Working for Microsoft
When I finally landed in Spain, I started working at Microsoft with the programs for students and entrepreneurs in the DPE Team (an amazing team). I now work with the technical audiences I love: students and entrepreneurs - people with tons of energy that love what they do. This give me the opportunity to share the newest technologies with both of them and see how they can get the best of them through Microsoft technologies. I can’t be more proud of the students involved in the STCs, MSP program, OlimpiadAPPs and Imagine Cup and those entrepreneurs we have in BizSpark.
If people ask me about a good advice to help them land a great tech job after graduation I would recommend them to open their mind, get to know as much about newest technologies as they can and try to get some business and marketing skills. And the most important thing: do what you love and do it with passion!
You reach me in Twitter at @israelarribas and see some of my videos from WPC in the Students to Business’ YouTube Channel
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