TL;DR – Think again.
Microsoft is a brand that probably everyone – and I really mean everyone – who has used a computer before would know of. In fact, if you were to ask any layperson on the street, he or she would probably be able to name one or more of the following products:
- Microsoft Office
- Xbox One
- Windows 95. I’m kidding, it’s Windows 98. Fine, Windows 10.
The truth is, Microsoft is more than just the products and services it offers. I recently attended a Learning Journey to Microsoft as part of the LIT series #LearningIsTriggered, organised by Young NTUC, in support of Skillsfuture Festival 2018, and got to meet Gary Lim, Director, Education & Skills as well as Shuna Khoo, Education Programs Manager, from Microsoft Singapore. Boy, did we learn a lot more about the brand and industry on the whole.
Empowering every person
For a start, we were introduced to Microsoft’s mission. The company strives to create local opportunity, growth, and impact in every country around the world and their strategy is to build best-in-class platforms and productivity services for an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge infused with artificial intelligence (“AI”). It’s about using technology to bring people close, regardless of who you are, where you are, it is inclusive, and it’s about the people.
One of the biggest debates with the rise of technology in today’s world has to be the human aspect. Are machines taking over the world? With technologies that farms tons and tons of data, how can we ensure that it’s not being misused? It’s the social responsibility that Microsoft focus on as a design, not an afterthought. In plain English, they do things with trust, privacy, transparency, ethics, accountability, and I know it sounds like I am just throwing out random buzzwords but this is what it is. The company values our data that we (unknowingly perhaps) entrust them with.
It’s more than just technology
A rather interesting personal experience was shared by Shuna Khoo, Education Programs Manager to us about how she completed her education in fields that have almost nothing to do with technology but yet she has found herself a career in Microsoft.
This is actually not uncommon these days. Our skill sets are actually built horizontally and no longer vertically. Times have changed and we are no longer in an era where employers value specialised skills only. During their presentation, they shared about the skills and qualities that make one employable – regardless of the industry you’re in.
This is actually a very common question asked by youngsters these days. Many are worried that once they step into the working world, they end up stuck in one industry because of their first job or find it difficult to move out of their own field of study. On the contrary, you might want to know that employers actually value the different knowledge and experience their employees can bring to the table from the different industries.
Nurturing the next generation
Microsoft as one of the big technology giants might surprise you that they are actually very invested in helping youths realise their aspiration to join the tech sector through education.
Youths and young professionals from around the world are actually allowed to access and enroll to these courses.
It’s all in the mind
While life-long learning and deep skill learning is important, end of the day, it’s still all in the mind. Shuna shared about the importance of how growth mindset can actually help one in learning and improving. It’s not just about how good one is but about how much better he or she can become. This growth mindset also doesn’t apply only to individual but to organisations as well.
More than just PowerPoint
This fun, informative and engaging session was indeed quite an eye-opener. Besides the obvious that we got to find out more about Microsoft, more importantly, we also learnt the importance of lifelong learning and adopting the right growth mindset.
Young NTUC (YNTUC) has collaborated with SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) to kickoff a learning series “LIT” in support of the SkillsFuture Festival 2018. The flagship conference held on 10 July under the series – LIT Xchange featured a two-part programme including a conference and networking segment. Invited speakers from IBM Singapore, VISA Inc and ViSenze gave a macro perspective on recent industry developments and career opportunities beyond our shores. Following the flagship conference, 6 other career programmes were also made available under the LIT Series for youth’s participation. The Learning Journey to Microsoft marks the end of the LIT series #LearningIsTriggered, that was organised by Young NTUC, in support of Skills Future Festival 2018.