Kelly Walker

Degree: Business Studies with Year in Industry, Graduated 2014

Kelly graduated in 2014 and is currently working for Microsoft.

Can you describe your current role?

I am on Microsoft’s MACH (graduate) scheme for marketing, based in the Central Marketing Organisation. I am currently a Marketing Communications Manager for small and mid-size business. I look at the competitive landscape for this audience and manage how we launch our global marketing campaign with Microsoft UK’s partner network. I am fortunate that my scheme enables me to move around the teams in my department and experience working with different audiences.

What was the application process for Microsoft like?

Although it changes every year, when I applied for my placement I had to submit an application form and CV; complete a logical reasoning test; pass a telephone interview and then take part in an assessment centre based at the UK HQ in Reading. I left mine knowing that I would love working there, which I think is really important, as it's a two-way process—you need to assess them too! 

How do you feel the University of Liverpool Management School prepared you?

I studied Business Studies with a Year in Industry, which definitely prepared me for the working world. By studying a range of disciplines, including finance, digital and international-based modules, I have a range of skills and knowledge I can now draw upon. Most modules invited guest speakers from industry to speak to students—they demonstrated how the theory learned on the course applies to the real world.

I would not have my current role without my placement, which was also at Microsoft, as I was able to develop my skills and build networks. The student activities available at the Management School, gave me plenty to talk about in interviews. In particular, my involvement in Enactus Liverpool meant I had developed solid leadership skills, was comfortable working with stakeholders and could demonstrate my initiative—all of which are vital to my current role.

Can you tell us about your placement?

I did my marketing placement with Microsoft, and was based in the Xbox advertising division. Our department revolved around selling advertising on Xbox. I was the Trade Marketing Coordinator, and my main responsibilities included events management sales enablement, and internal communications. Day-to day-activities consisted of preparing documentation communicating key sales information to the UK and EU sales teams, organising site visits, negotiating with suppliers and running events. Prior to going on placement we had a preparation module; we received talks on the recruitment process, undertook psychometric tests, developed presentation skills and learnt how to thoroughly research a company. Those kind of fundamental skills really helped when applying for a placement.

What are your future career plans?

I plan to stay with Microsoft for as long as I can! I find the company culture suits my personality, and I enjoy the opportunities and responsibilities I’ve been given. I’m keen to stay in marketing, as there are so many different areas to explore. I can be challenged with a new environment, within the same discipline. Eventually I’d love to make an international career move. Working for a global company has shown me how many opportunities are out there, and it would be really interesting to experience how marketing differs across borders.