Welcome to a new series of posts, going behind the scenes at Microsoft UK and sharing with you what a day in the life of our employees is really like. This week you meet George Charnley, an Xbox Product Marketing EMEA Intern. Find out how George landed his internship here, as well as an insight into his role and a bit of a gaming discussion.
1. What’s your role and how did you get there?
I am an intern in the Xbox Product Marketing team, two thirds of the way through my internship year here at Microsoft. I started as a Data Analyst for Xbox but moved to marketing shortly after joining. My background is with a degree in Aerospace Engineering, so quite different from marketing! But I’m loving the new experiences and have learnt so much this past 7 months.
2. What did you want to be when you ‘grew up’ and why?
A rocket scientist! What boy doesn’t want to be involved in rockets, explosions and spaceships? At least, that’s how it started. But honestly, I have always welcomed a challenge and I love to be at the front of something exciting. I also liked maths and making things, so studying Aerospace Engineering was the logical choice for me.
3. What is it that attracted you to a career at Microsoft?
Engineering and technology are closely linked and I love how technology is constantly changing and produces new challenges each year. I was impressed by the Be Your Future Blog, which gave the impression of a really welcoming place to work that considered people from all kinds of backgrounds, so applying to the internship scheme was a no-brainer for me.
4. Have you always been interested in gaming?
Yes, but more than just interested! It started in 1999 when my parents were away for the day… My brothers and I convinced our babysitter we were allowed to get our savings out of the bank and buy a Nintendo 64 together. That was a great day.
5. What have been the biggest opportunities and challenges in your role so far?
The opportunities have been countless and I consider myself one of the luckiest 20 year olds around. I work with countless people who have decades of experience in the video game industry – Just last week I helped at a media preview event in London where I met producers on big titles, video game journalists and YouTubers from all over Europe!
The biggest challenge at first was immersing myself in all things marketing, but I used my passion for the industry to drive me through the steep learning curve and I am absolutely loving my role at the moment. At least it’s not rocket science, right?
6. What the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career to date?
There’s no rude way to address someone ‘sir’. Unless you’re speaking to a female, of course!
7. If you had to compare yourself to a Disney character which would you choose and why?
Really? Wow… It’s got to be Baloo Bear from Jungle Book, “cos it’s the bear necessities”.
8. What are your personal interests outside of Microsoft?
In my spare time I play Ultimate Frisbee! What a sport. If you haven’t heard about it, go on YouTube right now and search for ‘Ultimate Frisbee Highlights’. You won’t be disappointed, I promise!
9. Finally, which games have really caught your attention at the moment?
A personal favourite of mine at the moment is Ori and the Blind Forest. Such a beautiful game with a moving story line… It’s also annoyingly difficult! But that’s what I love about it.