One MVP’s Personal Story as a Mentor

Editor’s note: The following post was written by Dynamics CRM MVP Donna Edwards

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As a Dynamics CRM MVP, I am committed to community.  I engage with the community across several channels to include Facebook, Dynamics CRM Community, MVP Award Program, Twitter and others.  Often people reach out to me when they need help with a technical or functional issue or just some general guidance about the Dynamics CRM application like where can they find training, help with a support issue etc..  Sometimes those connections result in relationships that span several years and I am given the opportunity to help someone along their career and life path.

A few years back, Gitanjali Singh sent a friend request to me on Facebook.  I accepted and we spent the next few months getting to know each other, discussing issues that women face in our countries and around the world, work challenges, family relationships and more.  During one of our chats, Gitanjali shared one of her life aspirations with me.  As with many life aspirations, it seemed challenging but one I wanted to encourage her to try and achieve. 

When I am faced with what appears to be a daunting goal, I take the approach of envisioning a path and identifying steps along that path that I believe will move me in the direction of achieving the goal.  I try to make the steps as achievable as possible.  As I move along the path, I might modify the steps as new opportunities, possibilities or challenges present themselves while keeping the long term objective in sight.  I took that same approach with Gitanjali's aspirations and provided a suggested first step on her path to achieving her goal.  That first step was to secure a position with Microsoft as a support engineer. 

Gitanjali posed several questions to me over the course of the next several months and we had many long chats on Facebook.  We discussed things like how to get started, how to submit a resume, financial questions, dealing with comments from those who attempted to discourage her or create fear or uncertainty, speaking with family members, logistical questions and more.  As questions or concerns came up we chatted through each one, and together worked through them.  Gitanjali accepted all of my advice and worked through the 6 to 8 month process of getting hired with Microsoft.  After several rounds of interviews and some year-end related delays, she was hired as a Microsoft Support engineer and has now been with Microsoft for more than a year. 

Being a successful Microsoft Support Engineer is not an easy job and not for the faint of heart.  Microsoft Support Engineers are held to high standards and they get the challenging issues that the customer and their partner cannot solve.  I was confident that she would be up to the challenge and I am very happy for her that the position is working out.  I have no doubt she will achieve whatever she wants from life and I look forward to the day when she contacts me to let me know her life aspiration was realized. 

Keep paying it forward MVP’s.  Give and mentor every opportunity you have.  We make a difference and are changing lives for the better.

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