Saul Parkinson

12 Jan Saul Parkinson

Job title: Xbox Live Advertising Product Manager
Type of position: Placement
Company: Microsoft
Degree: International Business
Year of Graduation: 2015

Why I loved it:

“I was given the same responsibility of a full time employee which made me feel valued and an integral part of the team. There was a lot of emphasis on personal development and stretch goals which added a lot of value to the placement. My role’s responsibilities were varied such as a monthly presentation to a sales team, ensuring the Xbox One advertising pricing was set correctly across Europe before the launch date and monitoring the performance of our advertising products.”

My best experience/greatest achievement:

“I managed a project outside of my typical role responsibilities which resulted in the release of a global marketing tool that was finished on time and within budget. This involved managing a number of stakeholders such as the development team and the potential users. Once the project was completed I presented the tools capabilities on a conference call to a global Microsoft audience of around 50 individuals.”

What I learned:

“I have learned far more in my placement year both in terms of personal and professional development than I have in my first two years of university. Microsoft supported me in the development of my presentation and management skills in a professional setting and also enabled me to achieve Microsoft Office 2013 qualifications for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.”

About my experience/Tips for students:

“I cannot stress the importance of proactive engagement in your work and your professional network. Invest time and effort into creating a professional network by getting to know your peers and then utilising that network by demonstrating an enthusiastic drive for taking on new challenges and helping others for the benefit of you, your colleagues and the business. My biggest achievement at Microsoft came out of a conversation I had with another colleague who was willing to put trust in me and give me full responsibility of a project.”