Former student Daisy Shines at Microsoft

Former student Daisy, 20, who studied A Levels in English Literature, Criminology and Psychology, now works at Microsoft as a Commercial Executive Associate, soon to be completing her Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship.

Daisy attended our STEM Careers Fair earlier this month as an exhibitor so we asked her some questions.

Please tell us who you are, where you come from and what you are doing now.

I’m Daisy, I recently turned 20 and have lived in South Oxfordshire my whole life. I attended Chiltern Edge school from Years 7-9, and Langtree from Years 10-11.

I have been working as an apprentice at Microsoft since July 2021, completing my L3 Business Administration apprenticeship. I’m looking forward to continuing my education with my Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship which I’m starting in January and staying at Microsoft to complete.

My day-to-day role is a Commercial Executive Associate in the Enterprise Commercial sector, where I provide support to Education and Commercial deals for the Licensing Operations team here at Microsoft and also in our partner ecosystem.

Outside of work, I love animals and recently got a new puppy. I also have horses and enjoy riding and competing when I have time.

When did you come to The Henley College, what did you study here, and how did you get on?

I was a student at The Henley College from September 2019 - May 2021 and I studied English Literature, Criminology and Psychology achieving grades of B, B, C. My time at The Henley College was interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic and Lockdown which affected my motivation at times but I’m sure a lot of students can relate.

What was your first impression of The Henley College?

As someone who had only ever been at relatively small schools before college, the number of people spread across the two campuses definitely overwhelmed me, but a lot of people from my secondary school also went to Henley which helped until I had met more people in my classes.

Why did you choose to come here? What helped make up your mind?

The main reason I chose Henley was due to the vast amount of courses offered – in particular Criminology as I didn’t know anywhere else offering this course. I also preferred the idea of more independent study which you get at a college as opposed to a Sixth Form.

What is your best memory of your time at The Henley College and why?

My best memories from my time at The Henley College were probably those from my time with my friends before the Covid-19 pandemic and going to Spoons in my free periods. I also miss having such long holiday breaks!

Did you always want to do what you are doing now?

I definitely would like to be in the same type of role, however I’d like to progress forwards in my career – perhaps to a position like a Commercial Executive or Account Executive. At the moment I’m very happy where I am and there’s so much more to learn.

What has influenced your decisions about the subjects you have studied and the career path you have chosen?

When I started college I was very interested in the justice system and wanted to be a solicitor. I am still interested in this but some of Microsoft’s stories about AI and how technology can be used in a variety of positive ways across so many fields I became very interested in the tech sector. However, I am not a technical person by any stretch of the imagination, so a role in the business side of this industry appealed much more to me.

What are your ambitions for the future?

In the future I want to experience working abroad as I am interested in travelling. Perhaps instead of living abroad, a job with more opportunities to travel to other countries so I can experience as many different places as possible would be ideal.

What do you think The Henley College did for you – aside from the qualifications you gained? 

I think The Henley College taught me the importance of being self-motivated in my studies, and some of the skills I learnt in my classes I use frequently for my apprenticeship assignments – for example Harvard Referencing.

If you had one piece of advice for a 15-16 year old thinking about their future, what would it be?    

Don’t put pressure on yourself to take the typical university path if you don’t think it is right for you, you can be successful going down a different path.

If you feel uncomfortable in career/education decisions, it means you are stepping out of your comfort zone – don’t shy away from situations or opportunities which may seem daunting.

If you have high hopes like Daisy, start your journey with us by applying to The Henley College here.

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