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Brian May
David May

Programme Manager at Microsoft USA

Turning to new technologies

It was my first work placement in a company that led me into the field of new technologies. I did it between my second and third years at the School.

I joined the IBM Corporation group, which everyone knows. Right from the start, I really enjoyed working in the field of tech and innovation. After my studies, I decided to go in that direction.

I also wanted to work in another country and gain international experience. It was thanks to the School that I was recruited by Oracle because an alumnus was working there.

He discovered my CV online on the Alumni website and recruited me into his company. That was my first step into the world of technology.

I went on to develop a lot in this sector, taking on different roles within the company. And when this person left the company to go to SAP, I followed him. We worked together for a period of 7 or 8 years before I left for Microsoft.

A desire to work internationally

I really liked France, but I really wanted to go abroad to learn more professionally and practise other languages.

I also left because there are a lot of international opportunities in the tech sector, probably more than if I stayed in France.

When you agree to be mobile all over the world, you open yourself up to many more opportunities than if you stayed within a 50 km radius of your home.

Develop throughout your career

I've had two key roles in my career, one purely sales-oriented, offering technology solutions to large companies, while the other was more on the technical and development side.

Moving from one sector to the other was a crucial step in my career. It was at that point that I felt I had made the right decision. I was good at sales, but I didn't want to devote my whole career to it.

It can be exhausting to constantly follow sales targets. I'd had enough of it. At the same time, my company had opened up a position for a sales specialist in the tech sector.

It was the meeting point between an opportunity and the need to get away from the sales sector.

Looking back now, I'm really glad I changed, because the objectives are completely different. We think more strategically rather than always trying to win new contracts and new customers.

In this job, I have to think more broadly. My current job involves training my teams on how to develop Microsoft products to best meet consumer needs and generate sales.

In short, my job is to generate the best possible products.

Meeting success and failure in business

There are times when we succeed in what we set out to do, and other times when we don't. This doesn't necessarily mean that you're bad. This does not necessarily mean that you are bad. It's simply a mismatch between who you are as an individual and the role you play. It can also come from the company you're in, management or the state of the market.

You can always learn from your experiences, even when things aren't going well. In that case, you need to try to step back and reflect on what's going well and what's not.

Try to find the reasons for your difficulties and, above all, don't take it personally.

Most of the time, it's not a lack of work, determination or commitment that's to blame. When things aren't going well, you can always change jobs, companies or even move to another country.

If it doesn't work out where you are, there's always a perfect job for you somewhere.

This happened to me when I was working in a sales department and things weren't working as well as I'd hoped. I wasn't necessarily achieving my objectives. Looking back now, I realise that the market wasn't ready for this type of product. What's more, the market was really closed.

I don't regret this experience because I've learnt a lot. This kind of failure is not the end of the world, it's an opportunity for you to learn for your future business experiences.

My current position at Microsoft

I'm a programme manager at Microsoft. My role is to develop the Azure Cloud suite by giving strategic direction to my development teams.

The programmes have to meet the needs of the market and users. We also need to be able to stand out from the competition.

To stay up to date with the latest technologies, you need to be constantly reading up.

Large companies such as Microsoft have fully understood this need and give us several days a month to carry out technology monitoring.

Just by interacting with our colleagues, we learn a lot because everyone is training very regularly.

French excellence

I think there are a lot of opportunities for French students and workers to go and work in the United States, whether in tech or other sectors.

The education you get in France allows you to come and practise abroad and develop your skills. Generally speaking, French people are fairly well recognised in their field. 

To come and work here, you need to be adaptable. Exporting our "French touch" may be charming at first, but it can also be awkward. So you have to make sure you fit in and be flexible.

There are plenty of opportunities for those who know how to seize them.

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