Developing enterprising skills in the workplace

Hi everyone, my name’s Dan and I’m currently on my placement year. I am working at Microsoft, which are based in Reading. Over the next year, I thought it would be quite informative to share my experiences, where I can hopefully demonstrate how the skills and qualities entrepreneurs demonstrate can also be applied as an intrapreneur.  An “intrapreneur” acts like an entrepreneur in a large organisation. They are able to effect change by suggesting, developing and implementing new ideas that enhance the organisation or business.

I thought it would be best to concentrate on one skill/attribute for each post- hopefully making it a bit easier to follow.

Anyway, I work in the Windows Consumer Marketing team where I do a number of really exciting and interesting roles. One of my main roles involves social media. I am the Community Manager for Windows UK Facebook & Twitter accounts which means I manage the channels by posting content and trying to interact and engage with as many people as possible.
Whilst this may sound like I just sit on Facebook all day, quite a lot of work goes into creating and planning content. This was, and to some extent still is, quite challenging as coming up with content can often be difficult when as a new intern I don’t really know a lot about the business.

One of the main challenges I face in this role, is dealing with the huge responsibility that comes with managing channels that have millions of followers. This is quite daunting, as my actions are directly influencing how consumers view Windows and Microsoft.

In order to overcome this I’m learning to be a lot more inquisitive. I have found that by asking people questions I am able to improve my improve my understanding and in turn my knowledge of the business. In addition this is allowing me to build my connections [networking and relationship building], of which often help with inspiration for creating content. I guess you could call it ‘networking’ but that word makes it sound a lot more formal and serious than it needs to be, in reality it’s just a casual informal chat over a coffee where you get to learn a bit more about what you both do.

My ‘networking’ skills are therefore definitely being developed as an intrapreneur. However these can also be applied as an entrepreneur. I have found that by meeting people and learning more about what they do, it’s amazing how willing people are to help you, or if they can’t help, they often put you in contact with someone who can. This is the same for entrepreneurs in which you often hear about collaborations and people using each others connections to grow their business. Whilst I’m no entrepreneur or ‘networking guru’ ,the ability to make conversation, inquire and show an interest in people is something that shouldn’t be underestimated, something I’m definitely learning!

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About careersbham

Student Engagement Officer for Careers Network University of Birmingham

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