Alt text: Raul and I in front of Microsoft’s headquarters

Reflections from my first year at Microsoft (and adulting)

Dasani Madipalli

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So I finished a full year of being a real adult, wore my big girl pants and worked at Microsoft. And holy wow- I have learnt so much! It’s been an *interesting* year to say the least. Moving to Seattle, paying ridiculous amounts of rent, just to stay inside my apartment listening to people say “can you see my screen?”, “you’re on mute” and “we’re in unprecedented times” over and over again was not what I had in mind.

I still have so much to celebrate, so much I’ve learnt and that usually calls for a nice long word ramble. I adopted a doggo, finally figured out what the heck a 401k was (you don’t get 401,000$ in case you were wondering), started a business Dasani Decoded, released a bunch of cool features, spoke at conferences and so much more. Reflecting back I can’t believe it’s only been a year!

Here you have it — lessons from my first year working at Microsoft (or more accurately adulting)!

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When I first started my job it was scary — I was pretty much the only early career product manager in my team and office location. I had never used Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management before or even heard of it. I don’t have a background in business so I didn’t understand the jargon or the business landscape.

I felt like I would never have anything to add to the conversation — so for a while I didn’t. The fact that I had a lot of people coming to me after meetings and on social media asking me “so how did you even get this job?” really did not help with imposter syndrome.

Eventually, after lots of conversation with mentors and co-workers, I realized I was specifically hired for my unique and fresh perspective, so I was doing myself and Microsoft a disservice if I stayed quite. If something didn’t make sense to me it’s pretty likely that our customers wouldn’t understand either, if I was struggling to onboard or use a tool, odds are other people were too. Keeping quiet about…

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Dasani Madipalli

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