Editor’s note: The following post was written by the Student Partner Global Program Manager Pablo Veramendi
Hi—my name is Pablo Veramendi, and I’ve had the honor of managing the Microsoft Student Partner program since January. I’ve spent much of this year getting to know amazing students across the globe who are making an incredible impact through technology. Student Partners epitomize Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more—they are on-campus leaders with a passion for making a difference, building vibrant communities, and sharing the latest tech with their peers.
Student Partners are doing amazing things to inspire their communities to learn and grow. Antonina Awino, a Student Partner in Kenya, started the first women in STEM program at her university to better connect female students and experts and encourage women to pursue STEM. The 2018 Imagine Cup World Champions, Hamayal Choudhry and Samin Khan of team smartARM, created an award-winning AI robotic prosthetic hand and continue to share their passion for accessible tech through the Student Partner program. Georgia Kalyva from Greece has shared public speaking tips and hosted tech workshops to help students build a variety of skills for their future career. These are just a few examples showcasing the awe-inspiring enthusiasm and talent Student Partners share.
I'm thrilled to announce exciting program changes to support our Student Partners with new tools and resources to help fulfill their passion to solve problems in the world around them, and to welcome our first group to the 2019-2020 program year!
Student Partners will continue to have access to free tools and resources, and can now earn badges and achieve new milestones for activities and contributions, such as hosting a data science workshop focused on climate change.
Microsoft professionals are providing student-specific best practices, how-to’s, and introducing new tech so Student Partners are well equipped to engage with their peers. From discussing imposter syndrome, to exploring career paths, to taking deep-dives into topics like ethical implications of AI, we’re here to ensure Student Partners have a robust tool kit to become agents of change.
New Student Partners are now accepted quarterly—applications are always open and we’ll select and onboard new Student Partners once per quarter to ensure students from around the world have the opportunity to join when it works best for them.
Student Partner Milestones
Student Partners get unique access to Microsoft resources and personnel to help them lead and make a difference in their communities. This year, we’re rolling out new Student Partner Milestones to better recognize outstanding achievements to learn, lead, and share.
Alpha 1- new Student Partners enter the program at Alpha 1 and receive exclusive access to our global student network and Microsoft experts on Microsoft Teams, and an Office 365 subscription. Plus, we’ve partnered with TechSmith, the makers of Snagit and Camtasia software, to provide Student Partners access to their screen capture and screen recording software.
Alpha 2- Student Partners who complete a Microsoft Learn path will unlock Azure credits with Visual Studio Enterprise subscription benefits.
Beta- Student Partners who complete the requirements for Alpha 2 and have hosted an event for other students in their community will earn the Beta badge to unlock event support and resource benefits. This could include an invitation to join our annual Microsoft Student Partner Summit!
Gold- select Student Partners who have gone above and beyond in earning their badges and serving their local community will be invited to the Gold milestone and can become Student Partner Program Regional Leaders, gain access to special events, and may be invited to become a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP).
From hosting workshops and hackathons, to providing guidance to other students, to sharing product feedback directly with Microsoft, Student Partners make a lasting impact and gain valuable skills for their future career. I can't wait to work with students from across the globe to empower their communities!
If you’re passionate about using tech to make a difference in the world around us, eager to help your fellow students, and want to build your skills while leading in your community, we want to hear from you! Applications for the Student Partner program are open, and the next group of Student Partners will be announced in January 2020 (applications for this round are due November 30, 2019). Apply today!