Meet a recent Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador graduate: Paul Simon Umaru
Published Apr 09 2024 09:00 AM 872 Views

This is the next segment of our blog series highlighting Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors who achieved the Gold milestone, the highest level attainable, and have recently graduated from university. Each blog in the series features a different student and highlights their accomplishments, their experience with the Student Ambassador community, and what they're up to now.

 

Today we meet Paul Simon Umaru who recently graduated with a bachelor's degree in computer science from University of Jos in Nigeria.


Responses have been edited for clarity and length.

 

When did you join the Student Ambassadors community?

 

July 2022

 

What was being a Student Ambassador like?

 

One of the benefits I enjoyed as an MLSA was access to Microsoft Learn Student Hub, a platform where I could access learning materials, resources, and events to enhance my knowledge and leadership. I learned about various Microsoft technologies, such as Azure, Power Platform, Microsoft 365, and more. I also participated in online events, such as webinars, workshops, and hackathons, where I gained valuable insights and feedback from experts and mentors.

 

Another benefit that I really enjoyed was participating in collaborative events, such as Microsoft Graph Challenge and Power Platform Challenge, which connected me with Microsoft cloud advocates who guided me and supported me in my roles as moderator and speaker, respectively. I learned a lot from these mentors and gained valuable skills, such as communication, collaboration, and presentation. I also networked with other Ambassadors and professionals and expanded my connections and opportunities.

 

Being a Student Ambassador was a rewarding experience for me. I enjoyed many benefits, such as learning, experimenting, certifying, competing, collaborating, recognizing, and rewarding. I am grateful for this opportunity, and I would recommend it to any student who is interested in technology and innovation. Being an Ambassador is not only fun, but also beneficial for your personal and professional development.

 

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Paul Umaru presenting at an Azure Cloud Computing event

 

Was there a specific experience you had while you were in the program that had a profound impact on you and why?

 

A memorable experience during my time as an MLSA was organizing The Microsoft AI Builder Hackathon in August 2023, for students and professionals. It was a challenging and rewarding event that invited people with disabilities to participate in a Cloud Skill challenge hosted by the Student Ambassadors. Feedback from participants and students was overwhelmingly positive. We were able to create a space where technology was not a barrier, but a bridge to inclusion and empowerment.

 

This experience taught me a lot. It honed my leadership skills, as I had to lead and motivate a diverse team. It challenged me to think outside the box and find creative solutions to real-world problems. But most importantly, it showed me the power of technology to bridge the gap and create a more inclusive world.

 

This is just one example of the profound impact being an MLSA can have. Every experience, from mentoring fellow Ambassadors to collaborating with industry experts, shapes you and leaves a lasting mark. So, if you're considering joining the program, I urge you to go for it! You'll be amazed at what you can achieve and the difference you can make.

 

Tell us about a technology you had the chance to gain a skillset as a Student Ambassador. How has this skill you acquired helped you in your post-university journey?

As a Student Ambassador, I had the opportunity to learn how to use Microsoft Power Platform. It opened a whole new world of possibilities for me, and the impact of that learning continues to benefit my post-university journey.

 

My Power Platform expertise immediately set me apart from the crowd in job applications. Being able to talk about real-world projects and showcase my understanding of the components impressed interviewers. It landed me a facilitating job with Data Scientist Nigeria (DSN) and a project manager role with TrackIT Nigeria plus a consultancy role with the Kaduna state government Ministry of Finance as Dynamic NAV (Now ERP) Specialist, which I am now serving in a consultancy role as a system support specialist.

 

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Paul presenting at AI Builder Hackathon

 

What is something you want all students, globally, to know about the Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador Program?

 

To all students around the globe, listen up! I want to tell you about something truly awesome: the Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador (MLSA) Program. It isn't just another club or internship; it's a game-changer, a launchpad for your tech journey, and a global community of passionate peeps like you.

 

Remember, the MLSA program is more than just a program, it's an experience that will shape you, challenge you, and empower you to achieve amazing things. So, what are you waiting for? Dive in, explore, and become the tech leader you were meant to be!

What advice would you give to new Student Ambassadors, who are just starting in the program?

 

Welcome new Student Ambassadors!

 

You're about to embark on an incredible journey, embrace the learning curve and don't feel intimidated by technology. This program provides ample resources and endless support to help you learn and grow.

 

As an ambassador you have the opportunity to explore different technologies and find what sparks your interest. Whether it's cloud computing, AI, cybersecurity, or app development, delve deeper and become an expert in your chosen field. Your passion will fuel your learning and make you an asset to the community.

 

Don't forget to network with fellow ambassadors, reach out to mentors, and build relationships with industry professionals. Collaborate on projects, share ideas, and learn from each other's experiences.

 

Share a favorite quote with us! It can be from a movie, a song, a book, or someone you know personally. Tell us why you chose this. What does it mean for you?

 

One of my absolute favorite quotes comes from the whimsical children's book "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll: "I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then." This simple yet profound line resonates with me deeply for several reasons. It beautifully captures the essence of constant growth and self-discovery. Every experience, every interaction, every challenge shapes us into new versions of ourselves.

Dwelling on the past, regardless of its joys or sorrows, keeps us rooted in outdated narratives, preventing us from embracing the ever-evolving present and the exciting possibilities it holds. The quote also encourages forward movement and acceptance of change. It acknowledges that yesterday's dreams might not align with today's aspirations, and yesterday's anxieties might not hold the same power tomorrow. This understanding allows us to shed outdated skin and embrace the evolving landscape of our lives with open arms. In general, it means, keep moving forward and developing, never stop learning.

Tell us something interesting about you, about your journey.

 

Coding was not my thing until I discovered it during JAMB registration. Growing up in Kaduna State in Nigeria, I always loved computers, but programming opened a new world for me. My MLSA journey took a surprising turn when I became a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) in the program's final stage. A Microsoft Certified Trainer noticed me during an Azure Cloud workshop and invited me to the MCT Summit 2023. I completed the intense training and became the first MCT from Northern Nigeria and the Jos Microsoft community.

 

It was not easy to balance academics, MLSA, and MCT. It was like juggling wet mangoes in the rainy season. But with the MLSA support, Lipton, and a "never give up" attitude, I made it.

 

My story does not end with MCT. I am also working on a prison correctional system and a Power Platform community University in Nigeria. The latter will enable every student at the University of Jos to graduate with extra global certifications as citizen developers and a PMI certification. I am collaborating with other Ambassadors and the university's management to upskill students and lecturers in Microsoft technologies.


You can follow Paul here:

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pnet2log

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-umaru/

GitHub: https://github.com/pnet2log

 

Learn more about the Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors program.

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