Welcome to the next installation in our blog series highlighting Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors who achieved the Gold milestone and have recently graduated from university. Each blog features a different student and highlight their accomplishments, their experience in the Student Ambassador community, and what they’re up to now.
Today we’d like to introduce Mustafa Saifee who is from India and graduated recently from the SVKM Institute of Technology.
Responses have been edited for clarity and length.
When you joined the Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador community in 2015, did you have specific goals you wanted to reach, and did you achieve them? How has the program helped to prepare you for the next chapter in your life?
The primary goal was growth. Everything I have been doing since I joined the community was about growth--not limited to my growth, but the growth of the people I grew up with, my peers, my colleagues, and numerous people I have reached whom I have never even met in real life. This is what I had in mind when I joined. I was eagerly searching for a platform that would provide me better tools and resources to empower as many people as I come in touch with. I also wanted to get into a program to enhance my interpersonal skills. I wanted to first work on myself and reach a certain threshold to lead by example. I can proudly say that this community has made me into what I am today. It is directly or indirectly responsible for my success and achievements.
In the Student Ambassador community, what was the top accomplishment that you’re the proudest of and why?
I am proud of a lot of events that I have hosted, as each event has taught me something new. Every time I conduct an event, 50% is teaching, and 50% is learning. I have conducted tech events for a lot of age groups, but my favorite is the students of higher secondary college (Class 9 and Class 10) [ed. note: approximately ages 15-17]. They are not that much aware of the technology around them, so I make sure that they have a clear picture of what is all available at their disposable to have a healthy and successful career ahead. Then I try to teach them coding/cloud computing, and they come up with questions that I never even thought of before. This puts makes me in a situation where I have to research the content, find the answer, distill it for the understanding level of the students, and then frame it appropriately. This process is really rewarding yet very time-taking and keeps me focused and engaged. My accomplishment is that I learned to develop the habit of how to take something sophisticated and explain it in a straightforward, simple manner, which helps me in my events and even in my interviews.
One other accomplishment is that I was one of 16 students selected by Microsoft from 800 in India to travel to the Taiwan office and get firsthand knowledge on the latest ML tools that Microsoft recently launched. The experience was unique, as we were taught technical skills, community management skills, and interpersonal skills
What do you have planned for after graduation? What’s next for you?
I am working at Microsoft in the CE&S team, but I will continue hosting events along with people who have an equal level of enthusiasm for imparting knowledge, as I’ve joined a social welfare club that hosts professional development activities for professionals and students. There are many potential students out there who are waiting for an opportunity to come forward and share their knowledge. They want to contribute and learn to expand their understanding of the technology further. So I will be scouting such talents and encouraging them to come forward and get going. I will provide support in all forms to help the community amass as much knowledge as possible.
If you could go back in time, is there anything you would have done differently as a Student Ambassador?
There were times when I was scared to learn some technologies that I found very difficult and ignored them due to their difficulty level, but after conducting all the workshops and seminars, I realized that my audience is also in the same boat as me. They don't know about the tech I will be teaching and still have the courage to dive into unknown waters. So I realized that I should learn from them and not give up if something is challenging to crack. I should have adopted this mindset since the very beginning, so this is what I would like to redo.
If you were to describe the community to a student who is interested in joining, what would you say about it to convince him or her to join?
Do you want to learn technology in depth without reading a single book? Do you want the joy of seeing happy faces after your audience achieves something? Do you want a community that is so like-minded that you can find new friends, interests, and hobbies that you never explored? Do you want to grow instead of just aging? Do you like to learn things the right way? Would you find happiness when you solve people's problems with technology? Are you interested in always staying ahead of your time? Would you enjoy getting first-hand experience with the latest software technology available in the market? If your answer is yes to all these questions, then the Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors program is for you.
What advice would you give to new Student Ambassadors?
Never settle for average goals; never stop learning.
If you ever think that you learned everything about something, then that is precisely a sign that you have just scratched the surface.
What is your motto in life, your guiding principle?
Networking is the way of life. Meet the right people, and they will add value to your life. So keep on finding good valuable people to add to your life. Technology, money, and materials will come and go, but relations will always stay with you, keeping you immortal.
What is one random fact about you that few people know about?
Computer science is actually my third preferred interest. Experimenting and working on the mechanical and electrical domain is what I enjoy in my leisure time. I have a huge interest in 3-D printing and designing, so I know a few concepts surrounding the manufacturing process.
We wish you luck, Mustafa!
You must be a registered user to add a comment. If you've already registered, sign in. Otherwise, register and sign in.