This is the next segment of our blog series highlighting Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors who achieved the Gold milestone and have recently graduated from university. Each blog in the series features a different student and highlights their accomplishments, their experience with the Student Ambassadors community, and what they’re up to now.
Today we meet Konstantinos Boutsioulis who is from Greece and recently graduated from Hellenic Open University from the Information Technology department.
Gold Student Ambassador: Konstantinos Boutsioulis
Responses have been edited for clarity and length.
When you joined the Student Ambassador community in 2015, did you have specific goals you wanted to reach, such as a particular skill or quality? Did you achieve them? How has the community impacted you in general?
My goals were to just become better and to meet new people with the same interests as me. I got much more from this community. I got the mindset to work with a team. I worked hard, I met new people from other universities in Greece, and I got to collaborate with all of them.
Sometimes I felt that I wanted to quit because I felt that I was stuck. I saw other Student Ambassadors around the world make a lot of presentations about different technologies, and I felt lost. I felt that I couldn’t be a good professional. I lost my trust in myself, but I knew deep inside me that I had to work harder if I wanted to achieve more.
I finally found the motivation to compete at Imagine Cup of 2016 with Synapsis Net Project, and we made it to the Greek final, losing to the eventual winners of the World Citizenship Category of 2016. Two years later, Greek Student Ambassadors elected me as leader for the community in Cyprus and Malta, and one year later I became a Gold Ambassador.
I think that the community changed my life. It gave me a great opportunity to make new friends and of course a great team to work with in the future.
What are the accomplishments that you’re the proudest of and why?
If you asked me one year ago, I would definitely have told you that the biggest accomplishment was becoming a Gold Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador [Editor’s note: this is the highest status level one can achieve as a Student Ambassador and can only be attained via nomination by the program’s Community Program Managers or by other Gold Ambassadors]. But six months later, I was invited to speak to a European professional audience at Collabdays in Lisbon, a non-profit, community-driven event on Microsoft 365. While I’ve been a speaker before, this was my first big event as a speaker.
And then six months later, I got the biggest award. I became a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in the Office Apps and Services category. I had worked hard by contributing more than 80 articles and more than 16 presentations and finally was awarded the title of MVP. I felt blessed because Microsoft recognized my hard work all these years, and I appreciate it. [Editor’s note: the Microsoft MVP Award recognizes exceptional community leadership.]
I also completed 11 official Microsoft courses during my Student Ambassador years. I am also certified in Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Azure Data.
What are you doing now that you’ve graduated?
I have to work hard as an MVP now. I am the cofounder of a community called W.I.N. (Workplace Innovation Network) and I try hard to continue to provide exceptional community leadership.
I love to collaborate with other people, and I love to share my knowledge. I will continue to contribute as a speaker at events and as an MVP with articles about the modern workplace. I think that the next big accomplishment would be to speak at Microsoft Ignite or Microsoft Build.
If you could redo your time as a Student Ambassador, is there anything you would have done differently?
No, I am sure that I would work with the same power and with the same enthusiasm.
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?
I would tell them to join this community if they really want their dreams to become true, if they really want to meet innovative people, if they really want to see themselves becoming better and better, and finally if they really love what they are studying.
I will also tell them to be open-minded, to meet new people with the same interests, and to collaborate with other students from other countries. I met a lot of students during our Student Ambassador Summit in Central and Eastern Europe, I saw that we have the same passion for our studies, the same passion and love for technology, I met new cultures and I loved this. It was an exciting experience. You have to join for the experience.
What advice would you give to new Student Ambassadors?
My advice is simple. Work hard and work with your team. Be professional. If you want to go somewhere quick, work by yourself. If you want to go somewhere far, work with your team.
Believe in yourself, believe in your team, trust your instinct, and if you really love what you are doing, you will achieve success.
What is your motto in life, your guiding principle?
Work hard, use your imagination, and your creativity!!! There is no limit to what you can dream.
What is one random fact about you that few people are aware of?
I always believe that my success belongs to God and my failure belongs to me.
I always remind myself what Albert Einstein said: “Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value” This is the background image in my laptop. I see it every day so as not to forget it.