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 Rogerio Rodrigues who is from Brazil and recently graduated from the Universidade Federal de São Paulo with a master’s degree in computer science.
Responses have been edited for clarity and length.
When you joined the Student Ambassador community in 2012 as an undergraduate student at Universidade Federal de São Paulo, did you have specific goals you wanted to reach?
I had some goals like learning to speak in public because I was very shy but wanted to contribute to public events in the Student Ambassador program. I also wanted to go deeper into Microsoft technologies like Azure, DevOps, and Mobile Development with Xamarin. I had a dream to work at Microsoft as an employee. The community helped me a lot with these goals. I learned public speaking and became an MBA technical training teacher. I learned a lot about Microsoft technologies, received recognition in the technical community, and became a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP). I am pleased to have been part of the community, which undoubtedly contributed the most to my professional career.
As a Student Ambassador, what were the accomplishments that you’re the proudest of and why?
In 2018 and 2019, together with other Student Ambassadors and Microsoft MVPs , we created an initiative called Natal Nerd where we collected gifts, toys, and cash as donations to help orphans and at-risk children for Christmas. Several Student Ambassador events and lectures about Microsoft technologies were held at universities with companies in São Paulo, and the entry fee was a toy to donate to Natal Nerd. We presented at 23 universities in the country and reached more than 2,500 students and professors, disseminating and sharing knowledge about Microsoft technologies and the Imagine Cup. We were able to collect gifts to improve Christmas for more than 800 children.
In 2019, another Student Ambassador and I delivered 4 talks at 11 technical events at the Microsoft Student Partners Tech Days at eight universities in Brazil with the help of MVPs [Editor’s note: Microsoft Student Partners is the former name of the Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors program]. We delivered another four talks in countries such as Peru, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Mexico with the help of other Student Ambassadors.
In 2019 and 2020, I was chosen to go to the Microsoft Student Partner Summit and the Imagine Cup Final because of my contributions. The events in 2019 were amazing - opportunities that I will never forget because they was very valuable to me. Even though the events in 2020 were virtual, I was very happy to have received the recognition.
My dream was to become a Microsoft employee. I had already tried twice and didn't pass the interviews, but last year I became a Customer Engineer at Microsoft and was assigned to serve large public sector banking clients. I've also started my part-time doctorate program in computer science with a focus on environmental science and weather satellites. After completing my doctorate, I plan to do a post-doc in my line of research, continue to teach at universities, and contribute to science.
If you could redo your time as a Student Ambassador, is there anything you would have done differently?
The only thing I would have done differently would be to study more English right away when I joined in order to communicate more easily with other Student Ambassadors around the world. Learning to speak English better made a big difference for me in 2019 when I was at the Student Partner Summit for the first time because in addition to learning new technical content, I met many other Student Ambassadors from other cultures and the amazing Student Ambassador Program Team.
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?
If you desire to be a unique professional, you should apply to the Student Ambassadors program. In addition to receiving special treatment in the community, you will have access to a lot of technical information, you will have the opportunity to network with people from all over the planet, and you will have contact with Microsoft professionals where you can find excellent opportunities.
Furthermore, the community helps you have a much broader view of technology than just Microsoft technologies, as you will have contact with different areas and the opportunity to work on fantastic projects.
What advice would you give to new Student Ambassadors?
Actively participate in the community. Join other Student Ambassadors in Leagues or groups to create initiatives. It's fantastic, and you learn a lot. Make contact with other Student Ambassadors as you will experience different cultures, practice languages, learn more technology, and perhaps share your knowledge with other Student Ambassadors. Actively contribute to your local community and promote content at your university. These actions will help you to secure further knowledge and develop new skills. The community provides a sea of opportunities.
What is your motto in life, your guiding principle?
My motto in life is “Be different. Help lift but not drop”. Helping those we can help will bring us great experiences, and we will be doing our part in making the world better.
What is one random fact about you that few people are aware of?
I'm a big fan of Star Wars. I have a big tattoo on my back that’s the design of an X-Wing spaceship with the 3 characters I like--Luke, Leia, and Rey Skywalker.