When Microsoft MVPs Were Student Community Leaders
Published Sep 23 2022 07:34 AM 4,184 Views

In this article, we feature four MVPs in Colombia, Japan, Spain, and the United States, who started technical community activities when they were a student. They tell us their growth history of how a student community leader became a professional engineer.


Colombia - Amal Hosni Viteri, M365 Apps & Services MVP

“Being part of the communities is an experience not to be missed!”



Amal is a conference organizer and speaker who focuses on Microsoft Teams and a storyteller of how Microsoft technology helps people.


She started learning about technologies from her cousin’s books. some books her cousins had. Amal continued her technology journey in her school where she received knowledge of computer programming and algorithms.


During her fifth semester, she met the technical community for the first time, called .Net cells. Amal worked with the subsidiary to provide learning opportunities about Microsoft technology. “Being a part of the official group, learning more, and teaching others, were my main motivations because Microsoft technologies were part of my life and my study since I was a child,” Amal says.


Community is like her home to contribute to her peers, share her knowledge, and conduct programming workshops for people from a different area. She is confident that her experience as a community leader developed her leadership skills, “Over time I was able to hold leadership positions. technician, until I am what I am today: a technology manager.”


Amal recommends joining the community to students for their growth. “Being part of the communities is an experience not to be missed! You will meet people just as passionate as you and find an exceptional group to grow, learn and create many things. We all have great potential with which we can contribute and transform, so cheer up and be part of this unique world.”



Japan – Tsubasa Yoshino, Microsoft Azure MVP

“Share your knowledge, information, and ideas. It will help someone in the future.”



As a former student community leader who learned a lot of things in the technical community, Tsubasa actively helps student community members in collaboration with Microsoft. For example, he talked about his work as a cloud developer at MVP x Student Meetup@Tsukuba. He still continues working for his community members of JAZUG after graduation and will co-organize its 12nd Celebration Event on Saturday, September 24.


Tsubasa learned about the computer fundamentals when he was a College of Technology (KOSEN) student. Participating in the programming contest, Kosen Procon, and providing his original game at the school festival, he devoted himself to explore the world of technology.


One day, one of his friends invited Tsubasa to the conference for KOSEN students, kosenconf. He found it was a fun learning opportunity, and it enabled him to take one step into technical community. Eventually, he became a Microsoft Student Partner (MSP) to support other students.


“I have been supporting community members many times. Then, I wanted to organize my own events,” Tsubasa looked back at the moment when he joined the largest Azure community in Japan, Japan Azure User Group (JAZUG). He joined its student community and actively helped student developers by sharing his technical knowledge. He says “Acquiring the habit of sharing information through my community activities, I proactively share my knowledge with others and contribute to OSS. Also, community helped my professional growth, such as presentation skill and leading a conversation with someone I just met.”


Tsubasa encourages students to start community activities based of his experience of personal growth with community engagement and says “Share your knowledge, information, and ideas. It will help someone in the future.”



Spain – Manuel Sánchez, Microsoft Azure MVP

“If you have a passion for technology, don't hesitate to share it with others.”



Manuel has been working for NTT Data and leveraging Azure for business. Regarding his community activity, he is a conference speaker and organizes local conferences and events to engage with his community members.


Manuel learned from books, technical blogs, and the official document he found in the forums. He improved his skill through development of several Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 applications with XAML, JavaScript, HTML5, web service, and database.


Attending a hackathon in his college days changed his life. He realized that he was passionate about technologies and would love to share his knowledge with others to help them. His first community activity was delivering high-level technical sessions for his classmates. Moreover, a local community event “Betabeers” where attendees shared tech knowledge and then networked over beers gave him another fun community experience.


After a couple of months, he found the Microsoft Student Partners (MSP) Program. “Being an MSP helped me enjoy learning technologies and collaborating with people. I joined different congresses and university events on technologies and shared my technical knowledge acquired through the MSP program with my colleagues and client. These opportunities enabled me to grow as a professional.”


“Learning with community is an incredible opportunity to learn about the latest advances in Microsoft technology. It enables you to position yourself as a strategic person and be prepared for the professional world,” Manuel says. In terms of aiming for more growth, he recommends students share knowledge with the community that improves public speaking and leadership skills.


Manuel closes his story with his best advice, “And most importantly, if you have a passion for technology, don't hesitate to share it with others.”



United States – Diana Carolina Torres Viasús, Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP

“Start using technology, build your own brand, exploring and finding a focus for the technology and industry(s) you would like to be in.”



When Diana was 17 years old in the fourth semester of her first bachelor’s in IT, she joined a conference in the university with her classmates. Microsoft employees showed some cool stuff with Visual Studio and shared insights about how Microsoft Certifications add a huge value to resume and give more advantages after graduation from school and at looking for a job opportunity.


“I started to do some research on ¨Microsoft¨ and happily discovered that they were having another conference at their offices in Bogotá, Colombia. I really wanted to be there! The next day I attended that event and since then I have very good memories of myself meeting great people, learning, and being inspired by people who are successful in technology,” Diana says.


She founded her first group for STEM students in 2009. “I ran this group and kept it very active with the support of some Microsoft Student Partners, the former name of what they are known today as Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors. One day, a friend asked me if I would like to be part of them, and I did not hesitate to say YES, I do!”


Being a Microsoft Student Partner in 2010 was one of the most important stages in her career and enabled her to shape own ideas with people who inspire her and put her dreams and goals on a much higher level. “I was passionate about this, and it gave me joy to learn and share my knowledge, helping others to have access to more opportunities and openness in the world of work, such as discovering talent and inspiring others to have a better quality of life,” she says.


Diana says her experience as a student community leader was valuable. Her leadership is recognized by her friends, and they called her ¨Chica Microsoft¨ (Microsoft Girl). She accepted an intern position as an IT Analyst of the Operations Area in the Technology Department of one of the largest telecommunications multinationals, Teleperformance. After graduation, she became a young leading woman in tech and communities that allowed her the opportunity to work with many Microsoft partners and even with Microsoft for a few years as a consultant for various projects.


Diana recommends all students who want to grow technically in the community “Start using technology, build your own brand, and exploring and find a focus for the technology and industry(s) to be in,” Here is some additional advice in Diana’s own words.


  • I encourage you to develop soft skills, network whenever you can, speak out loud about what you are passionate about and take advantage of the tools we have today to connect, interact, collaborate, and spread the word.


  • We have lots of virtual content, online and hybrid communities that you can openly join and be part of, or even better, you can self-develop your own user group if you will. Some of my recommendations are Microsoft Learn as the best source of knowledge and training for skill at scale on topics of interest with Microsoft products, such as AI, the Metaverse, Low Code – No Code, DevOps, Business Apps, Data Science, etc.


  • By using open-source projects and joining communities like GitHub, which are not just for software developers, however you can store your own projects, it allows you to manage your open-source code and releases, contribute to other projects within the repositories and even release their own versions with new changes, etc. This is currently one of the best recommendations to get started in your technology career and why not become a recognized innovator or Founder in your future company?
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