This knowledge empowered me during my MSSA journey. I had made a decision. Now I had to do the work to make this decision right. Many transitioning service members forget that they are empowered to endure to the very end. Transitioning well might mean getting so focused that you choose to stop watching television. It might mean twelve-hour study sessions on Saturdays. It might mean waking up at two-thirty every day, so you have an hour to study before reporting for duty. Are you committed to self-assessing and finding the gaps in your preparation? Self-assessment, every step of the way, allowed me to fill in one of the critical gaps in my transitions approach.
I knew that there was an aspect of competition to secure my a role with Microsoft. My self-assessment showed me that if we all trained the same and we all had access to the same tools, uniformity would once again make finding the right candidate a needle in a haystack for Microsoft. During my self-assessment, one question that kept reoccurring was How was I going to present my best self each time and gain some advantages along the way?
One thing that many overlook when choosing to pursue a specific career is a cultural fit. I knew that I would have to dive deep into tech culture learning what it would be like to work at a software company. To that end, I did as many informational interviews as my schedule permitted. I met women and men at Microsoft's who showcased the company culture and embodied the company values. I was excited to see the similarities, and I was challenged to overcome some of the differences. As I worked to adapt to tech culture, it deepened my resolve that Microsoft was the right fit for me and the MSSA was the conduit to get there.