This was originally posted on Microsoft UK Developers under the title “Why You Should Become a Microsoft Student Partner” at http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/developers/articles/week03sep15/why-you-should-become-a-microsoft-student-partner/
Students, now is the time to apply to become a Microsoft Student Partner for 2015/16. I’m writing this article to let you know about my experience as a student partner over the last the year and hopefully convince you to apply. The story comes in three parts; where I started, where I tried, and where I succeeded.
The story starts at the Global Game Jam event in Hull in 2013. This was the first time I met Lee Stott, a Technical Evangelist at Microsoft UK. He was representing Microsoft by supporting indie games development at the Hull branch of the competition. The fact that he was at this small competition showed to me that Microsoft was committed to helping students and indie developers alike. This was what first got me interested in the Microsoft Student Partner program.
Later that year I applied to become an MSP in the form of a Windows Games Ambassador. Sadly, I didn’t get a position but it did mean I got to watch two of my good friends become MSPs and take part in events across the country. They both came back from each event to tell me of the experiences they had had, the people they had met, and how much fun they were having. I knew they were incredibly good developers in the first place, but it was great seeing them achieve even more, with one of them getting a job at Unity and the other now doing cutting edge research at the University of Hull.
In 2014, building on my experience of applying the previous year and having kept a close eye on the program, I applied again to become an MSP/WGA. This time I was successful, and so began an incredible year of opportunities to network with the best in the business, teach coding to students and school children, and meet gifted and talented students across the country. I got the chance to work with some great people and go from being just another computer science student to a graduate with excellent prospects and real world potential. Not only that, but my work over the year meant that I was chosen to be the Microsoft Student Partner of the Year in the UK for 2015 (but I’ll talk more about that in another article).
It’s not really a case of telling you why you should be an MSP, the real question is can you afford not to apply? With the networking opportunities, the chance to work with other students at the forefront computer science, and just the fact that having “Microsoft Student Partner” on your CV can open so many doors and put you one step ahead of the competition, not applying should really be out of the question.
My name is Adam Boyne and I’m the director of my own video games company BetaJester, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without the knowledge and experience I have gained by striving to become and experiences being a Microsoft Student Partner.