Lets start from the very beginning
This is the unique story of how one mum went from computing class to Microsoft. Michelle Miller is awesome and I want her job. It is as simple as that. I suppose that I should give a bit of context to this statement, and to do this I will start from the beginning. Michelle is an alumna from Capital Training who is making it big at Microsoft.
Michelle was a stay at home mum for a long time, raising her child. Her family moved around a lot as her husband works in the film industry, and they would follow the work. Michelle had the perfect set-up as she needed to be at home with her child in order to be a mother. As her child grew older however, it was time for Michelle to move back in to the job market.
Michelle was fighting and uphill battle
Michelle applied for many jobs and got absolutely nothing. Rejection letter after rejection letter were coming in and it was really daunting. There is nothing worse than getting those rejection letters time and time again. It can really make you question your self-worth and can breed anxiety and low self-esteem (it happens to the best of us). There were two main problems that Michelle could see; she was having trouble finding work because of scheduling conflicts, and she had been out of work for so long that her computer skills were not where they needed to be, she needed a computing class.
What I learned about Michelle as we sat in the sun at a crowded Wellington cafe (I had a lemonade and it was delicious) was that she’s a very driven and capable woman. The drive that is so easy to see is what got her on the internet and to enrol at Capital Training on a adult computing class course. A lot of the people that I meet through my job have had trouble with problem solving or motivation in the past and have developed those traits throughout their time at Capital Training. Michelle was different, she already had very strong problem-solving skills and the motivation to use them to do whatever she wanted. It was the lack of computer knowledge and the lack of confidence that were her main obstacles.
Finally some progress after taking a computing class!
Michelle found and developed those computing skills at Capital Training. What made Capital Training special for her was her tutor, whom she had nothing but nice things to say about. Michelle pointed to her tutor Mary-Ellen, and the way that she built cross-cultural relationships in the classroom as something that makes Capital Training stick out for her. Michelle reckons that the members of her class became a community, as they often shared cups of tea and food and collaborated on presentations. She believes that it is this sense of community that was developed in the classroom that helped her not only gain the skills she needed in computing but build the confidence in transitioning in to the workplace and getting used to structured workplace hours again.
Michelle is an intelligent and driven woman with the problem-solving skills to do anything that she wants in life. I do believe that we at Capital Training are but a small stepping stone for her to develop her computing skills and confidence. I will admit to feeling a great sense of pride as she was saying all of these nice things about the organisation that I work at though.
The light at the end of the tunnel
Michelle landed a permanent position at Microsoft as a Facilities Administrator for two Microsoft Offices in New Zealand. If that sounds impressive, that is because it is indeed very impressive. It is also something that I am quite envious of. She manages the day to day operation of two offices. No two days are ever the same as she is doing everything from managing the budgets, expenses, prepping conference rooms to running customer support calls to coordinating and scheduling events and meetings.
I like to think that Michelle is on the frontline of computing. She's loving it. The pace and variety of the work, the vibrant people she gets to work with, the fact that she is developing her reputation and the fact that she is never bored is what draws her in and gets her excited for every day at work. She has dreams of moving in to Project Coordination with Microsoft, which if I am honest sounds like a dream job. Michelle is the perfect example of what a learner’s motivation, coupled with the right educator with the right teaching strategies can result in. We are extremely proud of her and are certain that she will make a great Project Coordinator someday.