How our Interns are already having a massive impact at Microsoft Ireland

Brendan  Duffy

Brendan Duffy

Former Head of Partner Sales

Read Time, 8 min.

How our Interns are already having a massive impact at Microsoft Ireland

I have the great fortune of leading a community of interns here at One Microsoft Place. My key objective is to ensure that they are continuously learning and making an impact both for the business but also so that they are gaining critical work experience to develop their careers!

My community of interns consists of Celine Janson, Aoife Cleary, Sinead Coman, Alexandru Plamadeala, Thomas Arnold, Amy Hallahan, James Foley Walsh, and Ben Derham. They work across marketing, commercial, philanthropy, and sales channels. This is the first of many blogs that will feature some of their experiences.

It is well documented that people ‘early in career’ need role models and support. Last Tuesday at One Microsoft Place we had the pleasure of hearing from Irish Olympic rowing sensations, Gary and Paul O’Donovan who identified the impact of having role models. Seeing Olympians daily in their local town of Skibbereen, training together and living nearby, helped make their Olympic dreams much more attainable. Having role models around you that have achieved the things that you want can have a huge impact on your career success. This is why we have developed an intern programme at Microsoft Ireland where the interns have access to a wide range of people from different parts of our organisation, sessions with mentors, as well as access to drive relevant hands-on projects that develop key skills like collaborative working, critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity.

So here is a flavour of what our Interns are up to ….

“In my role I feel that every event I partake in has a tangible impact”

~ Aoife Cleary,


Aoife Cleary

“I can see first-hand how Microsoft are empowering the community to achieve more. I’m learning event management skills, communication skills, planning skills and social skills. Some of the events I have helped lead so far are the GIVE Expo in the Data Centre, promoting giving back to the community to the staff, promoting One Microsoft and involving all departments. I have already helped organise events for Enable Ireland, CoderDojo and Simon Community.”



 I can say it has certainly been an education”.

~ James Foley-Walsh,


James Foley Walsh

“Working in Marketing and Branding across site has been equally challenging and it also has allowed me to really experience the company culture and see how all the pieces (myself included) fit together in the large puzzle that is Microsoft.

The main project I’ve been working on has been the hiring campaign for Engineers that was announced recently. Being a part of the whole lifecycle of this project from ideas to storyboarding, filming, recording and editing has been really rewarding and gratifying and allowed me to interact with a vast array of teams both within Microsoft and externally.

I am looking forward to the projects I’m going to work on over the next few weeks, like the Autism Hiring Pilot that we are doing through Universities. I’ve already learned so much here after only completing just over 10% of my internship so I am excited to see what new experiences and opportunities await me here”.


Developing a Growth Mindset!”

~ Celine Janson,



“My first months in the role included a lot of work to understand my daily tasks and optimise the way I plan and execute enablement activities. Now that I have a good understanding of my role and what’s expected of me, I am looking forward to making an impact on the projects that I am involved in over the coming months.

I also have had the chance to participate in many small projects such as the filming of motivational videos for the Microsoft Wild Atlantic Way Charity Cycle, the execution of various on-site events and the first trial of Partner Enablement via Future Proof sponsorship.

I am hoping to get more involved in small projects outside of my main role to expand my knowledge and reach and to develop or improve skills that I don’t use on a daily basis. One of the many things that I am extremely proud of so far is the work that we did to support the Run in the Dark fundraiser”.


Run in the Dark poster


Run in the Dark is the main fundraiser for the Mark Pollock Trust, who believe we can cure paralysis in our lifetime. Through the Dublin fundraiser held on November 7th, the Mark Pollock trust can continue to do essential work to find a cure for paralysis. Microsoft has played a pivotal role in providing technology and volunteerism to support this important cause. The intern community saw this event as a great opportunity to volunteer as a team and give back to the community.


 “It’s been a very interesting couple of months to say the least”.

~ Alexandru Plamadeala,

Alex Plamadeala

“I am privileged to be working with a number of our local and global independent software vendors. I have spent the last couple of months understanding their solutions and objectives and how these partnerships with Microsoft really helps drive value for our customers.

As part of the university engagement initiative I visited my old college UCD twice to help students along with the process of transitioning into the professional world, and hopefully into Microsoft.

I feel very privileged to be working for Microsoft and with such a welcoming and supportive team. In particular the individuals I work closely with, in my role and the people I meet for coffee. I can’t thank the team enough for helping with my journey so far”.


“I am the proud author of Microsceal, our weekly Newsletter”

~ Amy Hallahan,

“At first, it was pretty daunting knowing the exposure the Microsceal Newsletter has … but now I am a lot more comfortable and have been getting great feedback! I have a strong interest in branding and visual design and enjoyed helping different departments and clubs on their internal branding.

I have had the chance to work on different philanthropy initiatives and I am part of the university engagement initiative which is something I was eager to do. I attended the DCU Careers fare (pic above) representing Microsoft to give graduates an insight into what opportunities they have and advice on the application process.

One of my current goals is to improve content and engagement on our digital lake. I have some ideas that will hopefully come to life soon so watch this space!”


“From a simple Concept to Completion in a matter of Weeks!”

 ~ Sinead Coman, 

Sinead Coman

“As an intern on the Marketing team I am working on a lot of different projects simultaneously. My job is mainly supporting the execution of events, both internal and external. What I have found to be most exciting is the quick turnaround of events, from a simple concept to completion in a matter of weeks!

I have really enjoyed meeting so many different people throughout the Microsoft campus. Organising an event requires a lot of input from different people!

Participating in different projects has really given me an insight into how this company works. Some of these things included attending the UCD Careers Fair, the Data Summit in Croke Park, and the Microsoft Tech Summit”.


 “I wanted to branch out and work with University Students”

~ Thomas Arnold,

Thomas Arnold

“In my role as Solutions Specialist, I wanted to branch out and work with university students on behalf of Microsoft.  The single biggest thing I wanted as a first year was to hear stories from students older than me. Thanks to the University Engagement programme I now have that opportunity.

I went to my old college UCD in early October to deliver a talk to business students on life as an intern in Microsoft. The talk was attended by over 30 students in the Quinn School of Business, and gave great insight in to working life at Microsoft.

I also took the opportunity to visit the Quinn School of Business to deliver the presentation ‘A Day in the Life of an Intern to students. It was a great feeling sharing my story with fellow students, and I look forward to working with the rest of the University Engagement team over the coming months”.


 “I’m excited to see what the next few months have in store”

~ Ben Derham,

Ben Derham

“My role in Microsoft is an exciting one. I am a member of the Education, Academic and DreamSpace teams. My core priorities focus heavily on Customer Relationship Management and ensuring that my team communicates how Microsoft can provide the right tools, be it hardware or software, to empower learning for both students and educators.

This is done by hosting events regularly, such as the European Union Contest for Young Scientists, Meja Dojo, OurKidsCode and most recently, I hosted an event for College Awareness Week, where we invited students from all over Ireland, and spend the day showcasing life at Microsoft, the different roles in the company and discussed the amazing opportunities that attending college gave all of us. 

There’s opportunity around every corner to do more here and a fantastic example of this is the work I’m doing with the Diversity and Inclusion team, working to make music accessible to as many people as possible by utilising technology. Looking forward to see what’s going to happen next!”

If you are interested in working for Microsoft you can find our Intern programme, Graduate programme and all open roles on our Early Careers Site.


Brendan Duffy

Head of Partner Sales at Microsoft Ireland



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