The past week’s news headlines have been filled with tributes to the late Nelson Mandela. Best known for his monumental work to abolish the apartheid regime in South Africa, Mandela captured the hearts and minds of a global audience.
As I made my way into work this morning, I found myself reflecting on how lucky I am to have lived to see the change that Mandela achieved in South Africa over the past 20 years, not only from a political perspective but from a business perspective too. Today, South Africa has so much to offer, with its amazing climate, diverse cultures, vibrant energy and endless career opportunities. Who wouldn’t want to live and work in such a beautiful country?
I sat down with Microsoft HR Manager Hellen Mabasa to delve into what it is like to work for Microsoft South Africa.
What do you love most about working for Microsoft South Africa?
“Our work environment is lively and energetic. I get to work with extremely smart people who are passionate about technology and the opportunity it presents to change the lives of millions of South Africans — big and small businesses, as well as ordinary citizens.”
What makes it different from anywhere else?
“In South Africa we have 11 official languages: This is a depiction of how diverse we are as a nation and this definitely filters through into Microsoft. We are part of a global company, but have a strong focus on being locally relevant. People are at the centre of our strategy, not only through the way we work together, but also how employees are able to progress and build their careers.”
What is the one key characteristic someone applying to Microsoft South Africa should possess?
“Passion! We are passionate about technology, specifically about Devices and Cloud Services and how we can create and deliver an ecosystem that will enhance opportunities for businesses, organisations and individuals in South Africa. The fact that South Africa is a developing country adds its own challenges, opportunities and delights you wouldn’t experience anywhere else in the world.”
What type of talent are you looking for at Microsoft South Africa?
- We are looking for people who are energetic, hard-working, and passionate about technology.
- We want people who are looking to build a long-term career at Microsoft. Teamwork is key, and one needs to be able to leverage the ideas of others and be willing to help others to succeed. You won’t flourish if you prefer to work alone; it’s all about collaboration.
- Diversity is a key component of our company culture world-wide, so you need to be able to work with people who are different from you and who possess differing opinions.
Any final thoughts to share?
“South Africa is the most westernised African country and our economy is still growing, and as it does, Microsoft is growing with it. My role as the HR Manager is to secure the best talent in the market. I hope to entice people who would like to relocate, or perhaps even my fellow South Africans living abroad, to consider a career with Microsoft here.
Both the country and our business are transforming. There is no better time to join us and drive this change forward.”
On the JobsBlog, learn about Microsoft’s additional initiatives for change in Africa.
What does citizenship mean at Microsoft?
A few employee stories: