NDSU Alumni Career Advice

Curtis Wesbur
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
Position: Inside Opportunity Executive
Company: Microsoft
Location: Fargo, ND

Why did you choose to work for Microsoft?

Microsoft started an Inside Sales division the summer of 2016, which was something new to the company. I knew getting an entry-level position with such a great company would set me up for a great career and enable me to have the opportunity to go anywhere in the world with Microsoft. Also, I love Microsoft so it was just a great fit!

What do you love most about Microsoft?

The PEOPLE. Not just the ones I work with, but also those who I am working with day-to-day that own companies and are looking for ways to modernize their IT infrastructure and want to enable more productivity company-wide. The culture within our Inside Sales center makes coming to work each day enjoyable.

Describe your job and responsibilities.

I work as an Account Representative. The clients I receive are sent to me by our Sales Development Specialists who qualify them as a sales opportunity. I then work with the client to assess their needs, bring on technical specialists to answer infrastructure questions, and hopefully, close the deal. I enjoy the fact too, that I work with clients of all kinds and sizes which means I am always having different situations to work with each day.

What skills are necessary for your position?

Time management – Staying on top of your administrative work and keeping track of your clients is key.

What is the most challenging part of your job, and how do you overcome it?

The most challenging part so far for me would be learning all the licensing that comes with selling Microsoft services as well as getting ramped up on technical knowledge. The thing that is great though, is that Microsoft provides me with all the necessary tools to learn and strengthen my knowledge base.

What is an average work day like for you?

I typically come in and start my day a little early to read up on industry news and have my morning caffeine. I then have on average 5-6 calls with clients scheduled throughout the day. On these calls we go over what their needs are and what they are looking to achieve in the Cloud. After we assess this, I bring on our Technical Specialist who answer the technical questions I am unable to answer. Then after a call or two I discuss licensing options with the client and figure out which option makes most sense for the customer.

What advice do you have for someone aspiring to work in your field?

What helped me was getting in touch with friends or acquaintances already in the field. Sometimes it can be hard to make those connections as well. If anyone reading this is in fact interested but just need to talk to someone about it, I am more than happy to offer my advice and experiences. Feel free to add me on LinkedIn! Also, Microsoft has many recruiting events throughout the year on campus as well. This is a great way to get your foot in the door as well.

What’s the best way to network with people in your field?

We have multiple organizations throughout Microsoft that provide the opportunity to network. One of my favorite opportunities is when Senior level Executives from our headquarters’ offices come to Fargo giving us an amazing opportunity to hear them speak and even have 1×1 conversations with them. Our center here has networking opportunities with people across multiple departments and even with our offices across the globe.

What is one career-related tip you have for students?

Get involved in groups/internships and broaden your skill base. Having multiple skill sets under your belt right out of college will help you succeed and make you an asset where ever you go. Also, it is very important, once you do land a job, become an expert at what you do. This will set you apart from the crowd.

To quote one of my favorite entrepreneurs
“Work like there is someone working twenty-four hours a day to take it all away from you”
-Mark Cuban

By Lindsay Campbell
Lindsay Campbell Career Peer Lindsay Campbell