‘Once in a lifetime’ trip to Microsoft campus

November 1, 2018

A member of staff from Havant & South Downs College has spoken about his ‘once in a lifetime’ trip to the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington after winning an international competition.

Simon Allison, an IT Development Team Leader at HSDC, was one of nine selected from across the globe to go on an all-expenses paid trip to the Microsoft site.

Simon, who has been part of a programme called ‘Windows Insider’ for more than four years, has spoken about how the five-day trip was a ‘dream come true’ for him.

He said: “Windows Insider looks at the future of Windows, I like to see what is coming next so that I can plan ahead for what we can do as a College to support new Windows platforms.

“The way that technology is going ahead is rapid and changing every day, that is why we need to keep up with what Microsoft is doing.

“Through the programme you can enter a contest to come to the Microsoft campus in Washington. I filled in an application form and submitted a video and that was it until I heard back in September!”

Simon continued to say how he was in complete disbelief when he received the news.

He said: “I had an email come through at 1am saying I had been selected. At first, I saw it and thought ‘no that can’t be right’. I thought it was a dream and I went to bed.

“I woke up in the morning and checked again and I couldn’t believe it. I just thought ‘someone pinch me!’”

Simon went on the trip from 9-13 October where he had a tour of the campus, witnessed how they make devices and how to test them.

He continued: “It was incredible to see how their future is looking for the modern workplace and the future of the home.

“A lot of what I experienced is really useful to my role at HSDC. The communication tools that they’re using could benefit us for the future.

“It has broadened my mind to what is possible and what can be done in the workplace. Our College’s mindset is definitely on the right track for what a modern workplace will look like in the future.

“It’s about keeping an open mind to what is possible, if everyone has that attitude then we can grow as a College.

“I had an amazing experience. It has been a dream come true for me, to visit the Microsoft campus has been on my bucket list since Windows 95.”