Meet Microsoft’s MBA Class of 2018

Susan Sasu

Microsoft

MBA Program: Duke University, Fuqua School of Business

MBA Concentration: None

Hometown: Accra, Ghana

Undergraduate School and Major: Ashesi University, BSc Business Administration

Current Title at Microsoft: Product Marketing Manager, Surface Devices

How would you describe your role to your mother? I conduct research and analyze performance trends of worldwide Surface devices, to provide insights that are leveraged to make optimal business decisions. I also lead the expansion of the Surface portfolio into new markets.

A fun fact about me people would be surprised to know is…I blog. Via my blog, I share my personal stories to inspire women to push past challenges and realize their potential.

What was your greatest personal or professional accomplishment? In my second year at Fuqua, I served as one of the Admissions Directors for Fuqua’s Association of Women in Business (AWIB). With my team of women leaders, we developed and executed programming focused on nurturing and supporting women in the business school pipeline. Our initiatives included hosting coffee chats, mentoring high potential women, and hosting live webinars targeted at potential applicants in international locations. In parallel, I worked with a group of student leaders to partner with faculty to implement ways to increase female representation at Fuqua. In a year, Fuqua’s class of 2020, increased to 42% women from about 33% the previous year. At graduation, I won a Dean’s Recognition award for the work done through AWIB and the partnership with faculty to increase female representation. It was fulfilling to realize that so much change could be achieved through partnerships and the right kind of focus.

Why did you choose to work at MSFT? I’ve been working towards empowering people for most of my life, from mentoring underprivileged youth in Ghana to writing a blog to empower women to realize their potential. Microsoft’s mission of empowering every person and organization resonates with me and by leveraging Microsoft’s immense platform, I can empower people both personally and professionally.

What did you love about the business school you attended? The culture. Fuqua had faculty and classmates who truly cared. There were structures put in place to encourage collaboration. For example, Fuqua Fridays brought student and faculty across all the programs together every Friday, for good food, beer, wine, and great conversations. I could also shape my own leadership journey by participating in programs such as being a COLE (Coach K. Center on Leadership and Ethics) fellow (a second-year personal coach to incoming first years), which sharpened my leadership skills and challenged me to learn more about myself and people.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far at MSFT? It is important to build relationships across the business. People make up the organization and ultimately get the work done, so it’s important to foster good relationships with team members.

Which manager or peer has had the biggest impact on you at MSFT and how has he or she made you a better in your role? My manager, Gustavo Fernandez Perez, has been a tremendous support system in big and small ways. He has provided clarity and given me the resources and tools I need to succeed in my role. I requested a Burgundy (one of my favorite colors) Surface laptop as my work device and despite it being an unusual request (most people usually take the standard Platinum Surface Laptop), he got it for me. While this was a seemingly small request, this boosted my morale from day one.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to work for MSFT? Determine the unique skills or experiences that would enable you to make an impact at Microsoft and lean into them. Also, determine what at Microsoft makes you passionate and how you would bring that alive if you worked here. Communicate these passions during your Microsoft interviews.

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