Meet Microsoft’s MBA Class of 2018

Ryan Bernsmann



MBA Concentration: Entrepreneurship

Hometown: Perth, Australia

Undergraduate School and Major: Royal Military College – Duntroon, Military Studies

Current Title at Microsoft: Business Program Manager

How would you describe your role to your mother? I manage a customer-focused investment program to drive revenue on projects aligned to the company’s growth strategy.

A fun fact about me people would be surprised to know is…I am cross-dominant or mixed-handed. I write with my left hand, kick with my left foot, but I throw with my right hand and I am a regular-foot snowboarder.

What was your greatest personal or professional accomplishment? Becoming a father is the greatest accomplishment of my life.

Why did you choose to work at MSFT? There are many reasons why I chose to work at Microsoft, but the two most significant are impact and culture. My career coach at business school emphasized the importance of knowing what it was that I wanted to do and finding what was important to me. I thought about which companies have had an impact on my life and had the potential to impact people all over the planet. I found Microsoft’s mission – To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more – to be both altruistic and far-reaching. I strongly associated with that mission statement, so I spoke to a number of Microsoft employees about the culture of the organization. They all gave very positive reviews and encouraged me to dig a little deeper into the cultural transformation that Satya Nadella started when he took over as CEO. As I did my research, the leadership style of Satya and his team really resonated with me and made me want to be a part of this organization.

What did you love about the business school you attended? I loved the diversity; not just in the nationality or gender sense, but truly across all measurements of diversity. We have ninety nationalities represented, spanning the spectrum of socio-economic privilege, political leanings, religious beliefs, and across industries and functions I didn’t even know existed.  We had fighter pilots, classical musicians, nuclear fusion engineers, and genetic scientists. The quality of conversation you can have is unparalleled. Those are just the students; the professors, the alumni and invited guests are of equally impressive experience and background. When I needed a break from it all, I could go for a walk in the beautiful forest of Fontainebleau which surrounds the campus or dine on the delicious local cuisine at the nearby restaurants or markets.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far at MSFT? How to use PowerBI, an amazing business analytics tool.

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? Kelly for sure. From day one, I felt that she was invested in my success. She has been a valuable sounding board for ideas and continues to offer both encouragement and advice. She has really helped guide the way that I operate at Microsoft.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to work for MSFT? Develop your network and become an avid consumer of knowledge.

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