If you had told me a few years ago that I would wrap my year up with a hand full of Microsoft Fundamental Certifications, I would not have believed you. Initially, my journey into learning more came from what I felt was a necessity. I was in sales wanting to do a demo for Conversational AI utilizing Azure Bot Framework and QnA Maker. I needed more customization for an important meeting with a customer-managed by a partner. Still, there were insufficient resources to assist me with the timeline I had to prepare, and I needed to build this out. 

I did not know how to get it done, but I did it anyway. I struggled through it. I stayed up during my weekend full of caffeine and studied YouTube videos while walking through the Azure Portal. I wanted to land this account, and I was exhausted by the end of the weekend. But I did it! I was full of pride when I jumped into my Microsoft Teams meeting to show the value to the customer. The potential client liked what I showed them, and It matched their pain.

I CLOSED THE DEAL! I went on to get more and more clients that year interested in a solution that aligned to IT, Sales, and HR support for internal employees or students. This experience, struggle, and growth opportunity led me to where my learning path landed in 2021. Mid-year, I decided that I needed to get the AI-900. I was sure I knew what I needed, but I failed my first test without adequately studying. I failed. I’m glad I failed. It humbled me because I was starting to think I knew everything I needed to learn, but I was wrong.

“Don’t be a know-it-all; be a learn-it-all.” -Satya Nadella.

In the experience of learning Conversational AI, I was learning more, but I let myself get to a point where I had a closed mindset. That’s super toxic for professional growth. This realization led me onto my journey to study more on how to be better at learning. I learned that I’m much better at hands-on learning, like building a bot while watching someone do it by taking notes because it aided me in retaining the information.

This lesson was so crucial for me in 2021 because it gave me an understanding of what I needed to reach my goals. This year, here’s what helped me:

  • Create time blocks for 30 minutes a day to focus on learning. I picked a time when I was more alert and motivated. 
  • Switch up resources for learning to stay motivated. I watched YouTube videos from John Savill (Cloud Solution Architect at Microsoft) and went through the Microsoft Learn modules. I appreciated the learning style John uses with a whiteboard.
  • Don’t cram the information again before taking the test. This leads to overthinking when the information is there because you put in the work by studying.
  • Have fun with it and focus on what excites you!!

Use your lessons in learning to help inspire others. Here are the resources that I used in my journey this year:  

Figuring out how I learn and retain information was my biggest win in 2021! This led to me getting four fundamental certifications this year from Microsoft. 

That’s why, as a WIC Brand Ambassador, I’m so excited for this upcoming Annual Summit. Especially for the fantastic immersive learning experiences. It’s the perfect opportunity to grow professionally and personally in the hands of the top leaders and most influential tech industry people!

You can find more information about the Summit and its schedule on their website. Also, you can get an incredible 15% OFF of your ticket purchase by using the code 15-OFF.

Need more information? Stay tuned at the WIC’s digital network for more information about upcoming events, products, and promotions!

And remember: don’t be afraid to fail. Stay at it. Fail, learn why you failed, and try again. You got this!