Cathy Moya

Program Manager

Microsoft

“I help our customers to help us make better products.”

MY ROUTE:

The Curved Road

MY WORK LIFE:

Program Manager

foundation interest 1 interest 2

My work allows me to combine the foundation of HELPING PEOPLE and the interests of TECHNOLOGY and WRITING.


DAY IN AND DAY OUT

On a great day, you would see me checking on our UserVoice site to see what our customers are asking for in our products. Then I'd spend some time seeing what our MVP community is talking about online. Sometimes they need help with questions, or sometimes someone on my team has questions for them about what our customers need. I also work with companies that are using pre-release versions of our software so they can give us feedback, and find bugs we wouldn't find on our own.

SKILLS, TRAINING, OR EXPERIENCE NEEDED

I had a lot of hands on with my product before I joined the team that builds it. I saw how it was used in the real world. I still get to go in the real world when we do the pre-release deployments, and I always learn a lot. I also had a lot of training in network administration. I've been teaching myself advanced Excel, Access, and SharePoint to manage my data. I wish I knew how to code - even though I'm not a software engineer, it would make some tasks easier to write my own tools.

EDUCATION TO GET HERE:

Program Manager

I RECOMMEND COMPLETING:

  • High School
  • Undergraduate - anything you love, but also learn to code
  • Certification/License - Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer

What I studied SOMEWHAT RELATES to my work...

MY EDUCATION

  • High School - Abraham Lincoln High
  • Undergraduate - University of California-Los Angeles, Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General

SOME HELPFUL FIRST STEPS FOR SOMEONE IN TRANSITION TO A NEW CAREER

Get really comfortable with technology. There are a lot of boot camps out there now that can teach you skills like coding and network administration. If you combine those skills with other types of managerial skills, like project management and customer management, you'd have a good track into the kind of work I'm doing.

HURDLES I OVERCAME

THE “NOISE” FROM MYSELF

“Acting isn't a practical way to make a living. You'll starve!”

HOW I OVERCAME THE “NOISE”

I'm glad no one stopped me from majoring in theater. I learned for myself that it wasn't something I wanted to do full-time after graduation, but I learned A LOT in my major - How to work with others to reach a common vision. How to design beautiful things. How to finish a project on time and on budget, despite constraints. How to tell a story. Art and Tech go together. I am better at tech because of my artistic training. And with my flexible job, I can still do amateur theater.

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