Beyond the Blue Badge - by the Microsoft Alumni Network
Microsoft Stories that Inform and Inspire
This podcast features alumni who are leaders in business, careers and philanthropy as they talk about lessons learned, overcoming obstacles, finding their bliss and thriving post-Microsoft.
Adaptive leadership with Neil Holloway
How to become a differentiator in your career
Before joining Seattle startup Skytap in 2017, Neil Holloway spent nearly his entire career at Microsoft. During those 26 years, he held various roles including managing director of the UK and president of Microsoft EMEA. Throughout this career he has had to constantly evolve and learn, while showing up as a leader. In this episode of Beyond the Blue Badge, Neil talks with host Peter Proud about leaving his comfort zone, navigating his career at Microsoft, staying relevant, and how to become a differentiator.
Activate allyship with Gavriella Schuster
Discover the framework to achieve gender equity
Allies are essential for creating change and achieving gender equity. Gavriella Schuster is working to teach more people how they can become inclusive allies. During her more than 25 years at Microsoft, most recently as Channel Chief, Gavriella was a change agent for gender equity at the company and beyond to the channel ecosystem. She left in 2021 to focus on helping others become allies within their own ecosystems. Her e-book “BeCOME ALLIES” shares framework for great allyship and gives practical ways for people to get started. In this Beyond the Blue Badge episode, Gavriella sits down with host Ali Spain to discuss her experience as woman leading at Microsoft, how being the “only” in the room propelled her into this work, six actions you can take to become a supportive ally and why it’s crucial for change.
Unlocking startup success with Robert Wahbe
Creating new industry categories, trials and tribulations and advice for desired outcomes
Robert Wahbe co-founded Seattle-based Highspot, a company that defined a new market category. Now, the sales enablement platform is valued at nearly $4 billion. During this Beyond the Blue Badge episode, Host T.A. McCann sits down with the Microsoft alum to discuss the ideation of Highspot, the trials and triumphs that came with breaking into a new industry space, how to achieve desirable business outcomes and advice for other startup leaders.
Unlocking opportunity with Mohit Bhende
Smart interviewing to level up on representation
Mohit “Mo” Bhende is determined to bring more diversity into engineering roles. After six years at Microsoft, Mo co-founded Seattle-based Karat, which provides the first interviewing cloud to help companies find engineers in an equitable way. In this episode, host Eddie Pate and Mo discuss how Karat is raising the bar on representation, its flagship Brilliant Black Minds program and partnership with Serena Williams, closing the interview access gap, and why he always puts people first.
Investing in innovation with Bindi Karia
Navigating the entrepreneurial ecosystem for startup success
It’s no secret that many Microsoft alumni dive into the startup world after leaving the company. After eight years at Microsoft as venture capital and emerging business lead in United Kingdom, Bindi Karia did just that and has since spent her career helping fuel innovation as a tech industry guru, advisor, speaker and venture partner. In this episode of our Beyond the Blue Badge podcast, host Peter Proud sits down with Bindi to discuss the stages of launching a startup, the six characteristics she notices of a successful entrepreneur, the importance of utilizing your network in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and how she’s investing in the innovation of today.
Mentorship matters with Alonda Williams
Using corporate experiences to fuel the nonprofit sector and change lives
Microsoft alumni have the opportunity to use their unique experiences to supercharge change in the nonprofit sector. In this episode of our Beyond the Blue Badge podcast, host Paul Shoemaker sits down with alum Alonda Williams, author, speaker and current chief executive officer at Big Brothers Big Sister of Puget Sound, which is provides mentorship to thousands of children. Alonda discusses how she uses her Microsoft and life experiences to lead in the nonprofit sector, why she’s passionate about building confidence in young black girls, and how mentorship can transform our communities and youth.