Last summer I found out that CSS's own Jennifer Narum was a proud member of the inaugural class for the United Way's new "35 Under 35" program. We were able to connect recently and I asked her about her experience with the program as well as her experience at Microsoft.


While this year's nominations for the next round of the program are closed, they should open up next Fall or so if this year's window is any indication. So if after reading this you think to yourself "WOW! I want to be a part of that!" (and let's be honest - who's not going to think that after reading about this program), you might want to make a calendar note now to look into it next year. After the interview we've included some information about the program which was featured in Fargo's campus newsletter last summer and lead to this whole shebang!

1.        What is your Microsoft Anniversary date?
July 9, 2001

2.      What office do you work out of?
Microsoft Fargo Campus, Horizon Building


3.      What is your current role and with which group?
Outlook Support Team Manager, Microsoft Office Systems Support


4.      What are you working on?
I lead a team of Support Engineers supporting customers and partners that use the Microsoft Outlook Product. 


5.      What do you like most about your role?
My passion is coaching and developing others, helping others be successful in their roles and careers and be the best they can be.  I also love that we work so closely with Microsoft customers and partners each and every day and help them to be successful in using our products. I could go on and on with this question, though these two are towards the top of my list of why I “love” my role and career within Support at Microsoft.


6.      Is this what you wanted to be when you grew up? 
In college I changed my major a few times and ultimately decided on majoring in Management Information Systems, with minors in Business Administration and Computer Science.  So I knew I wanted to be in business of some sort and this industry, business, and company has been a wonderful fit for me.

7.      How did you get to Microsoft/your current role? 
I had an internship at Great Plains Software while I was going to college at NDSU and as I was graduating I was looking for full-time positions and at the same time Great Plains was acquired by Microsoft.  Upon graduating in May 2001, I was fortunate to get a job on the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Support Team as a Support Engineer.  After about 2 ½ years I became a Technical Lead on that team, and then a Team Manager on that team for 3 years.  From there I had the amazing opportunity of helping start the Outlook Support team here in Fargo in July 2008 and have been in this role since.

8.      How did you become one of the inaugural class members of the “35 Under 35” program?
I was introduced to this program by being invited to participate in a Focus group prior to the launch of this program, so that is how I initially found out about the program.  Through that I learned about the program and became interested in it which lead me to apply, and I was accepted into the program.

9.      Tell me about your experience with the “35 Under 35” program. Best highlights? Rewards from the program?
The “35 Under 35” program was absolutely amazing for me, an inspiring experience!  Through this program I had the opportunity to:

- meet other women who aspire to similar goals in life and their careers

- made new friends across the community and within other Fargo/Moorhead businesses

- learned a wealth of information and tips & tricks that I have applied to my work, the type of leader I am, and in my personal life

- how I could further my reach and involvement in the community

- and learned a lot about myself!


More about "35 Under 35":

The 35 Under 35 program was created through a collaboration of United Way of Cass-Clay and influential women's groups in Fargo-Moorhead.  It was started with a grant from the Dakota Medical Foundation to cultivate female leaders.  "The goal of the program is not only about enhancing leadership skills, but also about creating a network of 35 strong and inspiring young women in our community, " said Sue Wiger, Campaign Director for the United Way.  This is the first year for the program and Microsoft's own Jennifer Narum, Support Team Manager, Commercial Office System Support - Outlook, was part of the inaugural class of 35 women.  "The 35 Under 35 Leadership Program was an amazing community networking experience for me. I would highly recommend it to any woman interested in enhancing her leadership skills." said Narum.  If you would like more information regarding this program, contact United Way of Cass-Clay, 701-237-5050.


You can learn more about our Fargo campus in our interview with Fargo Staffing Consultant, Abigail Barber, and in this video from Fox's Business News featuring our Fargo campus.