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How to Turn Intrapreneurship into Global Impact

Yina Arenas

These days, decade-long tenure at companies is becoming increasingly rare –but I am a believer that when you love where you work and what you work on, there’s nothing more powerful. I believe you can continue to find ways to create impact in the long-term. My 12 years at Microsoft have been nothing short of amazing. I have held a variety of roles, led global teams, built incredible products, and helped to shape the company’s culture. Along the way, I am most proud to say I’ve been an employee of a place where my personal values align with the broader company mission.

See, I believe in working towards a larger purpose - not just doing business for the sake of business. In my current role, as Partner Group Manager for Microsoft Graph and Microsoft 365 core Ecosystem team, my mission is to empower developers to connect with those services and build those experiences that help close the last mile of functionality that our customer needs when it comes to productivity. That’s one of the most beautiful things about tech: it’s helping humans evolve how we interact with the world around us.

In addition to my work on products, I’ve worked tirelessly on bringing diverse talent into Microsoft from across the Americas, Africa and around the globe.

In the tech world, there is endless opportunity for growth and creativity. At a large organization, you may have the opportunity to grow and incubate a product from zero into a multi-billion dollar business. This intrapreneurship experience is one of the many benefits of tenure at an organization - you learn to navigate relationships, witness successes and failures, and benefit from momentum. For example, I’ve launched an initiative that’s now Microsoft-wide, utilized by millions of customers across the globe. That kind of impact is career-changing.

I think of it as embracing the white space; embracing what is needed for us to move forward.  Be aware that there are challenges ahead,  but there are also many opportunities. If you focus on that, you can blind yourself from all of the different sets of things that you would be able to get as part of the journey. Contrarily, if you focus on the positives instead of the negatives, you will find a way to persist.  

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