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This is the next segment of our blog series highlighting Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors who achieved the Gold milestone and have recently graduated from university. Each blog in the series features a different student and highlights their accomplishments, their experience with the Student Ambassadors community, and what they’re up to now.
Today we meet Demetris Bakas who is from Greece and recently graduated from the University of Patras with an integrated master’s degree in Computer Engineering.
Responses have been edited for clarity and length.
When you joined the Student Ambassador community in 2015, did you have specific goals you wanted to reach, such as a particular skill or quality?
When I first attended my university courses, I met a lot of ambitious students, among them some of the smartest and most capable people I have ever met. It made me think “How can I work with them? How can I get to their level? I cannot be the best engineer around, right?” Then I realized that what I wanted to do is have another skill set apart from my knowledge on code, that being soft skills. Looking back, I believe it worked pretty well! Being in this community helped me greatly improve my presentation and communication skills and become as best of an asset as I can be to a team.
What were the accomplishments that you’re the proudest of and why?
As a Student Ambassador, there are many accomplishments that I am proud of. I was able to manage multiple Greek communities and participate in many interesting projects. This included creating unity games, such as a tower defense game with animals defending the forest, and all kinds of interactive bots made with the bot framework. For example, bots that notify you about multiple occurrences, and bots that provide the weather or help you find a flight. However, my biggest accomplishment is probably my participation in Global Azure 2021 where I applied as a member of the Student Ambassador community to present and was selected to present about Azure bot service.
What are you doing now that you’ve graduated?
I am currently searching for a job. Hopefully I will be presenting at more events in the future as a guest. I plan to stay in touch with the connections that I made through the Student Ambassador community over the years.
If you could redo your time as a Student Ambassador, is there anything you would have done differently?
I am of the mindset that you never know how things will turn out. Is there something that I could have changed to drastically improve the outcome? Probably. However, I am very satisfied with how things turned out, and I would not risk losing that. So, to answer the question, no, even if I had the chance to change something, I would repeat the same process.
If you were to describe the community to a student who is interested in joining, what would you say about it to convince him or her to join?
There are quite a lot of things that this program has to offer to a student. However, the most valuable asset in my opinion is networking while participating in the community. You get to meet people who are just as passionate about technology as you are. You can interact with them, work with them on a project, or even organize and present an event with them. And if you are as lucky as I am, you might not just stay colleagues with these people; you might have the chance to build friendships. As you graduate, you will realize that these are the people that will help you to find job openings that you like or even recommend you for one. They can help you create projects based on your ideas, and most importantly, let you know about new technologies that they are working with and find interesting.
What advice would you give to new Student Ambassadors?
My advice to new Student Ambassadors is to use every opportunity they have in order to achieve their targets. You never know what you will learn and who you will meet until you take that chance and participate in anything that you find worthwhile. The worst thing that can come out of it is that the opportunity did not lead anywhere interesting, but usually there is something to get from everything you do, so never feel that your time was wasted.
What is your motto in life, your guiding principle?
My motto would be “Never stop learning”! The most reliable way of succeeding in a subject is to learn as much as you can about it. Do not be intimidated. Even if you fail, you learned something for your next try.
What is one random fact about you that few people are aware of?
I am constantly listening to music; I regularly try to make time for listening sessions where I can focus on music listening and nothing else. I also go to great lengths to watch my favorite artists at live concerts.
We wish you the best of luck, Demetris!