Grad Leads Global Consumer Sales Team At Microsoft
Born in Las Vegas and raised in Reno, Ami Silverman attended Edward C. Reed High School in nearby Sparks before heading to FIDM for her A.A. in Merchandising & Marketing. After her 1988 graduation, she worked in fashion apparel until 2005, when she made the jump to technology, where she’s thrived. We checked in with Ami to learn more about her journey.
Tell us about your position at Microsoft. What are your responsibilities? I lead the Consumer Sales Organization for Microsoft's multi-billion-dollar consumer business. In over 120 markets, my global team and I are leading the way in helping consumers everywhere achieve more – however, whenever, and wherever they choose to discover, learn, and buy across Modern Life (Windows, Surface, M365) and Gaming. My team is the sole consumer sales team at Microsoft and reaches consumers through direct and partner channels, including 80,000 retail and mobile operators and 500,000 digital partners.
How have your responsibilities shifted as your position has expanded from smaller retail locations to a global scale? Does it alter your perspective on your relationship to the customer? The responsibilities have shifted with each position and company. The one constant is my accountability for leading a high performing team that delivers impactful outcomes. I love consumer behavior, understanding how they go through the journey to discover, learn and buy gives me energy. In the past 3 years we have seen one constant, 86% starts with search and new social platforms create new purchasing behaviors of epic proportions. Ultimately, if you work tirelessly to put the customer at the center and meet them where they are, you will be constantly evolving with purpose to being customer obsessed.
What was the path to this position for you? How can FIDM students follow in your footsteps? A unique path into technology, after spending 20 years in apparel the past 18 years have been in technology. As a student, find what you are good at, what gives you energy and go for it. For me it started with a love of apparel, but then turned into loving the opportunity to lead teams and work with large groups collaborating to reach impactful performance.
How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? When I went to FIDM I also worked full time, as it was encouraged. FIDM also brought the reality of the real world in which you were interested to how you learned; this was one of my favorite differentiators at FIDM. FIDM understands that on-the-job learning is vital to connecting classroom-based knowledge with needed workplace skills.
Anything else you’d like to share? Many of the FIDM professors are also working professionals in the subjects they teach, this resonated with me on how they talked about their lived experience and brought that into the classroom.
Follow Ami on Twitter @AmiMSFT.