Denise Hazlick ’83
I will celebrate 25 years living in the Seattle area on my birthday this year – Dec. 6. I can’t believe I’ve been here this long! It’s changed a lot.
I left msnbc.com in spring 2013, and have been working for Microsoft since September 2013. I am an enablement strategy manager in our commercial partner organization. Partners are third party companies (such as Accenture, or Best Buy or small companies) that sell and deploy Microsoft products and services for their customers or companies that are building their own solutions & services that they sell to customers on Microsoft technologies. 90% of Microsoft’s annual revenue comes from its partners, so it’s an essential component of how we go to market with customers.
My primary job is to develop practice development content and training to help partners with their digital transformation so that they can learn how to move their businesses (and their customers’ businesses) to the cloud and be profitable doing it!
Most of my work in the past 4 months has been writing and delivering a practice development playbook for Microsoft Teams, the virtual calling and collaboration tool that is the evolution of Skype. I had no idea we would be living in the world we are in now when I started work on this in the fall. With so many companies moving their work forces to virtual, Teams is rapidly becoming a valuable tool. The playbook is available here.
So, not surprisingly, I am making great use of the tool every day for work. Microsoft ordered all of its Puget Sound and Bay Area employees to work from home starting the first week of March. I live alone, so I look forward to weekly happy hour calls with co-workers, friends and family, including my sisters (Laura Govan ’84 and Jeannine Hazlick ’87).
I’m an avid triathlete too, and my season is getting off to a slow start with 3 of my planned events being postponed or moved to virtual. I will be doing a virtual run-bike-run event this weekend. Not as much fun as being out and about with other people, but I’m fortunate that I live in an area with lots of open spaces so I can safely run and walk outside each day. Being able to maintain the structure of my training (minus the swimming) is what’s helping me cope, along with interacting with family and friends on Teams, Zoom and social media.
My message for students and alums would be to let your curiosity and intuition guide you. Listen to your gut and be open to new possibilities. The world has a lot to offer - if you’re open to it. If you do, you’ll get to experience some amazing things and meet some wonderful people along the way.
When I graduated from Carondelet, I was headed to UC Berkeley to major in Russian studies. That’s a long way from where I ended up! Pretty quickly I realized that wasn’t for me, so I went to Los Medanos College for two years and that’s where I met a great journalism instructor and ended up as a journalist.
That path lead me to Seattle and the opportunity to be a pioneer in online journalism working at msnbc.com. It was my experiences there that gave me the skills to shift to project management and content marketing at Microsoft.
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