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Tag: MVP

Microsoft Most Valuable Professional

Microsoft Data Platform MVP 2021-2022: Vaccinated Edition

It’s July 1st, 2021, and I’m currently sitting here with a slightly sore arm and all the emotions. Why? Because… First, I got my first Pfizer shot. Then, I was renewed as a Microsoft Data Platform MVP 2021-2022! 🥳🤓😭🤩😁

Cathrine Wilhelmsen smiling with a bandaid on her arm after getting vaccinated and being renewed as a Microsoft Data Platform MVP 2021-2022

The Vaccine

I’ll start with the most personal thing… the vaccine. This past year has been difficult, as it has been for so many of us. I’m extremely privileged to live in Norway, my family is safe and healthy, I have a secure job, and I know so very well that I’m one of the incredibly lucky ones. But I also lost most of my life when the pandemic started. I could no longer travel to meet my friends, help others by speaking at events, or do any of the things that have been my most important coping mechanisms for my mental health.

Last spring I was constantly afraid, I struggled to sleep and focus, and I couldn’t keep up with work. The result was that I crashed hard. I took a break from everything and even shut down my website for a while because everything was overwhelming. By the end of summer, I thought that things were slowly getting better. They weren’t. In October, I realized that I had completely burned out, finally asked for help from my boss and my doctor, and ended up on sick leave. I thought I’d be fine after a couple of weeks, while my boss smiled and kindly told me to prepare for a rollercoaster ride that would last for months. He was right, of course. It took me 8 months before I was back working full-time. And I’m still not back to my old self yet.

But now… I feel hopeful. I get to go into the office again in August to see my coworkers, and do things I used to take for granted like go out for a coffee or visit the library. Maybe I get to see friends again before the end of the year. (It’s been two long years without them!) Things are slowly starting to feel more normal, instead of everything being scary and overwhelming. Getting the vaccine is the first step in starting to live again and not just getting through the days, and I am so ready for that!

Phew! That was… a lot 😊

Microsoft Data Platform MVP 2021-2022

On top of all those 👆🏻 emotions, I was renewed as a Microsoft Data Platform MVP 2021-2022! 🥳 I don’t feel like I deserve the award this time because I haven’t been able to do much this past year, but I am so, so, so grateful that Microsoft showed empathy and understanding and decided to give me another chance 💙

I’m excited, and that’s a feeling I haven’t felt for a while. It feels good. I’m looking forward to a sort of kind of new start? Or maybe a refresh? F5. Let’s go with that one 🤓

I’m a Microsoft Ignite Community Reporter!

For this year’s Microsoft Ignite, 10 MVPs have been invited by Microsoft to cover the event live throughout the week. I’m very excited and honored to announce that I’m one of this year’s Community Reporters! :) As a Community Reporter, I will share news and updates by blogging, tweeting, reporting live, interviewing speakers and attendees, and posting pictures and videos of what’s happening on the ground in Orlando.

Get to know the Community Reporters

Click on the links below to read each Community Reporter’s introduction blog post, learn more about them, and see where you can follow them on social media. If you’re on Twitter, you can find everyone in the msignitelive list.

Microsoft Ignite Community Reporters

Top row from left to right:
Alistair Pugin (Office Servers & Services MVP)
Cathrine Wilhelmsen (Data Platform MVP) <- Hey mom, look, it's me! :)
Christian Buckley (Office Servers & Services MVP)
Darrell Webster (Office Servers & Services MVP)
Dux Raymond Sy (Office Servers & Services MVP)

Bottom row from left to right:
Harjit Dhaliwal (Windows and Devices for IT MVP)
Laura Rogers (Office Servers & Services MVP)
Magnus MÃ¥rtensson (Microsoft Azure MVP)
Sue Hanley (Office Servers & Services MVP)
Tom Arbuthnot (Office Servers & Services MVP)

What will you do as a Community Reporter?

My focus will be on the Microsoft Data Platform, SQL Server, Analytics, Machine Learning and AI, as well Women in Business & Technology. As the only Data Platform MVP, I won’t be able to cover everything, but I will do my best to share news and updates about a wide variety of topics. Do you have any ideas, suggestions, or even questions for any of the speakers? Let me know in a comment!

I will cross-post content to this blog throughout the week, but most of my activity will be on Twitter, so make sure you follow me there: @cathrinew.

If you want to know which sessions I’m attending, take a look at my Microsoft Ignite Schedule. Keep in mind that I have a lot of other things planned that aren’t listed in the schedule (some of them may or may not involve a camera crew!) and that my schedule might change at any time.

Finally, make sure you follow the Microsoft Ignite Blog for all the latest news and updates.

See you in Orlando?

Are you attending Microsoft Ignite? Let me know by leaving a comment. And if you see me around, make sure to say hi! If my nose is stuck to my phone screen, it only means I’m sharing something cool, I’m not trying to ignore you ;)

Cathrine Wilhelmsen is a Microsoft Ignite Community Reporter

See you in Orlando from September 25-29!

I’m a Microsoft SQL Server MVP

Microsoft SQL Server MVP (Most Valuable Professional)I spent most of July 1st relaxing in the sun, reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and enjoying my vacation. I spent the rest of July 1st reading, re-reading and re-re-reading the e-mail I received from Microsoft congratulating me with my first MVP Award.

On July 1st 2015, I became a Microsoft SQL Server MVP (Most Valuable Professional) in Norway.

Unfortunately my copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy did not have Don’t Panic written in large, friendly letters on the cover. So I panicked a little. I think I may have panicked more than just a little. Actually, I’m pretty sure I panicked a lot:

Sheldon Panicking

You see, I had mixed feelings about becoming an MVP. I am truly honored and thankful, but it is also very intimidating to be part of a group with so many talented people that I admire. I don’t have decades of experience, I’m not a SQL Server expert, I haven’t published any books and I haven’t created any scripts that are used all over the world. Why should I deserve to become an MVP? I panicked a little (or a lot) because I compared myself to those who are years ahead of me down the road, and because it felt like I cut in line in front of amazing people who deserves the award more than me.

So I took a step back and thought about what the MVP Award means to me. To quote Microsoft: MVPs are community leaders who’ve demonstrated an exemplary commitment to helping others get the most out of their experience with Microsoft technologies. They share their exceptional passion, real-world knowledge, and technical expertise with the community and with Microsoft.

To me, it’s all about community. I may not be the most experienced SQL Server expert, but I helped restart SQL Server User Group Norway. I was the main organizer of the first SQLSaturday in Oslo and currently organizing the second one. I’ve volunteered and presented sessions online, in Europe and in the US. I blog, I tweet and I do my best to help others.

And I love it. Being recognized by Microsoft and getting a thank you for what I have done this past year means so much to me. Thank you to everyone who has been there for me and believed in me, it means more to me than I can say. Receiving the MVP Award inspires me even more to give back and pay it forward, to keep learning and sharing my knowledge, to help grow the Norwegian SQL Server community.

I’m just getting started :)