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Tag: Microsoft MVP

Microsoft Data Platform MVP 2023-2024

Cathrine Wilhelmsen holding a Microsoft MVP 2023 mug. On July 6th, I received my 9th MVP Award and became a Microsoft Data Platform MVP 2023-2024, yaaaaay! 🤓🥳

In previous years, being awarded as a Microsoft MVP was my biggest achievement of the entire year. This year, however, it’s my second biggest achievement. What could possibly beat that, you may ask? Oh, you know, just fighting and surviving another major depressive episode.

Earlier this year, all I could do was survive. Now? Now I’ve kicked my depression in its big ol’ rear-end as far away from me as possible. My creativity is returning and ideas are popping up every day. Life is finally worth living again. Receiving this MVP Award was just the (most delicious) icing on the cake 😊💙

I feel ready to get back into speaking again, and I already have a few events planned this year, yay! At work, I’m involved in several Microsoft Fabric projects and I finally get to play around with Power BI, yay! In my local community, the kickass ladies Marthe, Emilie, and Ioana are all inspiring me to get more involved again, yay! I’m finally excited about the things I love and it feels amazing 🥳

Oh, and look at this shiny badge I got:

Microsoft MVP 2023 badge.

I’m ready for another year as a Data Platform MVP. Thank you so much to all of you for all your support, and to Microsoft for seeing my value when I didn’t. Let’s gooo! 🤓

Microsoft Data Platform MVP 2022-2023: Swag Edition

Cathrine Wilhelmsen wearing an MVP hoodie, sitting by her keyboard with an MVP coffee mug. July 1st is an important day for all Microsoft MVPs: It’s the day we find out whether or not we have been re-awarded. This year, however, we had to wait until July 5th because of technical maintenance. Gulp! 😨 That meant a few more days of nervous hoping, waiting, and nail-biting…

When we finally got to July 5th, my Twitter timeline and LinkedIn feed exploded with happy announcements, yay! I’m so happy and thankful to receive my 8th MVP Award this year and become a Microsoft Data Platform MVP 2022-2023! 🤓🥳

This award means even more to me because I’ve had a rough couple of years. Many of us have been struggling, and I think most of us have had our lives changed in some way during the pandemic. For many, the pandemic meant new opportunities. Those who were previously unable to travel to events could suddenly participate in all kinds of virtual events, which was amazing! Others turned around and used the opportunity to start blogging or creating video content or podcasts. I have seen so many existing and new MVPs emerge and shine these past couple of years, which makes me so so so happy 🤩

At the same time, I felt completely lost. I was not able to turn around and try new things. I tried, I failed, I let people down, and I had to prioritize handling several personal issues over contributing to the community. In many ways, I let myself down. At the same time, I know I did the right thing taking care of myself first, and I know I did as much as I was able to. I had accepted that if that wasn’t enough to be re-awarded, it would be ok. But it was enough, and I’m so grateful to be recognized by Microsoft again 🥰

Receiving another MVP Award gave me such a boost of inspiration and motivation to continue being involved in this amazing community. Receiving some cool swag made it all even better. (I can now properly cosplay as a hacker, woohoo! 👩🏼‍💻) I will totally be smiling proudly whenever I wear this hoodie 🤓

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.

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)

I'm a Microsoft SQL Server MVP

Portrait of Cathrine Wilhelmsen with the Microsoft SQL Server MVP logo above her head.

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.

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 😊