Audrey Long has learned so much from failure. When you meet her, it’s hard to imagine her failing at anything because she is incredibly positive and effervescent. Her moxie and grit landed her in the Microsoft CSE Solution Area as a Security Subject Matter Expert (SME).
In high school, Audrey didn’t have anyone in her life pushing her to pursue higher education. She found school boring because nothing held her attention. Audrey dropped out of college twice. She began to wonder if school was for her. She pivoted into retail, and at one point was juggling three jobs at once to pay her bills. The work was mundane, and Audrey knew she could do better.
Audrey always knew she could achieve anything if she put in the effort. Despite her ADHD (which she considers a superpower), she pushed herself to learn by breaking down the hard problems into digestible smaller ones, iterating through those problems, and setting personal deadlines, which worked for her because she was determined to succeed. At 23, she went back to college and graduated in computer science. Audrey is the first in her family on both sides to graduate from college.
Audrey never thought in a million years that she would work at Microsoft. She hesitated to apply because she did not feel worthy or smart enough. However, in her previous job at Raytheon the work was exciting and interesting for her, but it was focused on building technology for government use. Audrey knew she wanted to pursue her passion for building technology for the greater good. She decided that she would take the risk and applied to Microsoft. She was hired during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has been difficult, but has also come with many new growth and learning opportunities. Learning team culture is a struggle most with today’s pandemic, but with patience, and supportive team members anything can be accomplished. CSE is a travel focused team, but the pandemic has been keeping CSE engineers at home. Once the pandemic ends it will be a whole new set of skills and culture that will need to be relearned to better solve security problems with the customer in person, and that is a challenge she is the most excited for.
Audrey loves being on the CSE team because she enjoys finding ways to bake security solutions from the start. To her, because she is so fond of security, it is like solving many interesting puzzles.
When she isn’t working or studying to earn her Master’s in cybersecurity, Audrey enjoys traveling with her husband, and cooking Korean food.