Getting to know datacenter employees: Natsumi Yamasaki
Datacenter Employee Spotlights work to illuminate real-life examples of pathways into IT careers and provide potential role models to those looking to access inclusive economic opportunities. Microsoft’s success depends on our people. We are proud to introduce some of the talented folks in your community who work in our global datacenters. Discover what inspired them to seek a career in the tech industry, the different pathways they pursued, and what a day in the life of a datacenter employee looks like.
Introducing Natsumi Yamasaki
Datacenter Inventory & Asset Manager
Employee since 2017
Natsumi grew up in Osaka prefecture in western Japan. She enjoyed video games and spending time outdoors with her younger siblings and friends. As she grew older, her interests expanded to include English, the abacus, and playing the piano. When Natsumi was 13, she applied for a cultural experience program organized by her hometown and its sister city in Shanghai. Through this program, she visited a school in Shanghai, immersed in a homestay with a Chinese family, and gained valuable insights into their way of life. This fueled her fascination with foreign cultures, particularly those of China and Asia.
The path to technology
Having gained valuable experience in the logistics field at a local packaging company, where she handled importing and purchasing, Natsumi decided to pursue a career path in logistics as a Datacenter Inventory & Asset Technician (also known as a “Logistics Technician”) with Microsoft. This role allowed her to develop a comprehensive understanding of IT hardware and datacenter facilities. Within a year, she was promoted to Senior Inventory and Asset Technician, assuming additional responsibilities such as managing team assignments and addressing inquiries. As a 5S champion, she actively participated in fostering a clean and organized work environment as part of Microsoft’s organizational program. Since 2021, Natsumi has taken on the role of Inventory and Asset Manager.
In her current role, Natsumi’s primary areas of expertise are people management and driving projects. She believes in mindful listening and guiding her team members to success. When it comes to project assignments, she carefully considers each team member’s strengths, growth potential, and workload to ensure optimal outcomes.
For effective communication, Natsumi takes the time to break down new processes and announcements, providing additional information or creating templates to enhance understanding among team members.
As a people manager, she is committed to continuous learning and growth. She actively seeks out lessons, books, training opportunities, and guidance from her manager, colleagues, team members, and mentors. She consistently applies what she has learned to foster personal and professional development.
A day in the life
Natsumi starts her day early, heading to the datacenter to have some focus time in the morning. This period is dedicated to prioritizing tasks that demand attention before operational activities begin. Once completed, she checks and responds to emails. Following the Logistics team’s stand-up call, where urgent matters and high-risk activities are discussed, her focus shifts to planning upcoming projects, participating in meetings, addressing inquiries, and providing onsite support as needed. In the afternoon, she prioritizes scheduling one-on-one meetings with team members, ensuring their voices are heard, concerns are addressed, and collaboration is optimized.
Natsumi particularly enjoys the current working environment, where she can communicate in English with colleagues from diverse cultural backgrounds, both within and beyond her team.
Favorite childhood food
Japanese curry rice
Her mother’s curry rice has always been Natsumi’s favorite childhood food. Each time, her mother would prepare a generous pot of curry for her family of five, and Natsumi could never resist going back for seconds. The following day, her mother would prepare udon noodles and serve them with curry on top. Natsumi always enjoyed the curry twice!