When Olena Grischenko, a Ukrainian transplant living in Australia, learned she had been nominated for a Microsoft MVP award, she wasn't quite sure that she wanted to receive it. On the one hand, if being named an MVP was going to help her run her community activities better, then, yes, she wanted it. On the other hand, if it was going to stop her or distract her from that work, then she didn’t want it.

"I had this conversation with the Australian MVP coordinator when I was nominated," says Grischenko, an independent Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement and Power Platform consultant. "She said we would continue our conversation but we never did. So I was very surprised when I got the email in September. I was shocked, actually."

Supporting women in Microsoft biz apps

But since being named an MVP, Grischenko says she has more opportunities to continue her work in the community, which includes a group she helped to organize called the Sydney Microsoft Biz Apps Women’s Group.

The aim of the group is to support women in the Microsoft business applications space and attract more women to the community. Currently, the Sydney group has 200 members. New groups will be launched in Melbourne and New Zealand.

"Women need to be more visible and more vocal, so the goal of the group is to support visibility and recognition for women in biz apps," she says. "In August, I was speaking about the group at the Women in Technology Launch and all of a sudden, people discovered they want to try something like this, too. So they organized the Melbourne and New Zealand grounds. Now, we have the opportunity to have our own booth at Microsoft Ignite in Sydney, and we'll also be doing workshops as a group."

Grischenko, who has a technical background, just recently started her independent consultancy. Over the past 20 years, she has worked as a Dynamics CRM technical architect, a CRM solution architect, and a CRM, .NET and web developer

"I'm a developer and I do hands-on work, [D365CE] implementations,' she says. "I also do Power Apps and Power Platform."

Learning by doing

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