How to Consistently Earn a Microsoft Access MVP Award
I often get asked, “how does one become an Access MVP?”
When I first started nine years ago, we had over 30 MVPs. Now we have less than 20. Each year, I need to compile my accomplishments and submit them for review, then cross my fingers and hope to be awarded. It’s not like you can go to https://mvp.microsoft.com/ and follow a 10-step guide to being nominated and awarded. There is no specific guidance on the website to help you accomplish this goal; there are only three objectives listed here – https://mvp.microsoft.com/en-US/pages/what-it-takes-to-be-an-mvp:
- Contributing to Projects
- Helping Others
- Creating Content
It helps to interact with the Access Team
The team does have some influence on the decision process, but it doesn’t have the final say. I’ve known MVPs who don’t have any interaction with the team at Redmond and still be awarded. As an MVP, I participate in calls with the team, provide feedback and submit ideas for the product.
If you’re not an MVP, you can still interact by submitting suggestions and bugs via user voice: https://access.uservoice.com/. The team DOES read what gets posted there.
Provide feedback in Access itself
You can also reach the team via the “Help improve Office?” Icon on the upper right in Access: (smiley face)
You can submit feedback anonymously but I don’t recommend that if you want to be recognized. It helps to provide your email and a phone number in case the team wants to reach out and ask for more details or a sample file to illustrate the issues you are reporting. It goes a LONG WAY to help your case if you do report bugs and feedback.
Start a blog
I started this blog many years ago and now I’m getting 14,000 site visits a month. It’s a great way to improve your brand and help you become an MVP. I recommend at least one post a month at first, using WordPress and Google Feedburner to help with subscriptions.
I started and maintain a worldwide organization, AccessUserGroups.org, where as others, like Karl Donaubauer, organize in-person conferences. I urge you to reach out to me so I can put you in touch with one of my chapter presidents to present at a future meeting. Presenting online at least a couple of times per year will help your case. Even better, consider starting a group in your region or your language. We are still in need of a group that meets in the Pacific time zone and in other languages besides English and Spanish. Need proof that this is worth the effort? Two of our chapter presidents have gone on to become Access MVPs.
Help on forums
Consider helping users who post questions at Microsoft, UtterAccess or any other forum online. I personally don’t do this, but I know plenty of Access MVPs who share their expertise on these platforms.
Required: Get MVP to nominate you
The only way you can get nominated is if another MVP nominates you. Therefore, it’s important you build a good body of work AND befriend an MVP who is familiar with your work and efforts.