Sneak Peak into the Life of a Microsoft Intern

Figure: Interns at the 2017 Signature Event

It’s hard to translate my entire summer experience into a brief summary — the experiences, the mentorship, the frienship, and more are all pieces that made the summer so great. Anyways, I wrote a bit about my experience and made a video to recap the summer.

Life of a Microsoft Intern

I’ve tried to sum up the best five things (though, there are SO many more) about being a Microsoft Intern. Then, you can find my recap video toward the end of the post.

  1. Unparalleled access to any Microsoft employee: I had heard that going into the summer that FTEs (Full Time Employees) love interns, but I hadn’t realized how true this is. Essentially, if there was someone at the company that an intern wants to meet, there is a high likelihood that a cold email would usually trigger a timely response. Granted, there are exceptions — Satya and the rest of the top level executive team often have schedules packed full of meetings and travel that is planned many months in advance. That being said, there were many FTEs that were more than willing to fit me into their schedules so that I could meet them and learn more about what they did. If an intern wanted to meet most CVPs (Corporate Vice President), it could definitely happen with some planning.
  2. Opportunity to work on products that millions (maybe billions) of people use: Most people see products like Word and Excel as, well, products. I really enjoyed getting to meet employees of numerous teams around Microsoft that were so excited and passionate about further improving products and enhancing user experiences. Meeting and interacting with those FTEs definitely inspired me to work harder. Depending on the team and the project, interns have the opportunity to contribute to products that SO many people use. I know I always freaked out a bit when I actually thought about just how many people use some of the products fellow interns and I worked on. There are interns working anything and everything from the Windows kernel to the Hololens to the Microsoft Office suite. In my case, I was on a team within the Windows & Devices Group that was building out a beta product, and the code my podmates and I wrote actually shipped and is on MSDN. I never thought I would spend 12 weeks at Microsoft and leave as an official author of Microsoft production code!
  3. Making friends very similar yet so different from you: The first person I met when I walked in the door for New Employee Orientation (NEO — one of the many, many acronyms you will encounter as a Microsoft intern) was from a university in Paris. After that, I continually met fellow interns from all over North America as well as overseas. Even though the majority of interns were from diverse backgrounds, we all bonded over our quirky spirits and afinity for technology. One of the best parts for me was that I was in a hotel with ~80 other interns. We all had our own rooms, and breakfast was served daily. It was essentially a very nice dorm except we all said “good luck at work” instead of “good luck in class” each morning. It’s pretty cool that we really only knew each other for approximately 12 weeks, yet everyone grew quite close.
  4. Exploring the PNW for a summer for almost no cost to you: Microsoft provides great transportation benefits as well as multiple options for housing. This means that interns get to live it up for relatively cheap despite the Seattle area being a bit pricey. However, there were always free events going on throughout the city. Keep in mind — nature is always free ;) Some of the best things I did with other interns was hike, go to CHBP, eat bomb sushi, explore SAM, watch a cool parade, skydive, and so much more. I even met Russel Wilson (Quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks) during an afternoon trip to the Seattle Nike store!
  5. Intern Perks + Pay: When it comes to quality of intern life, Microsoft interns live pretty large! Not only do interns get paid insanely well, they have the opportunity to attend really cool intern events such as a summer long speaker series of high level FTEs, intern boat parties, game nights, hiking trips, and of course — the Signature Event. The 2017 Signature Event was at the Future of Flight where Daya and The Chainsmokers performed. As if that wasn’t enough, all interns received freeeeeee Xbox One S consoles as a cherry on top of the event!
Figure: Daya performing at the 2017 Signature Event (PC: Ben Alburt)
Figure: The Chainsmokers performing at the 2017 Signature Event (PC: Ben Alburt)

I previously mentioned that I made a video to recap my summer as a Microsoft intern. Check it out & hopefully it gives a bit more insight into what it is like to be a Microsoft intern!

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a Microsoft Intern?

I’m not saying that interns at other companies don’t have great experiences. All I know is that Microsoft university recruiters and intern program coordinators work incredbily hard to make sure that interns get the full Microsoft + PNW experience. To anyone else lucky enough to receive an Microsoft internship offer, get ready — you are in for the summer of a lifetime.