Diary Of An Ex-Microsoft Intern – Fast Company

On The Qualities That Helped Him Score A Microsoft Internship

I was really fortunate to get the internship, and there were three qualities that I think made me successful in the interview process. The first was that I had experience working closely with developers. This is a critical feature for this role given that your entire internship would be working with five developers to hit weekly milestones. The second quality was my background in project management. Having managed projects in two tech startups prior to this internship, I had demonstrated the ability to set agile development goals, prioritizing features, and working with a Scrum board–tasks that we ended up doing every day of the internship. Finally, I demonstrated communication skills, which are essential for the Garage program. As I soon found out, communicating through presentations and meetings became a major part of our internship, and that was a skill I brought to the table.

On The Average Workday Of A Microsoft Intern

My typical day could be broken down into four parts: team meetings, stakeholder meetings, design tasks, and hanging out with interns. We would start every day with a “standup” team meeting where we would talk about our progress the previous day and what we intended to work on today. At a separate team meeting, we would set weekly milestones for ourselves called “sprints.” After each of these sprints, we would have a “sprint retrospective,” where our team touched based on our progress and reflected on our mistakes.

Next, we had one or two stakeholder meetings a day with either our project sponsor, program manager, or coaches. All of these people were very invested in our project and wanted us to succeed, so they offered their help wherever possible. I personally enjoyed these meetings because they allowed us to demonstrate progress and get feedback from people who were experienced with the product development cycle.

Then came the actual work of designing my project. This was easily the best part, as I had complete creative freedom and great resources to get the job done. I organized my days into tackling one large task, like designing a logo, making a conversation dialogue tree, or user testing, because it let me maximize the amount of time I spent in a productive flow state. The type of tasks was constantly changing as the project continued to move along the product development cycle. This kept things interesting throughout the internship, as it forced me to work on tasks that were new and challenging.

Finally, a large part of my internship was spending time with the 23 other interns in the Garage. I spent my fair share of time playing chess, foosball, or ping-pong during our breaks and going to new restaurants in downtown Vancouver for lunch. One of the best parts of the internship was that our office had a maker space stocked with 3D printers, laser cutters, drones, and all the latest tech. I found myself coming in on weekends to work on side projects or just play with the toys.

On Some Of His Best Experiences As A Microsoft Intern

We took a trip to Microsoft HQ in Redmond to demo our products to our entire sponsor division, including the corporate vice president, the leadership team, and about 300 full-time employees. At the end of the internship, we were able to have an internal release for our project. This was a big milestone for me because it was the first time that I had the ability to ship a legitimate product (i.e., not a hackathon project) to a real audience (i.e., not my mother). We also organized a ton of awesome weekend trips around British Columbia, including winter surfing in Tofino, snowboarding in Whistler, and a road trip through the Canadian Rockies in Banff National Park.

On Whether Microsoft Could Improve Its Internship Experience

The Garage internship is unique and is therefore not well suited for everyone. There are many talented developers or designers who may not succeed in this internship because it has a heavy focus on teamwork, project management, and independent decision-making. With that said, I think Microsoft needs to promote this internship more because I think it is a great learning experience for students who are interested in entrepreneurship and project management.


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