Najee Siu-Chang (Garfield ’10) was a Microsoft intern the summer after being your Garfield ASB president his senior year! Najee came in with only some Python experience from Creative Computing and managed to learn several exciting new technologies and produce a great looking online guide. You don’t have to have much experience to follow in Najee’s footsteps, only a desire to work hard and to work in a team! Apply to be a Microsoft summer intern this summer.
Life as a HSintern
As a high school intern, I worked in the “patterns & practices” department. This department is not the glamour of Microsoft, like Office and Zune, but is indeed the support system for developers. With the help of p&p’s source code, step-by-step instruction, and beginning applications, programmers can efficiently save time and reduce risk. My role in this organization was to create a new and improved interface for their online Architecture Guide. The current site is simple, classic, dull, hard to navigate, and difficult to read due to the canvas size. And more importantly the layout doesn’t even follow the color scheme of Microsoft’s products. So, the p&p team wanted a guide that was more appealing, resourceful, and interactive to its customers. That’s where I come in. No prior skills or experience with web design, C#, or Xaml, and my manager expects me to create something cool with animations. So I jumped in the deep end and experimented with Microsoft tools: Expression Blend and Design 4, and Visual Studio.
Over the course of the internship, I focused on learning the cool developer tools and techniques to designing apps not only for the web but for the upcoming Windows 7 phone. As a creative design intern, I had to constantly switch perceptions as a designer to a user so I could analyze my work and find what was best for the user.
The most value experience from this internship is my new understanding of collaboration and team work, the essential to Microsoft’s success. It was helpful working with other teams to brainstorm ideas and market my design. Although I created a solid amateur prototype, the team is considering using my layout in the future!
Microsoft’s Notorious Work Environment
Microsoft is definitely one of the best companies to work for. Free drinks, variety of ethnic foods, Ping-Pong, up-to-date info on the tech world, a community of talented innovators, flexible work time, and your very own office!!
I highly encourage everyone to apply for this internship, regardless of your skill level. I considered myself as an under qualified candidate, but my project required almost no coding. So do not be discouraged! The best part about the interview process is that the Microsoft teams pick candidates that fit and match their needs. So, if you don’t know something, someone on the campus does.
I guarantee your experience at Microsoft will help you consider what you want to do in the future. I have now developed an interest in Program Management and the User Experience roles within the computer science field.