The summer is flying by. I cannot believe I am about to finish my eighth week at Microsoft. Upon arriving to Seattle on May 23rd I found my way to Harbor Steps, the downtown apartment complex where all of the Microsoft and Amazon MBA interns are housed for the summer. I have to admit it is a pretty sweet deal. We are three blocks from Pike Place Market and directly on the water. When I leave my apartment to go for a run I get to see views like this:
Gorgeous views and outdoor adventures aside, I am truly enjoying my summer at Microsoft. Microsoft has recruited at McCombs for about ten years and as a result has a strong McCombs network. Immediately upon getting my internship offer my inbox was flooded by McCombs Alumni welcoming me to Microsoft. After I arrived in Seattle the welcome continued. I spent 4th of July with McCombs grads from 2009 and have the pleasure of having two amazing McCombs women, Emily and Elese, as mentors for the summer. Having so many Texans in the area makes being so far away from Austin a lot easier! I feel so fortunate to have so much support from the McCombs community, especially since I have a such an exciting (and challenging) project.
This summer I’ve have the pleasure of working on developer engagement for Windows Phone 7. Since the phone is not due to launch until holiday 2010, there is not too much I can say about my project or product, except that I am learning a lot. I’m learning about different marketing techniques, particularly the strategic use of social media. I’m learning about developers, especially when it comes to what developers look for when they design for a specific platform or product. I’m also learning a lot about cross functional and cross group collaboration. I think it is safe to say that in any given day my project requires me to have conversations with people across 4 different groups throughout Microsoft. While this presents some challenges, it also allows me to interact with a lot of very smart people. I absolutely love it!
In addition to providing an awesome alumni network, McCombs also did a great job of preparing me for this opportunity through the MBA+ program and formal coursework. Although all of the classes I took are valuable, I will say that I lean on certain courses from McCombs more than others. Due to the nature of my internship, Marketing and Strategy are particularly applicable. However, the one course that I rely on every single day is Reuben McDaniel‘s Information and Knowledge Management class. Not only do I use information from that course for my personal work, but I find myself applying that class in myriad situations to help my team and the other people I work with communicate and share knowledge. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
It is strange to think that I am more than halfway done with my internship, almost as strange as being half way done with my MBA. I still have no idea where all of the time goes! In less than five weeks I’ll be back in Austin, catching up with all of my friends, and eating enough Torchy’s Tacos to make me feel sick. Until then, I am going to enjoy what Seattle and Microsoft have to offer. So far it has been a fantastic summer.