My first week at Microsoft was a blur. It all started with New Employee Orientation (NEO). My roommates, Jarrod and Edward, both software engineer (SWE) interns, had to be at Microsoft Building 92 by 8 AM for an early start. We were all still figuring out our commutes to work and decided to carpool. My Explorer orientation didn’t start until 11 AM but leaving early meant I could have some time to myself, potentially meet more people, and sneak-in for some free breakfast. Upon arriving on campus, we were all greeted by bright blue NEO signs and a mass of people trying to grab pictures next to the famous Microsoft sign. As planned, I skipped the waiting area and went straight for breakfast. After eating, I met-up with Ellen, who I knew from our Explorer interviews in Seattle, and we chatted before walking around campus, stopping by the Commons and company store. We then headed back to the library, where orientation was planned to start. I was overwhelmed by the amount of people I saw. There were a few familiar faces, but for the most part, it felt like my first week at college. I grabbed my badge and took my place in line.
After all the formalities – documents, forms, and signatures, I was handed a swag-bag and a soft, Microsoft intern t-shirt. The swag-bag had a water-bottle, pen, badge-holder, and schedules for summer events. At the end of introductions, welcomes, and videos, we Explorers had a special bonding activity. For the first time, I met my podmates – Cameron and Eleanor – who I would work with throughout my 12-week internship and we were tasked with creating a mascot who embodied our team-name: Golden Gardens. Once we finished our ninja-cat with a Microsoft flag, we had a little bit of free time. I went to get my badge set-up. In the evening, we had our first intern event of the summer – Trivia Night! My team came second and though I was not much help, I did correctly identify Super 8 as the movie a certain watercolor drawing was trying to portray. The rest of the week was a lot of setting-up. I was introduced to my manager on Tuesday morning and he led us to our room for the summer, in building 35.
On my desk were many unopened boxes. My pod spent the entire morning before lunch connecting wires and cables and downloading software. It took some trips to it and considerable help from our mentor-buddy, Vinh, to finally get everything working. With Windows 10 installing, we took a break and grabbed lunch with our new team. Everyone was super friendly, and the mentality seemed to be work-hard, but chill at the same time. Our mentors and manager continued to emphasize we had tasks and deadlines, but they were there every step of the way. After a much-anticipated wait, we were finally told our project for the summer: we were going to create an internal dashboard with consumer and business metrics as well has health and service diagnostics. The front-end, UI/UX in me was stoked.
For some reason, I wasn’t on the global intern mailing list, so I wasn’t getting information on events during the week. There was a Mariners baseball game on Thursday with 180 or so tickets reserved for interns and I never got the email, so I couldn’t sign-up for the random drawing of spots. Still, I was sure some people would get chosen but not go, so I showed up to pick up the tickets with my podmate, Cameron. We pulled into the parking lot as the busses were leaving. Adamant to make the game and down for an adventure, we grabbed the extra tickets and drove to my apartment in Capitol Hill. After parking and a short walk, we took the Link light rail to the stadium. In that one evening, I learned so much about the public transport system and even discovered a new park near my apartment. We ended up reaching the game at the bottom of the 2nd inning and my face even made it to the big-screen!
I ended the week by hiking Rattlesnake Ridge and enjoying a BBQ with my Camp Microsoft group. It was a busy, but extremely exciting week and I can’t wait for the next 11 weeks of summer. If it continues like this, I’m in for a treat!