Our awesome intern (sorry, when it comes to her, the words "awesome" and "intern" go together perfectly, so it's become a habit) Sakun went to one of the intern barbecue's at Bill Gates' house yesterday. I asked her to do a guest post about the experience.
First, by way of introduction, let me tell you about our awesome intern, Sakun. She's here for the summer working with my team and mostly me on some projects (which I needed major help on!). Sakun's getting her MILR from the University of Minnesota and already holds an MBA and a BS in Computer Science (I know!). She's got a lot of projects on her plate; doing research on MBAs at Microsoft to develop a stronger strategy around employee referrals (sound familiar?...I told you we would be working in this), building a collaboration portal for the marketing recruiters here...she's even helping with candidate searches. Anyway, I could go on about Sakun (she's great) but I am sure I would embarass her ; ) Let me turn it over to her so she can tell you about the intern barbeque...here's Sakun!
What comes to mind when the name Bill Gates is uttered? Many things to different people but to me, Bill Gates is synonymous to the "personal computer revolution" that changed billions of people's lives around the world. He can influence the flow of global ideas and capital and the creation of new forms of culture. It’s a fact that he is the world's biggest philanthropist, devoting $27 billion to good deeds. With a net worth of $46.5 billion, Bill Gates is also the richest man in the world, he has been #1 on the Forbes World's Richest People, since 2001. And of course, he is the chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft Corporation.
Apart from this entire mind blowing fact about Bill Gates, to hundreds of interns in Microsoft this summer, one thing we knew since we stepped onto the Microsoft campus was that we were going to Bill Gates house. It’s the BillG Party!!! When was it? How will we get there? How long will we be able to stay at BillG’s place? What will BillG say? Most importantly….what does his house look like?
All these questions were answered yesterday evening. We made it to BillG’s Party! It was AMAZING. BillG was amazing, his house was amazing (the estate frame was mainly timber and the interior decor was breathtaking. There is one word to describe it....perfection) and everything else that night was entrancing.
Let me take you on a thrilling journey with me…..
All the interns were taken by several buses to a location where we went through security clearance. Then we were taken in smaller shuttle buses to BillG’s house. It made sense to us when we got there because the driveway to his house would not have been able to accommodate an express bus. It was winding and narrow. It was surrounded by beautifully landscaped lush greenery all round. As the bus took a turn we could now see Lake Washington on the background making this absolutely picture perfect scenery.
When we got to the main entrance, we were greeted by the staff and presented with our name badges. Then we made our way down a grand staircase which was about 3 stories high which led to the open lawn. With the overall scale and balance, trimming and pruning, flowers and neatness, it was lawn perfection. The HR Trax interns and I sat by the stairs on the personal side of the home which was also close to the boathouse ready to enjoy our meal when suddenly a figure walked down the stairs…it was the man himself…BillG.
Most of the interns that noticed what was happening stopped eating and no one could help but to stare. I walked up to him and introduced myself and spoke about the HR Trax program. A crowd soon gathered around and BillG talked about Microsoft, the competition we were facing, the software industry, the future of the industry and in his every comment the passion he had for the Microsoft and technology was crystal clear. I sat there as time stood still listening to BillG answering to the other interns questions. There was no better way to respond. His ability to articulate a coherent vision for the future and sustaining a focused and sound discussion was inspiring.
BillG then made a formal address to everyone that was at the party and the coordinators of the party introduced the Microsoft VPs that were attending the party as well. The hours went by so quickly but we managed to see the boathouse, the pool, walk past the cinema and took a ride on the elevator. Before we knew it, the announcements were made that the shuttles were ready to start making their rounds to take the interns back. One of the most anticipated events in this internship program came to an end. I have to admit that it was one of the most enjoyable and memorable days that I have ever had. I am glad that I was able to take you with me on this once in a lifetime journey.
If you want to take a tour guide inside BillG’s estate…click here