Editor’s Note: The following article was written by Michelle Feder and first appeared on the Microsoft JobsBlog
The question of the season: What’s it really like to be an intern at Microsoft? In this three-part series, you’ll meet real interns who talk about their roles and how they got here. Here’s the first:
Rish is a rising senior at Harvard. This summer, he is also an intern at Microsoft. Rish is a PM in Data Integration and Insights, part of the Fundamentals team in our Operating Systems Group.
Rish isn’t only an intern. He’s an entrepreneur with some epic skills. Along with two friends from Harvard, Rish launched a startup called Midas Touch. Originally, the product was conceived as a way for visually impaired people to experience art, but the team envisions the technology as an entirely new, multi-sensory art form. As a computer science major, Rish conceived the tech: “We join together various forms of existing hardware to create actual sensors and program it to audio files provided by the museums. When the sensors are activated, the audio files provide more information about the artifact.”
Also on Rish’s resume: a summer internship at a tech startup in Palo Alto. For 2014, he had a choice of a number of tech companies.
Why did he pick Microsoft?
Ever since Rish had his first computer, he’s been using Microsoft services. “Back in India, I never imagined I would be at the company that actually built the software. I decided I wanted to go see how Windows was built. The decision felt right, so I chose Microsoft.”
Has anything surprised Rish about working here?
This summer has been completely different. “It’s not just 21- to 25-year-olds, but people who have families. We have deliverables and schedules – people might work from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. when things are tight. But there’s a better balance between work and family – and I came to appreciate that balance. It gave me a lot of time to do fun things. I’ve never been to Seattle, and I could explore the area and get to know other interns.”
Now that Rish is winding down his internship, he’s had time to reflect on the company and where it’s headed. During the summer, he says, “I became very interested in Microsoft’s consumer focus over time, both the brand as a whole, and the individual products.” Essentially: “What ideal does Microsoft stand for when advertising itself to the consumer?”
After chats about these musings with his recruiter and his managers, including Principal Group Program Manager James Mickens (a leading Microsoft Research scientist), Rish’s recruiter recommended him for a roundtable conversation in which 15 interns met with CEO Satya Nadella. Reflecting on that meeting, Rish says: “Though I think I have a clearer picture now, I believe there is considerable work to be done in how Microsoft can market itself to the average consumer.”
Rish enjoyed participating in last week’s global hackathon, part of our //oneweek celebration. He says, “I like making things. I like that I can build something fast, ship it, and have people interact with it.”
Smart, curious people do their best work at Microsoft
Like Rish, are you creative, curious and customer-focused? Visit Microsoft Careers to learn more about internships and full-time opportunities at Microsoft.