The end of an awesome internship…
My internship was nothing short of amazing. I made incredible friends, had a challenging project to deliver and participated in the vision process for the next release of Microsoft Office. To get the message across the quickest way possible, I’ll fly through the first 11 weeks and then go into detail on week 12, which ended Friday, August 3.
It all started with the road trip. Greg Dean, a good friend of mine, was crazy enough to take me up on the offer to drive 1,200 miles with me from Los Angeles to Redmond in 4 days. Since Microsoft picked up the tabs for lodging, transportation and meals, all we had to worry about was where to go next. We explored San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Portland and finally Seattle. The pictures we took were breathtaking. Overall, the trip was a success. Once we got to the apartment, my roommate Michael was already settled in. We made our first grocery run and planned out some intern parties. Now it gets crazy…
On May 13th an amazing summer began. We threw the first party at the house and about 50 interns came. We all had certain commonalities, as well as the mutual feeling of excitement to be working at a huge company with pretty cool technologies. The questions “where you from,” “what team are you working on,” and “what school do you go to” helped break the ice, and most importantly, got us together. We then threw another party, this time Hawaiian themed, and over 60 interns showed up. Once again, excitement was high and interns were having a blast.
Over the next several weeks, I went to some parties and threw some other ones in different places with different people. From beach day to bonfire and “Oot and Aboot in a Booat” (the title honored my Canadian buds), I had a great time. The ones that I went to include the Banana Party, which my officemate Stephanie Sharp (my bro) threw because her roommate accidentally ordered over 60 bananas from Amazon. Needless to say, I dressed up as a banana (come on, who would miss the opportunity to dress up as a banana in a banana party?). I celebrated Jasmine Lawrence’s birthday at Trinity Club with the gang, and every week was filled with things to do. Then came Week 12…
On Monday I met with the President of Microsoft Office, Kurt. The guy was brilliant, and even though he was busy, he still managed to accept my invite for coffee. He was pleased to hear about my offer, as well as my project. He asked interesting questions about design choices, then answered a few of my own, which included the marks of a great PM as well as the forecast and planning of technological ideas and opportunities for the future. As with PJ, my meeting with Kurt was amazing.
On Tuesday I had a design review with Exchange and got offered a job on the spot. My manager playfully screamed at the other guy and told him “no, he’s mine.” I never felt so wanted in my life! Haha… Just to explain a bit further, my project required me to work directly with Exchange, SharePoint and Windows Server, so I met some pretty cool people outside of the “Office Security” realm. That night Patrick Dwyer, awesome singer and friend came to visit. Yes, he attempted to lick the gum-wall. More info on his music can be found here.
On Wednesday I had one-on-ones with my recruiting team and accepted my offer on the spot. I worked out some details on events to put on campus, as well as tailgating plans for when the Trojans play the Huskies on October 13. The complete schedule for the best college football team on the planet can be found here.
On Thursday I had my final synch with Keith, my boss’ boss, and received awesome feedback, as well as improvement suggestions. Then I presented my project and mock up to the entire team, and ended the day with some good times karaoke-“ing” with friends.
When Friday came I realized what was going on and it finally dawned on me that summer was over. To tell you the truth, it still hasn’t hit me that next year school will also be over and then I’ll be working full time at a major tech company. This is absurd, this is crazy! I’m not ready, but life doesn’t stop does it? The night ended with a morale event at Keith’s house, where I made my famous caipirinha recipe for my team and then at Matt Martire’s place, where we cracked open the champagne bottle to celebrate our full time offers at Microsoft. It was epic.
Today, as I’m writing this, I have a tsunami mix of emotions running through my head. I’m psyched but I’m sad and I’m ready to go back but I don’t want to leave. These 12 weeks have been amazing, and the friends I’ve made helped make my time here extremely memorable. The car is packed, the tank is full, the road trip playlist is set, now I’m heading to the Brown Bag Café in Kirkland where I’ll be seeing my friends Steph, Anne, Jake, Jaime, Yuval and Connor (my awesome badass trainer) for the last time (until next year of course). All I can say now is “Los Angeles, here I come!”