I just successfully completed my two months (June-July’14) internship with Microsoft SMSG in Mumbai. Microsoft came to our campus last year in August to offer internship in its Sales and Marketing division. Selection process consisted of following eliminative rounds:-
- Along with the application, we were supposed to fill a long questionnaire, which consisted of some 20 general questions like “Give an example of when you showed leadership skills” etc. So, on the basis of this questionnaire and resume few students were shortlisted. (Be honest, don’t fake, because at time of interview they ask all these questions again in greater detail, and these interviewers are really smart people!)
- Next was a case study based group discussion, where each group consisted of 10 people and major short listing was done after the GD was over.(Remember all the 10 members are part of your team, it is understandable GD’s can be frustrating at times as no one lets you speak, but keep your emotions in control, your head cool and decibel levels down!)
- Finally 8 got a final chance to sit for two PI’s. Both were HR based interviews, where interviewers were very kind, but they drilled everything written on your resume! ( Be prepared, you should know your resume in and out, because they will ask you all sort of questions on everything)
Finally after all these rounds, 3 students were selected from our college, and 14 all over India. I was curious to know how such a huge organization that has survived though so many ups and down, still continues to flourish, what makes Microsoft employees different from rest of the crowd?
I was keen to find answers to all these questions, and it surely requires more than 2 months to understand this, but yes I was certainly able to get a good feel of what it like to be a full-time worker at Microsoft during my time there.
First of all, It was not like any other ordinary internship; you are not treated as an intern but given full responsibility and exposure to live important projects from day one. As an intern you drive your internship, I remember I used to run after people just to get 10 minutes of their valuable time, but I can assure you, all that running after is worth it, because everyone at Microsoft is so smart and has such a great insight into the industry, that even in 10-15 minutes they can give you points to reflect upon for a long time.
Each intern is given a separate project. I worked on a market research based project in which I had to study the mobility strategy of various enterprises across different verticals, collect data and get insights as to what companies are thinking in terms of mobility, what is driving their business, which mobile technology they are adopting, why, when, anything and everything I could find regarding that.In the end, I built a story for Microsoft, to introduce smartphones and tablets market for enterprises.
I know, looks like a daunting task this was exactly what my reaction was when my manager briefed me up about my project, but that is the beauty in interning with Microsoft as they give you challenging tasks. You have to step out of your comfort zone every single day, but be rest assured you’ll come out as a changed person after two months.
For my project I had one on one interaction with VP’s and IT Managers of 20 different enterprises. Some of the clients had more industry experience than my age! So, you can imagine the kind of exposure I got. If you are already amazed wait there is more to it – I went on all these meeting alone and yes office cab was provided to facilitate my travelling. In two months I visited every corner of Mumbai and also Pune, travelling on company’s expense has its own charm, I must admit!
5 reasons why college is the best time to travel.
I had proper training before I hit the road, my team helped me to come out of my shell and be confident enough to be able to interact with people with so much experience. I read a lot about latest trends in this domain, did all my research as well and also had couple of mocks with my Manager. I was fascinated by the fact that higher a person is in position, the more humble he was. They are very helpful, co-operative and value your ideas, your findings and listen to you with same curiosity as if I was not a 21 year undergraduate but their boss with loads of experience.
Also, Microsoft is a flat organization, there is no Sir’s no Madam’s here, instead has a very open culture. Microsoft was not all about just learning and working, there are a lot of parties as well. There were team parties, office party, intern party! Office has full wifi, and no they don’t stop you from using any websites. There is just so much freedom and I can go on and on about all the benefits of working here!
Microsoft is definitely a do more company, each employee works with so much passion that you are bound to get amazed, the energy slowly catches upto you as well and you start giving your 110% everyday!
Though I want to write more but I’ll just wrap up by quoting excerpts from my last interaction with my Manager Mr. Ratnakar Reddy:
“Understand the crux of your customer’s business, how is he making money. If you understand that, you’ll able to sell your technology to him. Observe a lot, read a lot, always be aware of your surroundings. Go out there and just do what you love, just do what you feel like doing. Don’t wait for opportunities, create them! Life is very amazing, just put in your best every day, work a bit harder every day, enjoy a bit more every day, give back a bit more to the society every day, and somehow it will all make sense! No one is different I still have same insecurities as you have, I am no different. It’s just that I have seen this world a bit more than you, so explore, take risks, take the trip you always wanted to, because take my words you’ll be able to become a CEO even after that trip but you will never take that trip after becoming a CEO.
You have a long life ahead of you, do what you always wanted to do, take the risk even if you waste one year. While following your heart, you’ll realize one year out of the seventy years you are going to live won’t make a huge difference but who knows what might that one year do to you!”
(You feel the energy? This is exactly what I was talking about!)
Chirag Takker is pursuing his B.Tech in Information Technology from Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, Dwarka, New Delhi.
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