Great news everybody! I’ll officially be interning Microsoft this summer as a Software Development Engineer.
I’ve talked a little bit before about the process of applying for jobs (read it here) but I wanted to talk about where things ended up. I left off by mentioning my final round interview had been scheduled, and in the three weeks intervening, I am finally settled and have officially accepted an offer there.
The interview process for software internship requires a lot of preparation and an agile mind. While every company is different, Microsoft’s interviews are a similar format to those of other companies. They are heavy on technical questions that require you to have a strong command of data structures and coding. You often write a decent amount of code on a white board in front of an interviewer! Practice is essential. I got into Seattle the night before my interview and went through a bunch of notes on algorithms and data structures, and my brother (who is in software as well) gave me a mock interview over the phone. I noticed the next day that this preparation definitely helped.
The interview questions can range from a cinch to more difficult than a test question. The interviewers generally tell you they want to see how you think, and so even if you don’t get an answer to a question, you should show your thought process and try different things. My experience with the interviewers I had were that they were helpful if I got stuck and never condescending.
Because I had been flown out, I got to interview in the building of the team I will be working for. The Microsoft campus is like a city of it’s own, with about 50,000 employees there alone. The company employs a fleet of Microsoft “Connect” vehicles in order to ferry it’s employees around both the campus and the Puget Sound area. It is pretty overwhelming to think about, but I am so excited to be a part of such an amazing and influential company!
I will be working for the Management and Security Division, who releases the Windows Security Essential suite (you are probably familiar with Windows Defender, which they make). It’s right up my alley, since my research is in computer security. One of my interviewers, upon hearing about my research, even mentioned that it is similar to a project they are working on.
So excited! It’s weird because it’s only October, but I almost feel like I can’t wait for summer already. It is my first internship, so that is probably normal, and there will be plenty of great times in between now and then.