Over the past few years, Microsoft has been regularly ranked one of Olin's top employers! From summer internships to full-time positions taken post-graduation, many Oliners have had the experience of working for our friends over in Redmond, WA, so of course it makes sense that we would check in with some of our students and alumni there to get the inside perspective. In part one of this series we get to know what Oliners are up to, but don't forget to tune-in for part two and get a deeper look at how Oliners at Microsoft are changing the world and how you can too!
Keep reading to hear from our great correspondents: Jamie Gorson ('16), Sharon Grimshaw ('16), Nikki Lee ('10), and Sasha Sproch ('13).
Jamie Gorson and Deborah Hellen ('16) are both interns at Microsoft this summer!
What are you working on at Microsoft?
JAMIE (rising junior) - I'm working on a mobile app that allows you to monitor websites or mobile apps that you have created. A team of two other interns and I are rotating through the three software roles (Development, test and PM) while creating this application.
SHARON (rising senior) - I personally am working on the Search Answers team. I'm still in the process of figuring out exactly what it is that my group does, but as I understand it we are responsible for giving a person an answer when a query is typed into Bing. I will be working on a project in the travel space (still working out the details).
NIKKI (alum '10) - I work on the Windows Shell, helping build digital pen experiences for Windows. We're working to make computing more personal and human.
SASHA (alum '13) I work in Office, specifically in Excel. As a Program Manager (PM) my main job is to work with designers, users, and partner teams to design features, write specifications for those features, and run small crews of people (usually one or two each of developer and tester) to implement those features.
What's it like working with Oliners in the real world?
SHARON - It actually feels just like Olin. The Oliners around me are a great network and I keep tapping into that network (especially the people in my grade) for buddies on travel outings or for meetups for dinner. Microsoft also has an Olin alumni mailing list and it sounds like we're going to start having events with the alumni at Olin too! I'm excited to meet people from the classes before I even got to Olin.
NIKKI - I've really enjoyed it. I've had meetings with Mariah Dunn, Poorva Signal, and Sarah Waskom and they've all been great. One of the best parts is that we already have an established relationship and trust one another, so we can skip to just getting things done. I feel like I can trust them to tell me everything I need to know, and vice-versa, so there's no politicking to deal with. It's extremely collaborative and supportive.
SASHA - I don't work directly with Oliners, but it is wonderful working at the same company with so many! We sometimes accidentally run into each other in the office, and we frequently get together during non-work hours to explore local festivals, celebrate holidays, or just hang out.
Sasha attended The Tulip Festival with two friends/coworkers/fellow alums!
( Mariah Dunn '13and Molly Grossman '13)
What do you do for fun?
JAMIE - I go out dancing in Seattle! I joined a Microsoft softball team. I also participate in all of the fun activities they have set up for the interns.
SHARON - I've been doing everything - there's just so much to do in the Seattle area. As soon as I got here, I went to the Folk Festival that happens yearly in a park in downtown Seattle (lots of good food and good music). I, of course, hit all of the tourist-y destinations (Pike Place, first Starbucks, etc.). I've also been exploring the local restaurant favorites (a few days ago I went to Rachel's Ginger Beer, where they make their own ginger soda in about twelve different flavors and I think make the soda right on site). Just yesterday I climbed Mount Si (3200 foot change in elevation, eight miles round trip).
NIKKI - I play video games, ride my bike, read, and hang out with my friends. I also enjoy the occasional side project (Hannah Sarver and I are working on something right now, but it's too early to share).
Sasha enjoys spending time practicing Krav Maga (Israeli Martial Art) and ninja training
Tune back in for part 2 to get a deeper look at what our Microsoft friends have been doing to affect change in the world!