Friday, March 4, 2011

Seattle Summers

The quest for an internship took many turns but the final one began late in November. I received an email from Microsoft Recruiting saying that they were coming to BYU in December and wanted to interview me. When they had been out for the career fair and info sessions I had talked to a lot of the guys and tried to make sure they would remember me, I guess it paid off. Computer Science interviews are notoriously intense with the recruiters usually asking you to solve one or more coding problems and write code in front of them. I tried to study up as much as I could and it turned out the recruiter didn't really ask a single thing for me to code up. He asked more about me and the projects I worked on and it wasn't as stressful as I thought it was going to be. My whole hope with interviewing with Microsoft was to get an internship here at the Lehi location. After the interview I wasn't sure where it was going to go or even if there would be positions available here in Utah.

They were quick to get back to me though and within two weeks I had been invited to Redmond Washington for the second round of interviews. I was excited and worried about where this might be leading but I think I let the excitement go a little to my head. Originally we had planned on getting an internship here so I wouldn't have to leave for the summer but this new direction didn't seem to be going that way.

Microsoft treats its recruits very well. They flew me out, put me up in a hotel with a car and wanted me to have the best experience possible. The next day I met with a very helpful recruiting coordinator. He was very inspiring and had good advice for the interviews. After I met with him I was whisked off to meet the group I would interview with. These are when the fun parts of CS interviewing got into full swing. In all of my four interviews I was asked to write up algorithms or different problems to solve. It was stressful but fun and everyone was great to talk to. They work on some fun things in the group I interviewed with and I was really excited to be interviewing with them. After my last interview with one of the main managers of the group I went back to the recruiting building and walked over to the Microsoft store for some souvenirs.

After all the interviews I didn't feel stressed, just felt great about the experience and that I had represented myself well. Then I realized how tired I was, interviewing is hard work. What really hit me about the place though is that it felt like where I wanted to be. Microsoft isn't just Windows and Office but a whole plethora of departments and the one I ended up interviewing with felt like where I fit in best.

My interviews were on a Tuesday and by Friday I was on the phone with the recruiter who told me I had the internship. It would be 12 weeks, in Redmond, paid, and they wanted me. We were excited but also nervous and wondering what the right thing to do was. Tiffany wouldn't be able to get a whole summer off so we would have to be apart somewhat but schedules permitting she or I could fly to see the other rather often. We both didn't like the thought of 12 weeks apart. The opportunity was great though and probably one of the best chances for me to get a great job after graduation. Eventually we decided that it would be good to take.

So now, as we're planning out our summer it will be a challenge and hard on us but we hope it will be worth it. I'll be making sure that Tiffany is well taken care of when I'm not around and that when we see each other we get as much time together as possible.