Tag: Microsoft

Part of a series about summer internships from Olin MBA ’20 students. Today we hear from Claudia Otis, who worked at Microsoft as a finance intern.

How did I prepare for my interview/land the internship?

I applied to the finance position at Microsoft through Prospanica’s job portal. Shortly after, I got an email saying that they wanted to interview me at the career fair.

I researched the company and the cultural change it was undergoing since Satya Nadella became CEO.

I prepared behavioral and technical questions. For example, the reasons why I wanted to work in tech and at Microsoft after working in investment banking.

After I passed the first round, Microsoft called me for the on-site interview. I prepared by doing mock interviews with my career coach at the WCC and with another classmate who was also going to the final interview.

Once the day of the final interview arrived, I just tried to be myself, relate to people and be confident about my preparation. I was so happy when I got the email saying I got the position!

How I am using what I have learned at Olin during my internship?

At Olin, I improved my networking skills, which helped me during my internship to interact with different teams and people, expanding my network within Microsoft.

Thanks to my class of Power and Politics with Peter Boumgarden, I was aware of the politics within the company. I was able to read the room and navigate conversations taking the lessons I learned from the course into account.

The CEL project I did over the spring taught me how to work on a broad end-to-end project and manage relationships with the team and main stakeholders.

How the internship is preparing me for my final year at business school?

Managing my own project at Microsoft has helped me develop the confidence to lead a CEL project in the fall semester. I also feel more comfortable with broad or ambiguous projects. The internship at Microsoft gave me the opportunity to interact with very talented people, interns and full-time employees, and make new connections I can leverage during my last year of the MBA.

In the past week, we have been lucky enough to visit a number of very well known companies.  Two of my favorite visits have been to AT&T and to Microsoft. While I expected to have very formal lectures at both places, I was pleasantly surprised by the laid back nature of the discussions. We were graciously welcomed into both establishments.  The presenters were wearing jeans and seemed very excited to talk to us. I did not find out until later that one of the speakers at Microsoft was actually a very senior executive who is responsible for running a large part of the Israeli firm. This is more evidence of the casual, and humble nature of many people in Israel.

Guest Blogger: Jessie is a junior at Washington University in St. Louis

Aside from the welcoming atmosphere, I was impressed by the topic of discussion. At both places, we talked about the role these companies are playing in fueling Israel’s startup culture. Both AT&T and Microsoft have programs that encourage young entrepreneurs who have valuable ideas.

More specifically, the AT&T center has its International Innovation Center in Ra’anana, and Microsoft funds a start up program called Microsoft Ventures. The innovation center is a place where a number of innovators collaborate, share ideas, and think of ways to better the experience for an AT&T customer. It is interesting to note, however, that AT&T has no ownership over these companies and they can scale, grow and shift market in whichever way they please.

Arch grants signI found the Microsoft Ventures program particularly interesting because it is a program that pairs a startup with a mentor company in order to help the business grow. This semester, I did a presentation on Arch Grants, and had the pleasure of learning about their entrepreneurial competition. Just as Microsoft Ventures aims to foster the entrepreneurial spirit of Israel, Arch Grants aims to do the same for St. Louis. Just as Arch Grants funds a number of companies located in T-Rex, a center for entrepreneurs to collaborate, both Israeli accelerators give different entrepreneurs a physical space to exchange ideas.

I saw many other parallels in the programs, but he most astounding one was that neither Microsoft nor Arch Grants took any equity in the companies they helped. Although Arch Grants does not currently pair a start up with a mentor company, my team suggested they should. As proven by Microsoft, having a mentor company can give the startup a number of extremely useful resources. They are also both competitions, funding only the winners of extensive rounds of selection. Picking the finest companies and assisting them does great service to both the startup culture and the innovative spirit of both regions.