Most people tend to start articles that look back on an experience in a way that allows the reader to jump straight into a story or an event that happened. The issue that I have is that I don’t have one single favourite event from my year as a Microsoft intern, to be honest I really enjoyed almost all of my 8.30am Monday morning starts. I even enjoyed the work I put in at weekends when I wanted to do some extra project work or make a presentation I was giving that week look even better. I still look at my security pass in the morning when I get dressed, see that is says ‘Microsoft’ under my name and smile to myself. So how have I decided to sum up an amazing 12months? Simple, I’m going to tell you how my job surprised me.
I’ve been part of teams before; in university, in youth groups, in sports teams. But I’ve never been part of a team where I could go from someone being taught one moment, and then next I’m the one doing the teaching. A real workgroup where I’m making real decisions for a multi-billion dollar, giant international company that cared if I noticed something out of place, or something I think I can change for the better. Where else does that happen?
If you go to a company event, and during lunch you happen to be next to the world-wide head of your department at the buffet you wouldn’t expect you can just start chatting to him about industry news or company directions while picking out which sandwich you both fancy. Not a passing remark or a grunt while he gets annoyed that some lowly intern is trying to talk to him, but a full conversation, with some very useful feedback.
But one moment in particular took my breath away, when I realised that the company was going to fly me the intern, my laptop, and my case 400 miles to a large customer event so that I could deliver my presentation on customer contract usage. It then happened again when I realised that this report was being used as the mask for the next wave of customer reporting for the sector.
I started this off by saying that I was going to say how my internship surprised me, but I can sum it up in one feeling. When I applied for this role I thought I was going to be an intern, but it turns out that if you want to be, you can be so much more.