Name: Zainab Batool
Class Year: 2021
Major: Computer Science
Internship Organization: Microsoft
Job Title: Software Engineer Intern
What has been your favorite part of this internship?
I am really excited by the kind of work I am doing at my internship as a software engineer, where I get to come up with useful ideas to help my team and implement them. It is very exciting to know that the work I am doing reaches a wide range of people who use Microsoft services directly or indirectly, and a bonus is that I get to contribute in a way that both challenges me and is also enjoyable. I spend most of my time attending discussions and meetings, planning my tasks, and finally coding the implementations of the ideas that form my summer project.
Why did you apply for this internship?
I applied for this internship because working at Microsoft as a developer has been my dream job as a computer science major. This is because a lot of my daily interaction with computers is based on Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Office for documents and presentations, Outlook for my school email, Windows for my laptop operating system, and many, many others. Microsoft therefore is relevant to my life and excites me with its wide range of brilliantly conceptualized and user-friendly products. I think a Microsoft internship is not only fun and exciting but also challenges me to perform and learn new skills, while also giving me great insight into the world of "big tech."
Working remotely for the first time? What has that experience been like for you?
Working remotely has been extremely different from my past in-person software engineering internship, both in the context of work and socializing. Microsoft is known for organizing a lot of fun, interactive, and informative events for its interns and that is an aspect I was really looking forward to; however, I am glad that I have still been able to experience some of it as a remote intern through the alternative activities arranged for us. I have participated in interesting events such as a Greek-themed quiz with my intern cohort, as well as interacted with other interns for coffee chats and "icebreakers." On the more professional side of matters, working remotely can be tricky during ramp-up and training, especially as college students interning for a short amount of time. What I have learned is that scheduled regular meetings with your manager and mentor are crucial, as well as taking the initiative to set up meetings with other people whose mentorship you need on your project or otherwise. Therefore, working remotely has also taught me a lot of valuable skills about taking initiative to reach out to people with questions virtually, and the importance of organization and planning in a remote professional world. As a lot of working habits change around the world due to the pandemic, these skills are bound to prove useful even as and when people return to offices.
Can you give us three adjectives and three nouns that describe your internship experience?
Finally, the three adjectives I would use to describe my internship are "remote" (such a major part of our summer experiences this year!), "challenging," and "exciting," and my choice of three nouns would be "code," "meetings," and "the act of finally eating regular breakfast" (a really long last noun there).
Visit the Summer 2020 Internships page to read more student stories.