How to land a Microsoft internship
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October 28, 2013

How to land a Microsoft internship

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shutterstock_104251916Did you know that Microsoft has internships? I guess we all knew that most big companies have an internship program, but how do we become an intern? What do we need and what types of intern roles are available? I’ve heard a lot of people say they want to work for Microsoft but not that many people who have said they want to intern.

Internships are not only a great way to gain some very valuable experience but also a way to get your foot in the door and show what you can do. For anyone entering the field and enrolled in college or increasing their certifications, this is definitely something to look at to give you an advantage in your career.

Types of Internships

To say that the types of internships are varied is an understatement. Given the size and scope of Microsoft there are internships available in most areas, which there are a lot of. To make it a little easier, Microsoft has broken these down into three main sections. (To make it easier for you, I’ve included a tree view of the internship roles at the bottom of this post.)

Technical internship

Technical internships are specific to individuals looking to work within technical departments. Though most roles are technical in nature, not all of them are specific to being technical. If you want to work in software, hardware, IT and even game design, this is the type of internship you will definitely want to look into. There are even project manager roles and internships for technical writers.

So you can see this area has everything from artists and writers to architects and developers. So take your time browsing over the different areas for internship, and you might be surprised to find something that suits you perfectly.

Business internships

If you love technology and are pursuing the business aspect of it then this is the section for you. Whether you are heading toward finance, human resources, marketing or even becoming a lawyer, this section has something for you. It’s a great opportunity to jump into the business world of technology and learn from one of the largest companies in the world.

MBA internships

What is the difference between business internships and MBA? While business internships focus on the business section, MBA internships focus more on managerial roles. Management is not the only thing available for MBA interns. They also have analyst roles and product planning as well. So if you are now going after your MBA then this is definitely the area for you.

Applying for internship

Applying is one of the simplest yet hardest parts of the internship program. It might seem that all we need to do is drop our resumé into an electronic stack of other resumes, cross our fingers, turn around 3 times and voila we become an intern. But unfortunately, that is not the case. What we need is a good resumé that shows the information needed to increase our chances of being successful.

References

References are not only important but vital to your success. Even if you are just starting your career you need to have references who are not your friends or family. A personal reference can be a co-worker or manager from your previous or current workplace so that the reviewer can see how you contributed to the work environment.

Don’t worry if you’re just starting for the first time, and only have school as a background. Companies know that there are varied people applying for internships from young to old, so there are other references you can use that are just as valid. The first being from volunteer work. If you have volunteered then definitely use your volunteer coordinator experience as a reference. If you don’t have any prior work or volunteer experience, then you can still use a letter of recommendation from a professor as a reference.

The best case scenario is to use all three. Get a letter of recommendation from a professor, a reference from a previous employer and a reference from your volunteer work.

Education

Each internship type has specific requirements about your education. For example, some of the technical positions ask that you be moving towards your Bachelor of Science. Even if you are enrolled, it does not always mean you actually took specific courses.

You: “Hi, I am applying for an internship as a software developer engineer. I am currently on year two of my B.S. degree.”

Interviewer: “What programming courses have you taken?”

Me: “Ummm….ahhhh… is that the fire alarm? RUN!”

Make sure you note specific courses that are pertinent to the intern position you are applying to.

Résumé/CV

It is up to you to decide whether you want to use the Microsoft builder on the site to input all of your information, or to choose to create your own résumé. This really is a personal choice.

In my opinion I prefer to submit and read personal résumés. I can receive more information from them, and they have a more personal touch that I like. However everyone is different, and there are many employers out there who prefer that every application is exactly the same format.

Are you ready to be an intern?

So you you think you’re ready? That is awesome to hear! So go ahead and look through the table below and see if any of the internship roles fit what you are looking for, then head over to Microsoft’s internship site and start your journey. Good luck!

Intern Positions

  • Technical Internship
    • Software Development
      • Software Development Engineer (SDE)
      • Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET)
      • Program Manager (PM)
    • Hardware Engineering
      • Hardware Engineer
    • User Experience
      • User Experience Researcher
      • User Experience Designer
    • IT & Operations
      • Network Engineer
      • Service Engineer
      • Solution Manager
      • Operations Engineer
      • IT Software Development Engineer
      • IT Software Test Engineer
      • IT Program Manager
    • Game Design
      • Artist
      • Animator
      • Associate Producer
      • Designer
    • Content Publishing
      • Technical Writer
      • Programmer Writer
  • Business Internship
    • Finance
      • Finance Analyst Intern
    • Human Resources
      • Human Resources Intern
    • Legal
      • Legal Intern
    • Marketing
      • Associate Product Manager Intern
    • Content Publishing
      • Technical Writer
      • Programmer Writer
  • MBA Internships
    • Finance
      • Finance Manager
      • Corporate Development Manager
      • Business Development Manager – Interactive Entertainment Business
    • Human Resources
      • Human Resources Rotation Analyst
    • Business Management & Marketing
      • Business Planner
      • Product Marketing Manager
      • Channel/Partner Marketing Manager
      • Audience Marketing Manager
      • Marketing Communications Manager
      • Product Intelligence Manager
    • Product Planning
      • Windows Product Planner
      • Office Product Planner
    • Operations & Supply Chain
      • Operations Program Manager
      • Supply Chain Program Manager

Jeff Adkin is a Pluralsight author. Jeff previously worked at Microsoft for over eight years in MSIT, going through multiple release cycles of SharePoint, Exchange, Groove, Office and Lync. As an avid fan of education, he graduated with his Bachelor of Education and began working between his two loves of teaching and technology. He has taught at multiple fortune 500 companies and government agencies and spoke at numerous tech events. You can find him on Twitter @jeffadkin.

About the Author

is a TrainSignal instructor. Jeff previously worked at Microsoft for over eight years in MSIT, going through multiple release cycles of SharePoint, Exchange, Groove, Office and Lync. As an avid fan of education, he graduated with his Bachelor of Education and began working between his two loves of teaching and technology. He has taught at multiple fortune 500 companies and government agencies and spoke at numerous tech events. You can find him on Twitter @jeffadkin.

Author's Website: http://www.jadkin.com/


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