How I Spent My Summer

October 12, 2006

This last summer, I was an intern Program Manager at Microsoft, working down at their Silicon Valley Campus with the PowerPoint/OfficeArt team. It was a series of firsts – first time with my own apartment, having to fend entirely for myself in terms of cooking, first internship, and my first summer in California (I went home to Brazil last year). I didn’t know what to expect, but I was extremely excited – and the summer did not disappoint.

For a run-down of what I worked on, check out the PPT/OArt team blog – they were terrific all summer long and even dedicated a post to what I worked on.

More broadly, it turns out that the Program Manager role – which my friend Boaz recently described in a unique way – is one that fits me very well. While I enjoy the occasional programming class – and spent a few units each quarter last year working on an AJAX front-end to the ButterflyNet digital ink HCI project – my strengths and passions are closer to other areas: coordinating teams, developing a consistent vision across different features, and seeking empathy with the end-user. I got to do all of those at Microsoft, and worked on a few features that are already in the Beta 2 Technical Refresh.

Summer internships, I discovered, are a somewhat surreal experience both at the beginning and the end – you arrive, eager to learn, and are instantly thrown into a world where decisions really matter (for more than a letter grade), your projects will wind up in the hands of masses of users, all while working with people who will listen to and act on any good ideas you might have. And then, only three months later, it’s back to dorm life, back to school. The transition back was a bit difficult – motivating myself was much easier when working on end-user projects, rather than a weekly problem set. Fortunately, I’m in a great dorm this year, and a few weeks was all it took to get into my classes again.

A few things which seemed daunting, pre-summer, turned out to not be so bad: biking to work was relaxing, and I got to bike through a portion of the Stevens Creek trail every morning – there’s nothing like breathing fresh air right before arriving at work. Living on my own was made easier by being in constant touch through the phone, and frequent visits back to campus. Cooking for myself was made possibly by learning how to cook pasta properly, how to use the frying pan, and even how to prepare chicken.

All in all, a great summer – learning, working, and meeting some terrific people.

tags: , , , ,

13 Responses to “How I Spent My Summer”

  1. Bruno Says:

    Goal-oriented work ftw

  2. toilet suite Says:

    Very nice article, exactly what I was looking

  3. When I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments
    are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the exact same comment.
    Perhaps there is a way you are able to remove me from that service?
    Appreciate it!

  4. Ali Says:

    Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it’s truly informative. I am going to watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future.

    Numerous people will be benefited from your writing.

  5. It’s remarkable to pay a visit this site and reading the views of all colleagues concerning this piece of writing, while I am also keen of getting experience.

  6. Hi there, this weekend is fastidious in favor of me,
    as this time i am reading this great educational piece of writing here at
    my home.

  7. water leaks Says:

    I visited many web sites except the audio feature for audio songs existing at this website is
    really excellent.

  8. Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News.

    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Cheers

  9. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your blog. You have some really great posts and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really
    like to write some content for your blog in exchange for
    a link back to mine. Please shoot me an e-mail if interested.


  10. Paige Says:

    Greetings! This is my first comment here so I just
    wanted to give a quick shout out and say I really enjoy reading
    your posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics?

  11. I’m really loving the theme/design of your website. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility problems? A couple of my blog readers have complained about my website not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Opera. Do you have any recommendations to help fix this issue?

  12. fix toilet Says:

    {I have|I’ve} been {surfing|browsing} online more than {three|3|2|4} hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. {It’s|It is} pretty worth enough for me.
    {In my opinion|Personally|In my view}, if all {webmasters|site owners|websi

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: