How many interns is Microsoft hiring?

How do you become an intern at Microsoft in the US?

An internship at Microsoft is a dream come true for many programmers. To see how it is like living and working at the world's largest software manufacturer is seen by many as an exciting and interesting challenge - often with the desire to work there later. The Austrian Roman Mittermayr made it and is currently working as an intern in Redmond. Mittermayr reported to the WebStandard about his experiences and life on the Microsoft campus in Redmond.

Twelve weeks in Redmond

For Austrians, the application is not necessarily easy, because internationally mainly "college interns" are sought - which essentially applies to students who are about a year before graduation (bachelor or master degree) ", says Mittermayr up to the internship says: "It all started with a call for applications, sent out annually by Microsoft Austria. A letter of motivation and an up-to-date curriculum vitae are required, both of which are then forwarded by Microsoft Austria to the responsible persons at the headquarters in Redmond. Ideally, you should apply for these internships as early as November / December, but no later than the end of January. The visa preparations, if accepted, take a good two months. "

Lots of questions and answers

"The interview process itself is unique," says the intern. "After a lot of questions and answers by e-mail, after a few weeks you finally get to the first phone call. Most of the conversations on the phone are very general; you talk about your previous professional experience, where you will see yourself professionally in about 5 years why you absolutely want to work at Microsoft. After it has been roughly clarified in which direction you tend or is suitable, the actual interviews begin. Questions such as: “Please design a shoe!”, “How many hairdressers are there in Paris?” or : "How would you move Mount Fuji 10km if you had to?" Decide whether to get ahead - or not. What is required is creativity, an analytical approach and the famous "out of the box" thinking. If you pass these unexpected questions and puzzles, Another telephone interview is arranged. For the last telephone appointment (often directly on site at Microsoft / Redmond, flight and hotel is paid) you should definitely get in touch to prepare. "For me, this appointment was a bit unexpected and it lasted a full 6 hours. You phone your way through the whole department in one-hour interviews, talk to all managers and, if you haven't been rejected by then, you end up with the department head Time difference, the last conversation was only over at 2 in the morning. "

Life on campus

For years Microsoft was considered the best employer in the world - but then came Google. It is often forgotten that Microsoft is still a very popular employer that offers its employees numerous benefits. "The so-called 'perks' (voluntary social benefits of the company) include, among other things, a very extensive selection of free drinks or free Starbucks coffee.

The working hours are completely unregulated, there are no minimum weekly hours or similar. You set your own tasks (“commitments”), discuss them with your manager and then work on fulfilling them at your own discretion, "reports Mittermayr." There are free shuttle buses that go to various locations in the near and far . Those who prefer to drive themselves can get a cheap rental car or money for a new bike. The company operates its own mini taxi system within the large campus area. For example, you can be driven quickly and free of charge from a meeting in the north of the campus for lunch to another building in the south of the site. Microsoft only uses hybrid vehicles for all shuttles and taxis and has designed its own timetable system in order to guarantee transport that is as environmentally friendly as possible. "

Work wherever you want

Although you are assigned your office close to the respective team, there are plenty of opportunities to escape your desk, according to the report of the Austrian intern. In many buildings there are balconies on every floor with a very nice view of the nearby mountain landscape or the large forests of the state of Washington. "Wireless internet is available everywhere, you can take full advantage of the size of the campus and turn the cafeteria, the parkland, the soccer field - and even the shuttle bus (internet on the bus) into your office. Most of the buildings (over 100 in number) have their own restaurant, which in many cases offers more than you could ever try in the course of an internship. "

If you eat too much, you have to exercise

If you have had enough of the sometimes very health-oriented lunchtime offerings in the cafés, you can work off your pounds in the fitness club near the campus. "A fitness studio that is roughly the size of a shopping mall. There isn't just one large cardio room (treadmill, cross trainer, etc.), as is usually the case, but three of these rooms, with three different lighting conditions, daylight, normal, dark - complete by preference. Microsoft pays all ongoing fees for employees who enroll in the health club. " According to his own information, Steve Ballmer is supposed to train around 5 a.m. every day. "The free annual ticket for all bus connections in and around Seattle is also practical. It takes about 20 minutes to take an express bus from the headquarters in Redmond to downtown Seattle."

"Microsoft Prime Card"

Those who want to eat outside the campus can use the famous "Microsoft Prime Card" - both as a Microsoft employee and as an intern. With this card, you can get considerable discounts in many restaurants, shops, online mail-order companies, attractions, air travel and much more ", says Mittermayr.

About the internship at Microsoft

There are probably only a handful of companies that invest as much money, effort, and expense in interns as Microsoft. The world's largest manufacturer of computer software invests roughly the equivalent of a small new car in every potential future employee. A typical internship lasts 12 weeks and in many cases ends with a full-time job offer for the period after graduation. The internship itself differs significantly from that of other companies. The fact that Microsoft invests a lot in the entertainment of the interns can be seen in the numerous events that take place on and off campus throughout the summer. These include concerts, baseball tickets for the major US teams, skydiving and much more.

The highlight

The highlights include a meeting with Steve Ballmer (CEO), which has replaced the annual barbecue at Bill Gates' property since 2008. "This event is exclusively for interns, not even full-time employees have access," said Mittermayr.

A campus full of Linux fans

"My internship as a“ Product Planner ”started here in Redmond on July 7th. As part of my work here, I am preparing a large-scale, international study to lay the foundation for the next but one version of Microsoft Office. About half of my internship is now over and the work is so far absolutely exciting, incomparable to all other internships I have experienced so far. Many interns are sealed Linux supporters, some of them even in supporting functions in well-known systems such as Ubuntu. I took the time to meet many of these people about their attitudes towards Microsoft. Most of them were simply too curious to reject the job offer. And now, after the insight into the very extensive software development process of the largest software manufacturer in the world, everyone agrees: You see the giant with different eyes when you yourself are part of the whole. The software developers at Microsoft do not e ties, seldom a shirt, rather a T-shirt and jeans, and especially appreciate the flexible working hours (and can therefore often only be found after noon). "

The perfect employer?

I will only find out in my last week whether one of the coveted job offers will work out for me. Should I get an offer, I have about 4 weeks to take advantage of this opportunity and move to the USA in summer 2009. A matter which, despite the attractive, above-average annual salary, definitely has to be carefully considered, "concludes Mittermayr. (Red)