During my first few months at Microsoft, I had the opportunity to work with several different teams on different features of the Xbox One console. But just one year ago, I stood at the beginning of my final semester of college. A wave of change was heading in my direction, and I could feel it tugging on me with each coming day.
Walking across the stage to receive my diploma would kick-start a road trip halfway across the country to start a new job in a brand-new city. I was leaving behind everything I’d ever known or loved in Texas, but something greater was calling me away from home.
As it always tends to be, Microsoft came to me as an unexpected opportunity. A chance conversation with a university recruiter (you guessed it – free pizza) had me flying out on a plane to Seattle within the month to interview for a full-time position after graduation.
I have always been a huge gamer, and in college I spent my free time developing games with my friends. So imagine the surprise and delight I experienced when the recruiter informed me I would be interviewing with the Xbox team.
The decision to move to Seattle was hardly difficult to make after the excitement of receiving an official job offer from the company. Since I had not had the chance to travel much growing up, I turned the move from Texas into a two-week-long road trip. The trip was a wish-list vacation, and I was able to visit many friends, family, and scenic attractions along the route from the passenger seat of a U-HAUL van.
When I arrived in Seattle, I was sure I would get a chance to relax after my exciting road trip. However, starting work during the launch of the Xbox One made sure my hectic pace would only continue.
I was thrown into the code base right away, and I was making changes to the product within my first two weeks of being hired. It was challenging to take on responsibility so quickly, but it was also very exciting.
This trial by fire pushed me to my limits to learn a lot of new information rapidly. With the launch of the Xbox One, I felt as if I had actually made an impact as a new hire, which I think is rare, compared with hands-on experiences other companies might offer.
As much as I miss Texas, I really enjoy being here at Microsoft. With new friends and new hiking venues to check out on the weekends, Seattle is beginning to feel like home with each coming day. In the upcoming year, it’s hard to imagine experiencing such a whirlwind of change and excitement, but I can’t wait to see what new features and projects I’ll be working on next!
Are you graduating in 2014? Stay tuned for Melody’s new-grad life advice, coming next month…
Meanwhile, take a page from Melody’s playbook, and check out these JobsBlog stories:
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