Geek Graduates: Top 3 tips for getting the most out of your internship

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Over the next few days and weeks, hundreds of interns will be wrapping up their time at Microsoft and heading back to universities across the country for the next academic year. Recruiters and students say an internship is the best way to get real world experience and better their chances for future employment.

In fact, a study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) last year said that graduates who participated in paid internship were more likely to get a job offer, have a job in hand by the time they graduated, and receive a higher starting salary offer than their peers who undertook an unpaid internship or no internship at all.  In short – students should make the most of their internship experience!  Here are some tips that three outstanding Microsoft interns had to share:

1. Network – Reach out to people doing jobs that interest you – don’t be afraid to ask general manager and vice president-level employees questions and get their insight. Interns are often here from another part of the country and building a network of friends and colleagues inside and outside of work makes the internship more valuable. Computer science major Rafael, an intern from Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, OH said “at Microsoft, we have the opportunity to be around so many intelligent people. Get to know as many people as you can and pick their brain!”

2. Be curious – As an intern, you aren’t expected to know everything so ask questions and meet with people who work on something you are interested in. Seek out events or a talk on something you want to know more about. Brigitte, a three-time Microsoft intern and UCLA student majoring in cognitive science says, “Don’t wait to be introduced – figure out who’s running the talk and ask to attend!”

3. Ask for feedback – Feedback will help you learn, grow and continue to improve. University of Southern California computer science/business administration student Rodrigo said, “I love making an impact and I’m constantly trying to improve. I want to know what I’m doing well and what can be better for next time. I think that’s why I’ve had success at Microsoft and have accepted an offer to work here after graduation!”

If you want to discover what life at Microsoft is all about and are interested in exploring internship opportunities, go to www.microsoft.com/university to learn more.

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