In the month of October, we’re celebrating women leaders at Microsoft, at all levels of leadership, around the world. Fittingly, Microsoft was recently recognized by its peers as the top tech company for cultivating leadership skills—at all levels of management.
Here’s a great example of how Microsoft is developing future leaders: The Microsoft Academy for College Hires, also known as the MACH program. By way of four rotations over two years, the program offers participants a unique opportunity to explore different areas of work throughout Microsoft’s IT and product teams. These employees receive ongoing leadership training, technical education, peer-to-peer coaching, and exposure to Microsoft’s IT senior staff and leadership.
Here, three MACH IT women – two from India and one from Venezuela – share their paths, as well as what it takes to make it to Microsoft.
Sri Ramya Mallipudi, MACH IT Program Manager
I am originally from India and I currently work in Redmond. My career in IT got a head start when I was recruited for one of the top three IT firms in India, through my undergraduate campus career fair. I accepted the offer for a Software Developer role, and worked in India for two years before moving to the United States to pursue my Master’s in Management and Information Systems. While pursuing my Master’s, I worked as a web developer for the university’s Bio-Informatics department. In addition to my core courses in Information Systems, I explored various classes in the Computer Engineering, Human Computer Interaction and MBA departments.
I also worked for a manufacturing company as a Business Analyst intern. All of those experiences—various roles in IT firms, the breadth of knowledge from various Masters courses—helped me get accepted into the MACH program. And here I am, leading the entire MACH IT program, which has more than 90 members, as what we call an All-Up Lead.
Sumana Chakrabarti, Software Development Engineer
I am originally from Kolkata, India. I work and live in Redmond. I did my bachelor degree in Computer information Systems from Arizona State University and I am at Microsoft through Campus Recruitment.
During my first rotation, I worked as a SDET in the Enterprise Data Services team, also known as Business Intelligence. Business Intelligence was a completely new area for me, where I did not have any experience. That is the part of MACH I enjoy the most: learning completely new technologies and business areas.
In the current (second) rotation, my new role is a Software Development Engineer. I took on this role for the same reason: I wanted to learn new web development technologies. For me, the MACH program offers incredible training, preparing me for a successful Microsoft career in the future.
Carla Villoria, Solution Manager
I am originally from, Caracas, Venezuela. I currently work in Redmond and live in Seattle. Here’s the short version of how I came to Microsoft: I studied Computer Science, went to a career fair, handed in my resume at a Microsoft booth, and here I am– lucky girl!
Here’s a longer version: My family had to leave Venezuela for political reasons and so I transferred to Texas A&M University to finish the studies I had started in my home country. From the beginning I knew it would be tough to eventually get a job because I was on a student visa—so I worked really hard, got involved with research and wrote a thesis, applied and got many scholarships, was a leader in several organizations on campus, and luckily was able to secure an internship, which eventually led me to my full-time position here at Microsoft.
A final question for Carla: What advice would you give to other women considering a career in technology or at Microsoft?
Persevere, differentiate yourself, be grateful, follow your dreams, and always be curious.
Meet more Microsoft women in leadership:
A new video series created by Juliana Gomez, Director of Microsoft IT in the Ukraine, shines a spotlight on senior-level and emerging female leaders at Microsoft, at various levels of management.
In these three videos, Juliana shares her own views on women in the workplace:
More about MACH on Microsoft Careers:
People can apply for the MACH program in the U.S. and internationally in 55 countries. Candidates can get started by way of referrals, colleges or universities, and by selecting the appropriate country and position on our Microsoft Careers site.
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