Microsoft Intern Tony Menard on video game testing and white water rafting


‘Softie in question: Tony Menard

Job title: Xbox Games Intern – University of Michigan, Class of ’11

Why did you decide to intern with Microsoft and not with a different tech company?

This was actually my third internship with Microsoft.  I’ve chosen to intern with the company because it’s a very well-respected leader and innovator in the technology industry.

The products MS develops are used by millions of people every day. That being said, I know that the work I do will impact a large number of these individuals. I’ve also been given the opportunity to live “every kid’s dream” as my last two internships were as a Software Development Engineer in Test for the Games Test Organization of Microsoft Game Studios (also known as a VIDEO GAME TESTER)!

Microsoft is one of a very few companies that have a 5-star intern program. The company never ceases to impress me with how well it treats its interns.

How did you feel about the type of work you did as an intern?

I think my intern responsibilities were both challenging and impactful. Throughout the summer, I took part in the testing of three different Xbox 360 titles.  Furthermore, not only did I design the overarching test plan and generate build verification tests for a tool that will be used by my entire organization, I was also responsible for designing a targeted test specification and cases for a major release of the tool as well.

Did you get a chance to get to know other interns?

The company-wide intern events including the Cirque du Soleil performance, Mt. Rainier hike, Intern Day of Caring, Puzzle Day and division-specific intern events like the BBQ with Phil Spencer and the Kinect demo with Kudo Tsunoda gave me plenty of opportunities to meet new interns as well as respected leaders in the industry. I was also featured in the web series “My Intern Life 2” this summer, so people outside the company can get a chance to know me on more of a personal level as they follow me throughout my internship.

What was one of your best memories shared with other interns?

One of my favorite memories with other interns would have to be the Kooza, Cirque du Soleil performance. Microsoft organized a private showing of the performance just for us interns this summer and the experience was truly amazing! I’ve never seen anything like it before.

Tell me about the Intern Social Coordinators and how they assisted with the cohesion of the intern group.

Intern Social Coordinators are full-time employees that organize events for groups of approximately 10 interns. My ISC scheduled whitewater rafting on the Wenatchee river, WhirlyBall, movie night at a nearby theater and dinner in Seattle (just to name a few things) throughout the course of my internship this summer. These events provided me the opportunity to meet and bond with a bunch of other interns across the company that I may have never met otherwise.

Tell me the highlights of going on the Wenatchee River. 

I had a great time on the Wenatchee River with approximately 30 other MS interns and full-time employees. The weather was perfect. I shared a raft with five other University of Michigan interns and our instructor.  At one point during the trip, we ended up hitting a rock in the middle of the river and our instructor fell out of the raft. You’d think it would be the other way around (i.e. one of us interns falling out of the raft) but we actually had to paddle over save the instructor. That was a memorable experience, no doubt.

As an intern, what did you learn about the culture at Microsoft?

The people at Microsoft are very passionate about what they do. It’s exciting to jump into a project with a bunch of intelligent individuals who are striving for a common goal. I was never afraid to ask my co-workers questions because I not only felt that I was important to the team, but that the project I was assigned was both impactful and meaningful as well.

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