Where would you live if you could work anywhere?

This program manager makes a life in China


Shoshanna Budzianowski has worked for Microsoft for almost 20 years. Having previously worked in the States, Shoshanna embarked on a new challenge and relocated with her husband and son to Beijing.

Here’s the rundown on Shoshanna’s life in the Far East:

Name: Shoshanna Budzianowski

Job title: Program Manager

Location: Recently relocated to China from the States

Working on: Building an application ecosystem for Microsoft Office using modern development tools and technologies – HTML5, JavaScript, JSON and standards-based protocols.

What is it like working for Microsoft in China?

Microsoft Office has an incredibly talented team in Beijing, one which is growing exponentially. Everyone is motivated to push the envelope and to make a real difference, for Office, for our customers and for China.

What top tips could you offer to students considering a career at Microsoft?

Know what you are talking about.

Go out and research the products, software and devices that Microsoft is producing. What do these technologies do really well and where are they perhaps missing a trick? I always encourage candidates to challenge the norm and share their opinions because it is this type of approach that will enable Microsoft to continually grow, develop and push the boundaries.

Share your creative flair!

If you have made it through to the interview stage at Microsoft, one can presume that you are bright enough to pick up any additional engineering know-how that may be needed, but what we cannot teach is creativity. Don’t be scared to throw out bold ideas. In the words of Leo Burnett, “Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.”

Be the asset you already are.

The way people interact with technology is changing every day. Although most campus hires don’t have business experience, they offer a unique perspective on how people are adopting and using technology. They are a new generation of technology-savvy users. They are the future of how technology will be used and will work.

And why China?

Well for starters, the food is amazing! China is fun, it’s interesting, and it’s full of culture and eye-opening surprises. If you come without preconceived notions and an open mind you can get a lot out of the experience!

Funniest moment in China so far:

The first time I ordered a meal on my own! For the first few dinners, my teammates picked meals for me but finally insisted I give it a try myself. I ordered off the picture menu and ended up with cold, spicy chicken feet. Not quite what I was expecting, but they were delicious.

Most interesting cultural difference you’ve experienced:

Getting a massage! It’s a way of life here and is relatively inexpensive. But, you need to know what you’re getting yourself into as it is not the conventional type of massage we are used to in the States. I got a recommendation from a colleague, thinking this would ensure a fairly orthodox experience, but what I have now learned is: Chinese massage equals pain! If you think you’ll enjoy a 20-minute limb stretch then go for it!


Ready for a walk around the Great Wall of China or to master the art of eating with chopsticks? Find out more about job opportunities in Beijing and Greater China.

Does China seem a little too far from home? Explore the roles available at any of Microsoft’s development centers in Europe.

Make your everyday extraordinary. Find top jobs around the world.


In the media:

Read a Seattle Times article by Julia Liuson, a corporate vice president and 20-year Microsoft veteran, who shares her experience in China for Microsoft as well as how to support girls in STEM disciplines.

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