My fifth week at Microsoft was productive. For one, we made good progress on our project. After weeks of considering different pipelines and cycling through various data flow options, we finally (at least for the foreseeable future) decided on a few main technologies and mocked-up a final design. We also split up roles and better defined some loose deliverable for the upcoming weeks. I now own the flow of logs to the database and am tasked with ensuring logs move from code to columns in a database. I got the database up and running and could see at least some data populating on a test machine — progress! As always, I also had a lot of fun outside of work this week.
On Monday, my Camp Microsoft group went out to an escape room. I joined 7 other interns in the hardest room available. It was my first time so I didn’t really know what to expect but luckily we had Celena on our team (an escape room veteran). She had carried our team during trivia night so she was going to lead the way in our Inception inspired storyline escape. We, the Dream Travelers, opened the exit door with around 13 minutes to spare. Though I didn’t contribute much to the various puzzles, I did find the blacklight flashlight and some hidden keys.
On Tuesday, we were greeted with a cereal pop-up event courtesy of E + D. There were so many different cereal choices as well as decorated donuts and Ovaltine milkshakes. I socialized with some of the other interns, while remembering my childhood days. Later that day, after a full day of work, Cameron and I attended a free Flywheel group class. It was 45 minutes of straight cardio and I was drenched in sweat by the end. Though my legs were dead, I really want to attend at least one free group cardio class every week.
Wednesday was otherwise uneventful, but our team played soccer in the rain to welcome the start of the World Cup. I’m definitely getting closer to the team as a whole and it’s nice to call them friends instead of just coworkers. They’re a pretty great bunch.
On Thursday morning, I crashed Satya’s monthly Q&A session with employees. It was crazy to see him talk live only a few feet away from me. He answered questions ranging from the expansion of physical Microsoft stores to the recent acquisition of GitHub. Directly in front of him were all the executives. Essentially, the 10 or so people that led Microsoft in all different areas were present and in the flesh.
I realized the evident dichotomy: I was awed to be so close to the executives, but other than title, they weren’t necessarily above me in any way. Just as I was going to return to work, they were probably going to board a shuttle, stay until the evening, and then return home to sleep.
Later in the afternoon, E + D threw us an arcade pop-up event. There was a lot of food, drinks, and classic games from pinball to claw machines and Pac-Man. Cameron and I played around with the brightly lit neon board. We made a big “POD” sign as tribute to #podsquad and the Microsoft logo.
Thursdays are also pizza late-nights at the Garage, Microsoft’s makerspace. A bunch of trained employees stay around to help people with the different machines. Edward and I checked out the space and were very impressed. We tried out different VR setups in the reality room and I even got a go with the HoloLens. I think by the end of summer I want to screen print a design on a white t-shirt and laser cut some cool patterns on wood.
Friday was packed with events. For lunch, I joined a ton of other interns at our first micro volunteer event, where we made signs for the upcoming Special Olympics. Microsoft graciously matches every hour an intern volunteers at a rate of $25/hr (capped at $1000) so I definitely want to help out as much as I can. This was a little taste for the main event — the Special Olympics happening in early July. I’ll be there as a general volunteer!
Later in the afternoon, we had a Security and Compliance (S + C) social meet and greet. Once again, there was great food and a good turnout so I got to interact with people from other teams. This was one of the first opportunities to meet some of the other teams reorganized along with us, because we’re basically a family going forward. The new Corporate Vice President (CVP), Harvinder Bhela, stopped by and we chatted for a few minutes. One of the perks of a big company like Microsoft is the plethora of organizational events because there are so many hierarchical chains of command. So, every level throws events.
To finish off the work week, Edward and I stopped by the recently opened new visitor center. It was sweet and completely decked out. I tried out the Forza 7 racing simulator and played Fortnite at one of 6 XBOX gaming rigs. I have an intern tournament coming up soon and I desperately need to practice.
Compared to most of my other weekends in Seattle, this one was relatively chill and laid-back. Jacob, Jarrod’s roommate last year and a good friend of mine, came to visit. It was nice having some more noise in the apartment. We started off his Seattle experience with some Dick’s burgers in the early hours of Saturday (think 1 AM). Later, when the sun actually came-up, we celebrated the beginning of summer at the Fremont Solstice Parade. It’s crazy how the sun rises at like 5 AM and doesn’t set until around 10 PM — the days are getting long and hot, but thankfully not humid. After watching the awesome floats (but missing the naked cyclists), we gazed at the Seattle skyline from the hill at Gas Works Park.
After a few hours of sun and loud music, we headed to cool down at the Amazon Go store. It was pretty amazing. I grabbed some yogurt and just left without any checkout process. I was half-hoping something would go wrong and I could proclaim ah-ha the future isn’t here, but I’m here to attest it indeed is. We ate our unconventionally-bought meal outside the store, right next to the famous Amazon Spheres. Ellie joined us in the evening and we all watched Mulan before calling it a night.
On Sunday, all of us (the apartment gang + Jacob, Ellie, and Sue) went out for brunch. Edward and I then headed to the Seattle Central Public Library to marvel at its architecture and also get some work done, while Jarrod took Jacob to the Columbia Center Sky View Observatory (pro-tip: it’s taller than the Space Needle and also cheaper, especially if you’re a student).
After a few hours of work, Ellen picked us up and we visited Kerry Park for beautiful views of the Seattle skyline.
This week was a nice step back from all the crazy fast-paced action. We really embraced the Seattle community and tried to hit some local spots.