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Signature Event! July 25, 2012

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I’m currently sitting on a bus about to go to Microsoft’s yearly Intern Signature Event. So excited!

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Week 10… wait, what?! July 18, 2012

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This is the 10th week of my internship – where’d the past 70 days go?!

As most people are in the same boat, it seems we’ve all kind of dedicated ourselves to finishing up our projects so this past week has had more casual events with people. I think this is also in part because a lot of us won’t be back until more than a year from now, so we want to spend as much time just relaxing with the friends we’ve made in our time here.

This past Thursday was intern day of caring. I’m guessing about 900 interns participated in the event across 6-8 different locations. My group decided to go to Mountains to Sound and clear up blackberry plants from the area. It turns out that the area we were clearing up used to be farmland – when it was given to the state it fell out of care and invasive blackberry plants started growing all over the land. The plants themselves aren’t so much a problem, but rather the fact that they prevent trees from growing close to the edges of the river. When trees grow near the edge of the river they provide shade which keeps the river at a much cooler temperature, which is suitable for salmon to swim in and thus promotes the preservation of wild salmon. It’s crazy to think of how the most seemingly far-removed things can be connected!

On Saturday a big group of interns headed to Golden Gardens beach for a bonfire. There were smores, guitars, volleyball, frisbee, awesome people, and an absolutely gorgeous backdrop surrounding us. I tried taking pictures, but they didn’t quite capture the gradient formed by the layers of mountains fading behind mist and the tinted flares of the sun reflected on the ocean.

That night I had to go to bed early, however, because the following day was the intern Mt. Rainier hike! Even though it’s July, there was still a lot of snow accumulated – the snow literally started at the beginning of the trail we followed.

I had never before in my life seen that much snow – considering the most northern place I’ve lived in during the winter is Atlanta! I also got to sled down hills for the first time in my life, which was ridiculously fun – almost makes me wish I’d grown up in a place with snowy winters until I remember that

  • I was wearing two sweaters during the hike and I was still cold
  • I spent half the hike trying to figure out how to walk in the snow; the other half was spent trying to figure out how to slide with my feet on the snow.

Pictures to come soon!

Independence Days and Other Awesome Events July 11, 2012

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Since the last time I posted quite a few fun things have happened:

  • Went up to Vancouver for Canada Day weekendImage
  • Celebrated my friend Anita’s 21st birthday
  • Went to Alki Beach and then Gas Works park for 4th of July
  • Went to an intern picnic the day on Venezuela’s independence day
  • Watched The Amazing Spider-Man. Veredict: very awesome
  • Participated in the Intern Puzzlehunt – our team got third place!ImageImage
  • On Monday I went to a Women of Microsoft event. I saw some cool demos and got more Microsoft swag
  • Had a fellow intern from my team and some other friends over and we all cooked dinner

Hard to believe that all that has happened in just two weeks!

HOLA and Banana party June 27, 2012

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Yesterday night I went to a networking event by HOLA, the Hispanic/Latino organization from Microsoft. All interns were invited to come along and meet full-time employees who are involved in HOLA. It was great to meet some FTE as well as interns from a variety of Hispanic places (among others – there was a girl from Egypt at the event! 🙂 ). Also, it turns out that one of the FTEs at the event was not only Venezuelan (like me), but her dad is actually from my hometown! There have been some crazy coincidences this summer, but that’s definitely one of the top ones.

Aside from that, today I got to hang out with some (relatively) old friends at a banana party! What constitutes a banana party, you ask? In our modern day and age, we have the commodity of ordering groceries online. Naturally, it follows that such services come with pitfalls like ambiguity, such as indicating whether 5 bananas means 5 individual bananas or 5 bundles of bananas. And what better way to get rid of extra bananas than by asking your friends to bring their own condiment and help you eat the plentiful fruit?

Midway! June 20, 2012

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I’ve barely been in Seattle a month, and I’m already in my sixth week of my internship. Aside from the expected frenzy of tasks and meetings and official and unofficial intern events, it also marks that I’m halfway through with it!

Aside from meeting with my manager to talk about my progress, this week I’ll be doing another presentation on my research. While it’s the same one I did last week, this time I’ll be presenting it to 15-20 people, almost all of which are PM (or related roles), so I expect the criticism and questions to be a bit different. I’m a bit nervous, but I’m also excited to see what they have to say.

Seattle Iron Blog Challenge June 13, 2012

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A fellow intern within my team has started an Iron Blog challenge meant for those in the Seattle area. The gist of it is that all bloggers must write at least one blog post per week or else pay $5 to a communal fund. Once the fund is full, the money is used to buy all participating members a round of drinks (alcoholic or not).

All in all, this sounds like a great idea for the summer!

And thus was week 1 May 22, 2012

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Monday started up early in time for New Employee Orientation (NEO)!

My roommates and I walked together with Paul and his roommates, Jeff and Curtis. The interns were let in to do logistics in batches, which left us with plenty of time to chat the rest of the interns starting that week.

One of many Microsoft signs around the main campus!

First mingling area at NEO

After the initial paperwork all interns were led to a big room in which we were gonna spend the rest of the day. We were seated in tables based on our divisions, it was fairly interesting to see the composition of our intern group.

I don’t know about the others, but I can definitely vouch for the easternmost STB table and its fascination with silly putty.

During lunch a decent group of around 11-12 of us sat in the commons and listened to Tom W. tell us a tale of transcendental cheese and sandwiches. After a couple of hours more of orientation we opted to not waste time and keep on socializing as we bought bikes!  Surprisingly, I was able to find an adult bike that is not only my favorite color, but is also my size (I have a 24.75 inch inseam, so riding a 26″ bike is more or less out of the question).

I actually managed to bike 1.5 miles home after not getting on a bicycle in about 4-5 years. Afterwards we decided to get happy hour sushi with some of the lunch crew and the bicycle shop group, it was quite excellent!

On Tuesday I got to meet my manager, my mentor, and part of my team. I’ll be working with the Visual Studio division this summer, and while I can’t say what my project is about I can say this: I’ve definitely hit the ground running! After four years at Tech, however, this is nothing out of the ordinary – definitely makes it fun 😉

The end of the week was marked by a Burrito Fiesta hosted by fellow Microsoft interns who live in our complex. The day after a group of us ventured to downtown Seattle for a cheese festival, Sushi, a visit to a thrift store in Capitol Hill where I found a leather jacket for $7(!!!), and a Hawaiian party put together by the same guys who had the potluck the week before.

Cheese festival – favorite cheese I tried was coconut milk cheese

Blue trees in downtown Seattle!

Old and new, all friends

In front of Molly Moon’s ice cream shop

My roommates and I in Hawaiian gear!

Sunday was spent mostly watching part of the first season of Game of Thrones and realizing that, if the first week was any indication, this is going to be a truly wonderful and lovely summer.

First weekend in Seattle May 16, 2012

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The first weekend has passed. My flight to Seattle on Saturday was shared with 4 other Georgia Tech students: my 2 roommates, a fellow 2011 CoC mentor, and an old friend I was not aware was interning at Microsoft as well. After the 5-hour flight we tried to find a car big enough for 11 bags and 4 people (the fellow mentor left with someone else).

Interns at the car rental place! (from left to right: Paul D., Jasmine L., Naomi R., and I)

The first challenge of the summer: car tetris!

We eventually got to our apartment complex, which is lovely and beautiful and has bunnies (what more could you want??). Our apartment was just as lovely and beautiful despite not having bunnies, but I’m actually okay with that last part.

Our dining room all set up

Our living room – we have a fireplace!

Since it was still early evening we decided to get some groceries with Paul and his roommate Jeff G. before calling it a night.

Achievement unlocked: successfully bought groceries

We had the car until Tuesday, so on Sunday we explored around the downtown Seattle area for a bit.

First time seeing the Space Needle in daylight 🙂

Public Market Center – reminded me of Las Ramblas in Barcelona!

We walked around Pike Market Place, saw the first Starbucks, and had sandwiches on a soft patch of grass near the waterfront.

The first Starbucks ever!

Seattle sandwiches are pretty good, but we would hear more about them the following day…

Waterfront grass.

Later on we headed home to change before going to a potluck organized by a fellow intern. I got to meet other interns from Georgia Tech and all over the US, and some from Canada, too!  We went home early because we had intern orientation to go to the next day.  Overall, it was a lovely first day of summer in Seattle!

Hello, Seattle! May 13, 2012

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I’m safe and sound and settled in Seattle.

Whew, what a day!

CodingSkills++ August 20, 2011

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My internship at CareerBuilder.com has ended 😦

If I can only say one thing about it, let it be this: holy cow, I learned a lot!

Spending 12 weeks of this summer just coding has improved my programming skills and made me much more confident in my coding capabilities.  It’s kind of interesting how my internship project went through the same motions as my CS classes: began with a “Hello World” tutorial to get used to VisualBasic.net and Visual Studio (<3), started getting used to the visuals of javascript (CS1331), coded up BFS (CS1332)…

Either way, I’m ready to take on the rest of my career*!

CareerBuilder

Interns Fender, Leah, and I at CareerBuilder

*no pun intended, I promise!