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Microsoft: Full-Time! September 17, 2012

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I never really made the announcement here: I got an offer to come back to Microsoft as a full-time employee! I officially accepted and will be starting early next year. I’m so thrilled to have this wonderful opportunity!

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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!

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!

Breathing Again! December 22, 2011

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Fall 2011 is officially over!

This semester ended on a crazy note – busy, as usual, with all sorts of crazy on the side.

  • Two companies wanted to fly me out for interviews.  I couldn’t make one of them, and I had to change around final presentations for the other ones
  • One phone interview and one on-site interview… during dead week
  • Not one, not two, but 3 semester-long group projects due in the span of two weeks
  • Friend’s birthday after finals week!
  • About 10 people from my Barcelona group graduated this semester.  Whaaaaaa??

Thoughts about my imminent getting-out-of-Tech-ness aside (graduation is only one year away?!  When did this happen?), I’m pretty happy with this semester.  First off, I got 2 A’s and 2 B’s!  😀  It was also a successful semester in terms of personal, professional, and interpersonal matters.  I’ve achieved goals in all 3 categories: I maintained my weight during the whole semester, got an internship, and I got to spend a lot of time with new and old friends alike.

It was a lovely semester overall! 🙂  Can’t wait for the rest!

Programming Summer May 28, 2011

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I got a summer internship at CareerBuilder!!!!! 😀

I’ll be starting this June and probably working up until classes start… so excited!!

More about that in the future, as well as that Tapia post I promised a couple of posts back.  Lots of good pics are involved 🙂

Mentoring for another year! February 24, 2011

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I’ve been selected to be a CoC mentor for another year!!! 😀

The selection process was even more strict that last year’s – unfortunately the program had to be reduced to 25 mentors, yet the Office of Outreach, Enrollment, and Community got over 50 applications this year!

I spoke with a lot of the students that applied, and I’d estimate that roughly half of them were freshmen.  Although this makes sense since a lot of freshmen hang out near the OEC office and were told personally about the application (through OEC or their friends), it’s still kind of crazy that a group consisting of ~120 students – or 1/6th of the entire CoC – provided half the candidates.

Considering that the program has GPA and credit constraints (2.4ish GPA and 30+ credit hours), and that the application was rather lengthy, I’d say there was probably a significant amount of freshmen that wanted to apply but didn’t for various reasons.  Still, accounting only for those freshmen who did apply, that means that roughly 1 out of every 5 freshmen applied to be a mentor, about 10 times the application rate for other CoC students!

All in all, the most significant factor is that all the freshmen that applied (or wanted to) were all mentees in last year’s mentor program – and wanted to pay it forward by being mentors to future freshmen.  I’d say that makes last year’s program quite successful 🙂

As for myself and whether some of my mentees got into the program, all I’ll say is that the tree’s height has increased…

if(CoCwinsHomecoming) { cristy.postBlog(); } October 10, 2010

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This was our pomp display:

 

Buzz, Ramblin' Wreck, Tech Tower... Tech spirit!

 

Over 40 students worked on it over the course of 5 days, a significant majority even lost sleep over it. On Thursday night the third floor of the CoC was vibrant, filled with inspired upperclassmen and zealous freshmen, all munching pizza and sipping soda as alumni watched the birth of a new CoC tradition.

And we won!! 😀  We got 1st place in our division (Independent) and 15th overall, getting surpassed only by panhellenic units.

 

Very small percentage of those who helped out**

 

It’s the second time that we participate in Homecoming events (and we’re still the first and only school/academic unit participating); we were unable to partake in half of the events due to lost paperwork and unannounced deadline changes; we asked people to contribute voluntarily instead of penalizing them if they didn’t; and we still won!

Also, to all my fellow programmers: Happy 42! 😀

**It should be noted that not one person in this picture had slept more than 2 hours at the time this picture was taken.  Those who helped out and were not in this pic were in class and/or sleeping.

Graphics and the Media Thread October 3, 2010

Posted by lifealgo in Computing.
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From the moment I learned about the Threads system that the College of Computing uses for its CS degrees I knew that Media was going to be one of them.  This semester I’m taking my first course from Media, CS3451: Computer Graphics.  I really like the course material so far, particularly how we integrate calculus, linear algebra, and geometry with programming to produce visuals.

I’ve also had the opportunity to make some pretty cool programs with Processing:

I really want to program some personal projects in Processing over winter break.  For now, I’ll focus on the class-related ones.