Monthly Archives: September 2013

Join Microsoft Russia Student Case Competition!

Russia case challenge

Take part in the annual Microsoft student case competition held in Russia and the sky is the limit!

We are happy to announce the launch of the 5th Microsoft Case Competition – Sky!

This year the Microsoft Russia team were inspired by the sky, clouds and air travel. The contestants will develop a solution for one of the largest airlines in Russia and the best air carriers in Eastern Europe. Their solutions will be based on Microsoft cloud products: Windows Azure, Office 365, Windows 8 devices, and Yammer.

Participation eligibility:
Students and recent graduates from all Russian universities are welcome to take part!

Competition timeline:
– Registration deadline: September, 29th
– Online tournament: September 30th – October 6th
– Semi-finals: October 14th
– Finals: October 21st

The Microsoft Case Competition ranks among top case championships held in Russia and has proven to be a great platform for young talent that want to develop their analytical and soft skills. It is a great opportunity to demonstrate existing skills and competencies and for 8 of the participants in previous competitions it was the first step to a successful career at Microsoft Russia!

Check-in and come on board before September 29th on the website

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french surface

« Imagine you are the french marketing Director for Surface and invent with your team the most innovative marketing campaign for the 18-25 years old audience »

In partnership with Studyka, a start-up founded by students that allows french companies to submit challenges to the higher Ed audience : Microsoft France Staffing team launched last week.

According a three steps process : participants from best business, engineering schools and universities :
– Send us online their first Surface campaign draft
– For those who are selected, a final document is evaluate and ranked by an internal jury of Microsftees
– Finally, 5 teams of 2 to 3 students are selected to pitch on stage their campaign in front of HR and Windows teams

To win ?
Surface, Xbox One, opportunity to meet France HR staffing team, internships at Microsoft ! etc…

Thanks to a strong partnership with BG Windows, Xbox and with Public sector, this business game gives students the opportunity to show to Microsoft Windows and HR teams their creativity, their passion for our devices and their ability to work on a short period with different profiles and talents

Our Goal ? :
Recruiting ! Identify tomorrow’s talents (interns and Mach) for Microsoft France who are also next buyers and influencers with a consumer mindset
Employer Branding ! Communicate on the new Microsoft : a device and service company and the coolness of our products
Align and share ressources ! HR is stronger with Business, a common objective (« targetting students ») help us to be more impactful

You want to know more about Studyka and our #ChallengeMicrosoft Surface ?

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The origins of job interviews

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Microsoft noted as an example of a large company reaching out to entrepreneurial interns


By Callum Borchers – The Boston Globe:

As she began looking for an internship this summer, Boston University graduate student Brynn Leggett knew one thing: She didn’t want to work at a big, prestigious company that would look good on the resume if it meant performing the menial tasks often assigned to interns.
Instead, Leggett scored a paid internship at a small Hub start-up called Artaic, which makes custom mosaic tile displays using robotics and has a grand total of just nine employees. There, she is filling a critical void as the company’s principal grant writer.
“I’ve always gravitated toward smaller organizations because I like the opportunity to be creative and be involved in stuff that you know is going to matter,” Leggett said. “I’m not a go-for-coffee kind of girl.”
With start-up fever gripping the tech sector in Massachusetts, Leggett is among the many college students shunning internships at larger, established businesses and opting for the rush of newly formed, fast-growing companies, where they often are much more involved in developing the businesses.
But for all their excitement, such small companies usually lack the structure or finances to find and host interns. So several industry groups have developed programs to match interns with entrepreneurs.
Leggett’s internship, for example, was partly funded by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, which has an initiative that reimburses small businesses for up to half the cost of an intern.
“This program is manna from heaven,” said Artaic’s chief executive, Ted Acworth. “We can’t really afford to compete with bigger companies to get the best talent for internships. We’re usually not able to offer any compensation, and that makes it much harder to get talent.”
Thanks to the MassTech subsidies, Acworth this summer took on Leggett and a second paid intern, Paul Heslinga.
A grad student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Heslinga last summer had an internship in the IT department of a major Boston law firm that mostly involved mundane daily tasks and answering to four or five bosses. Not surprisingly, he generally felt lost in the shuffle and was loath to repeat the experience this summer.
At Artaic, he is building on the skills he learns in the classroom like never before.
“At WPI, most of my work is research on new robotics, ideas and concepts,” said Heslinga, who is studying robotics engineering. “This has sort of grounded me toward improving the industry and facilitating robotics in production.”
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, a quasi-state agency, has run an internship program since 2009, and student participation has quadrupled since the first year.
The center matches young graduates and college students with start-ups that can use the help but often can’t afford the interns. It pays $15 an hour for as many as 12 weeks and even covers payroll taxes.
“We like to say we’re creating internship opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t exist,” said Ryan H. Mudawar, the center’s manager of academic and workforce programs.

Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff
Brynn Leggett and Paul Heslinga intern at Artaic in South Boston.
The state government has a keen interest in providing such placements, said Susan Windham-Bannister, president of the life sciences center, because it increases the likelihood that young tech talent will stay on in Massachusetts. The center said that about one-third of its interns land jobs at the companies where they worked.
Meanwhile, colleges with interns in the center’s program are able to improve their curriculums, based on the feedback from companies. And students and grads improve their job or fund-raising prospects by experiencing the start-up world first-hand.
After graduating from Western New England University last year, Brian Dutra spent the summer interning at FloDesign Sonics, an aerospace technology start-up in Wilbraham that could not have taken him on without the subsidy from the life sciences center.
After a few months, Dutra proved so valuable to the fledgling company that it kept him on as a mechanical engineer and is picking up the tab for graduate school.
“So right now I’m finishing up my graduate degree and haven’t paid for a dime of it,” Dutra said. “It’s a pretty good deal.”
The start-up vibe is so appealing that some of the big guys, including Microsoft Corp., are trying to replicate it. Last year, the software titan piloted an internship program called The Foundry at its New England Research & Development Center in Cambridge. Working in small groups, the students build their own apps, as if they were launching businesses at one of the co-working spaces that are so popular on Boston’s innovation scene.
The Foundry, said Sara Spalding, the Microsoft center’s senior director, is a “way to give students an opportunity to experience Microsoft who might say, ‘I want to work in a smaller team. Instead of being a smaller part of a bigger project, I want to be a bigger part of a smaller project.’ ”
It’s now so popular that the Foundry program has doubled in size to 40 students this year.
“It definitely feels like working at a start-up,” said Annie Tang, a senior at MIT studying computational architecture and a member of this year’s Foundry class. “We have a lot of ownership over what we do. On the other hand, we have all these resources — Microsoft employees, a lot of smart people who have been in the industry for a long time.”
And some programs are taking it one step further and helping promising college grads and students start their own companies, such as the one at Highland Capital Partners, where Jon McKay and three friends from Olin College of Engineering are trying to launch a business to make microboards.
McKay had previously served in one of the tech industry’s top-flight internships: a three-month gig at Microsoft, working on the Internet Explorer Web browser.
“They give you all these perks, excellent pay,” he said.
That was the problem — life at a large corporation was too easy.
“Working at a start-up is a lot more exciting,” McKay said. “It’s also kind of terrifying.”
Highland Capital said that 85 percent of the companies started in its program, now in its sixth year, are still running or have been acquired. The start-ups, about 20 altogether, have collectively raised more than $100 million — including a few investments from Highland.
Though the career path may seem risky to many students, Highland partner Sean Dalton said he would not have a second thought about where to steer his own children.
“I would advise my kids coming out of school to find an entrepreneurial, early-stage company and start building a career there,” Dalton said.

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“Creating History in Romania with Bill Gates!”

Bill Gates Romania

“In the moment we have been face to face with the whole Microsoft history. Our expectations have changed since we met Bill Gates at the opening of the center. The expectations are still there, but now we were the ones to create history.”
Attila, Technical Lead for the Global Business Support Center tells us with emotion about that moment, six years ago, when he met the founder of the company who was visiting Romania for the inauguration of the center.
“Technical and communication skills, knowing a second language besides English, thinking out of the box are the criteria we had then in the job description and we still have today. I think that people outside the company who want to work for Microsoft see us a as fortress that is very hard to conquer. But, I also think that the job description translates differently in Microsoft. In essence it’s about the potential, how fast you can grow in Microsoft, and how much each person wants this for himself. I think these things are in the DNA of all my colleagues”
The people from the Global Business Support team work in virtual teams from all over the world, which enables them to be involved in international projects. Attila tells us that he cannot name one particular success which remained in his memory because there are moments each day when one member of the team does a remarkable thing. “From companies and Romanian institutions which were realized by implementing complex solution to big clients abroad, all the projects that we are doing allow us to exponentially develop our skills”
Attila is with Microsoft since 6 years ago and is now a Technical Lead for the Unified Communications team and also an Acting Support Manager. He is combining advance technical skills with his soft skills, managing to help a team achieve international performance.
“Exchange was the first Microsoft technology he worked with, for 3 years, and he felt that he must develop a further vision of the technologies and communication so he did a lateral step to Unified Communications (Voice Mail, Lync Server, Lync Client, Lync Web App, Lync Mobile, Conferencing, Enterprise voice). For example, we are now working on a project for the government of a certain EU member. That makes you feel connected with the transformation of the whole world and that you have a real impact on this accelerated transition.”
“For a Technical Lead in Microsoft there is no routine. The world is moving fast and the company is dynamic. If you are motivated and self-driven you can develop in multiple areas in an accelerated rhythm. Leadership and professional skills was the training that made me aware of my potential of influencing people around me in each interaction. By doing so, I became better in the approach of difficult situation, key clients and motivating people around me. That training was the mental step I did towards the Technical Lead role.
Attila also tells us that with the opening of Global Business Support in Timisoara he will have the opportunity to further develop his skills.
“I believe that as we collaborate with teams from India, Sweden, Germany and France, the place that Microsoft has in people’s minds is going to be more important than the geography. This is because the company invests hugely in people’s development. Microsoft is looking for potential, not perfection; for people who are going to get full support in reaching the maximum potential.”

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