How I got direct Internship at Microsoft | Microsoft Engage

Microsoft Engage is a mentorship program by Microsoft where students get mentored by Software Engineers working at Microsoft while working on a project, be a part of AMA sessions, webinars and leader talks delivered by Microsoft employees to give them insights about it’s culture and values.

In addition to this, at the end of the program mentees get a chance to interview for summer internship and the reason why you came here, they also offer direct internships (without any interview process) to some selected mentees.

Usually product based companies do not allow non-CS branches to sit for internships/placements but Engage is open to any branch!

I got a direct internship offer from Microsoft through this program in 2021. In the summer of 2022, I will be interning at Microsoft as a Summer Intern. Here is my experience.

How did I get to know about this program?

I got to know about this opportunity through my college seniors, LinkedIn.
My suggestion to you is to stay active on LinkedIn, particularly from your fourth semester onwards, to avoid missing out on such opportunities.

Eligibility

It was open to all engineering students graduating in 2023. To get a detailed idea about the responsibilities, check out their job posting.
https://careers.microsoft.com/us/en/job/1049887/Engage-Mentorship

Listed on the Microsoft Careers page

Application

We had to apply via the job opening on the Microsoft Careers page before 24th May, 2021. The application would require you to submit your resume. This should go without saying, but you must be extremely cautious when filling out the application. Consult your seniors/peers even if you have a slightest doubt.

Pro Tip: Do not wait until the last minute to submit your application! You won’t have enough time to prepare if something goes wrong.

How to design your resume

I strongly advise you to watch Sanket Singh’s class on Programmer’s Resume as well as his YouTube video. This was the way I had curated my resume.

Online Test

Everyone who satisfied the eligibility criteria received the test link 1–2 weeks after the application deadline.

  • There were total 15 questions, with 7 MCQs and the remaining questions requiring you to write the pseudocode(eg: sorting algorithms) and time complexities of the algorithms used. You will get 45 minutes to attempt the test.
  • DSA topics such as Recursion, Stacks, Trees, Binary Search, Heaps, Priority queue were asked.
  • The exam is proctored, make sure not paste or switch tabs during the test.

Tips:

  • You should be familiar about the time complexities of all famous algorithms.
  • Some questions required you to explain your approach, be through in that.
  • Write clean code with comments if you can. Microsoft values the practice of writing clean and well documented code.

Shortlisting

After a week from the online test, if you are selected for the program, you will receive this email and your Engage adventure begins. 🚀

MSFT Engage 2021

Timeline for the Engage Program
  • This year’s challenge was to build a Microsoft Teams Clone with one mandatory functionality — a minimum of two participants should be able connect with each other using your product to have a video conversation. We had to work on the project as an individual contributor.
  • We were expected to design our project using the agile methodology. As a part of this, we had to incorporate a surprise feature in our product announced a week before the submission deadline.
  • I was assigned to a group of 5–6 students from different colleges under two experienced Software Engineers from Microsoft. Every week we had a meeting with our mentors discussing the progress, doubts, and also for a fun chit-chat.
  • You will learn a lot in a month under the guidance of your mentors as well as the AMA Sessions, Webinars and Leader talks delivered by Microsoft employees.
  • Check out their website for more information; they’ve explained it better than I ever could!

How to make the most out of this program

What are your chances of being mentored by a software engineer, especially one who works for Microsoft? As you can see, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you won’t come across again and again. So, here are some suggestions that I would recommend to you.

Focus on learning

  • This is without a doubt the most crucial aspect of the program. If you concentrate on learning, you will surely work hard and strive to incorporate as many features as possible.
  • There will be a lot of irritation due to a slew of unanticipated glitches and tight deadlines, but it will all be worth it in the end. You’ll figure out how to handle everything.
  • Don’t be concerned about interview opportunities after the program, simply give it your all!

Interact with your mentors as much as you can

  • Mentors are there to advise you, they want to assist you in any way they can so ask as many questions as you can (even the silly ones!). You will get to learn so much from them.
  • Don’t be silent during group conversations and don’t be frightened to speak up. Your mentors need to know you better in order to help and understand you, and that can only happen if you speak up.
  • Keep them informed about your progress and organize one-on-one mentorship sessions with them. What you would learn in these sessions would be extremely beneficial to you in the future.

Attend all the AMAs and Workshops

  • You’d get a sense of how they’d like you to build your product and which features they prefer.
  • Attending the AMAs will clear up a lot of doubts and confusion, allowing you to better develop your product.
  • You get the opportunity to ask direct questions to MSFT employees and obtain valuable insight into how they got to where they are now.

Network with your fellow mentees

  • I was placed in a group comprising folks from various institutions and branches. Through this program, I was able to make a lot of contacts as well as make some pretty nice friends with similar mindsets.
  • When a fellow mentee requires assistance, always step forward. You will obtain more knowledge and your notions will become clearer in this manner. Microsoft, in my perspective, values teamwork and the capacity to collaborate effectively.

Results

  • After the submission deadline we were evaluated on the basis of the judging criteria set by Ace Hacker and the Microsoft team.
  • According to that, mentees were recommended for the interview process. Some went through two rounds(technical + AA) and some just had one round. They received the selection or rejection mails after a week.
  • Few mentees were offered direct internship opportunities without any interviews based on their mentor’s recommendation and Ace Hacker scores.

That is all! If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will do my best to answer them.

Or you can Connect with me on LinkedIn : )

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CS 2023 @ IIEST Shibpur

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Vibali Joshi

Vibali Joshi

CS 2023 @ IIEST Shibpur

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