The University of Montana
The University of Montana
"This experience was better than I could have ever imagined but it was more challenging than I had expected."
Your Name: Blaine Hauglie
Your Major (s): Management Information Systems
Briefly Describe your Academic Enrichment Experience.
I interned for Microsoft Corporation during the summer of 2013. I was a program manager within the IT division that provided infrastructure for customer support in contact centers around the world. I was able to use what I have learned about business and technology from my degree and apply that to my job every day.
How did you get connected with this academic enrichment opportunity and was there someone who helped you get involved with this opportunity?
I grew up in the Seattle area and always looked at Microsoft as a great place to work. One day, I was looking on the Microsoft Careers website and I started reading about their internship program and so I applied. After applying, I sent an email to the recruiter that was assigned to Montana and I got an email back from him saying that they wanted to interview me. As has been the case for many other students, I received much help from Dr. Cheryl Minnick on writing my resume, formatting cover letters and learning what is important when sending an email. All of this help was working in my favor during the process of interviewing for my internship and I would recommend that any student would also utilize this invaluable resource on campus.
What was the most rewarding part of this experience?
The most rewarding part of my internship was having to learn how to manage myself. In a corporate environment, it is impossible for a manager to watch over their team and see every task that is done during the day. My manager was great and she helped me in ways that I am still discovering as I recollect on my experience there but my manager was busy. I had to learn how to make decisions and be intentional in everything that I did and in every meeting that I was in. This intentionality has stuck with my after I finished my internship and I am very thankful for my experience as an intern for Microsoft for developing that intentionality in me.
What surprised you during this experience?
I was surprised by how helpful my coursework in the business school has been to set myself up for success in my internship. I had good insight for the business knowledge that I needed and also the technical knowledge that was necessary in order to be successful in a job like the one I had. What surprised me the most was how much ambiguity exists outside of the classroom environment. I had to relearn how to be effective in learning and doing good work when the instructions weren’t clear and when I did not have a syllabus to guide me through everything. Thriving in ambiguity was a necessary piece of my internship and I think that this is what surprised me the most.
What doors did participation in this experience open for you?
I have a job waiting for me after graduation but not just a job; I have my dream job that I am passionate about for a company that I want to work for.
How has participating in this academic enrichment experience affected you as a person and as a student?
In almost any situation during this final year of school for me, the way that I work, the way I communicate with others, and the way that I now view my professors has all been altered by my experience at Microsoft last summer. I am able to get more out of my classes and anything that I have been involved with since then.
Do you have a one-sentence expression or description of what participating in this experience means to you?
This experience was better than I could have ever imagined but it was more challenging than I had expected.
What advice would you give incoming students about getting involved in something similar?
I would say that if you want to work somewhere like Microsoft, you have to be someone who Microsoft would want to hire. For me, this means being a hard worker on group projects, having a passion for technology and getting as much experience in the area that you want to work in as you can. Also, I believe that it would be a mistake to not have someone look over your resume.
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