How to work at Microsoft as a Student

Hello World,

This is a question that comes up frequently. How do I get an internship, a job or anything at Microsoft as a student? Well there is a great program, the Microsoft Student Partner program. This is the foot in the door position. Students who do well here are more likely to get a full time job at Microsoft, but also anywhere. I have students who have started their own companies, work at Google, Lockheed Martin as well as Microsoft among several others. It is fairly easy to get into, but once you get in, you better work and treat it like a full time job. You can apply here: www.aka.ms/applyMSP2016

Now beyond this, I have some notes on my experience being a mentor for this program for 2 years.

The key to success here is to work an honest work week as aligned by the program. At the time of this writing it is 10 hours/week. If you work a legitimate 10 hours/week, you will likely succeed. But beyond this bring your passion and your classes into the program. Here are some of the traits my top MSPs have demonstrated.

  1. Hit your baseline MSP metrics (and then push a little harder)
    1. Always do what is asked, but the ones who do really well consistently go above and beyond.  These are the ones who end up getting recommendations from me.
    2. Be consistent with it.
  2. Follow the mentors guidance.
    1. When I say, start a WordPress blog to show off your work, that is for your good, not mine.
    2. When I say focus on your one specialization and be consistent and deliver excellence there, you should totally do it.
  3. Keep in touch with your local evangelist team.
    1. They provide guidance, your job is basically a mini version of theirs.  Keep up with them.
    2. Send weekly status reports, ask for help.
  4. Communicate with the other MSPs in your local geography.
    1. Do this via slack or what have you.
    2. You all can help eachother.  Homework, workshops, marketing etc.
  5. Check your email & respond!
    1. This is probably one of the biggest ones.  The MSPs who do not do well consistently fail on this item.
  6. Compete in Imagine Cup (even if you think you will fail).
    1. I can’t stress enough how important imagine cup is for your career path and as a demosntration of your skills.
  7. Everything you build should be public and live.
    1. This is your showcase, like your WordPress.  Have a github, have a stack overflow.  Keep them active

Anyways, those are some of the key items I notice.  Join the MSP program, execute well on it and ensure you keep up with the above list and you should have a solid shot at any job.  Of course, there are no guarantees.

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