This summer I was granted the amazing opportunity to intern at Microsoft’s Redmond headquarters. I interned under the company’s Digital Security and Resilience organization for 12 weeks as a Technical Program Manager intern. This was my first PM-related role so I learned a lot about the functions of strategizing, planning, and collaborating in order to apply new security controls to Microsoft’s Azure cloud service. My team specifically interacts with other teams such as the Data Intelligence team to gain insight on security compliance in Azure across multiple sectors. This worked out well since my background lies in data-related roles, so my manager incorporated a data-related project. My primary project was to create a user interactive dashboard out of a database to showcase the variability in security compliance amongst the Azure management hierarchy and the security controls hierarchy. The dashboard would allow my team to later implement or update new security controls. This project taught me a lot about cloud computing services, Power BI, Azure Data Explorer, and cybersecurity. I also learned a new query language KQL and so much about what the teams in my org and other interesting orgs do.
Some key takeaways that I learned are: 1) The initial stages of planning a project are crucial. I restarted my dashboard because I did not start off with an optimal plan and rather jumped into exploratory data analysis headfirst. This led to me switching platforms later on. 2) Leveraging people who aren’t on your team is very conducive to growth. Working with data scientists on the Data Intelligence team helped me learn a lot of new technical skills given they had experience in the skillset I needed help with. 3) Genuine networking goes a long way. As an intern, I had direct access to the directory and leveraged that to learn so much about certain roles and orgs at Microsoft. I also met many interns in Seattle from Microsoft and other companies that taught me about the city, fun things to do, and career tips. Throughout my summer I met full-time workers who got into their roles because a friend of theirs spoke on their behalf or referred them to apply because they took note and expressed their career prospects when they weren’t in the room.
Overall, my time at Microsoft was very rewarding. My wonderful team represented Microsoft so well, as they were very inclusive and adamant about incorporating my career interests. Though security is not of great interest to me, I did learn about the various ways it can be applied in enterprises which gave me a new outlook on it.