Microsoft offers internship programmes and opportunities to students from all walks of life. Today, we turn the spotlight on Gayatri, who just spent two weeks with the Microsoft Asia Pacific Citizenship team in Singapore.
Give us a short introduction of yourself. Where are you currently pursuing your studies, and what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I attend United World College South East Asia (UWCSEA), where I recently completed my International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) examinations. I read a lot during my spare time, especially fantasy and historical fiction, and enjoy drawing and painting.
Why did you decide to participate in this programme, and how has it turned out for you?
I wanted the opportunity to gain real work experience and get a glimpse of how an office, or in particular a team, works. At first, I thought I would be helping out on odd jobs, and was hoping to work on some writing tasks. But I got to learn so much more! I wrote for the company blog, and even got to learn coding! I hope to get my friends interested and involved in application development as well.
What did you learn during the internship?
For a two-week placement, I learned quite a number of things, including video subtitling and writing for the Microsoft Asia Pacific Citizenship blog—my favourite assignment thus far. I even had the chance to attend some team meetings and give my personal perspective on several issues.
Learning about coding has been one of the most important skills I picked up here. I can see how the fundamentals and skills will benefit me beyond the classroom. This internship showed me that great teamwork enables the team to achieve more in a shorter time span. From writing the blog post, I also learned how to filter information for relevant nuggets that are likely to interest the reader.
Could you tell us more about the application you developed?
For someone who enjoys cooking, I find it time-consuming to sift through loose stacks of printed recipes, so I decided to create a digital catalogue for recipes. After watching some tutorials on Microsoft Project Siena, I managed to develop an app with a simple gallery interface. It displays the pictures and names of food items as icons which, when clicked, will expand to show the full recipe.
My initial unfamiliarity with app creation was a big hurdle, but once I got the hang of it, I was able to easily import the data I needed from Microsoft Excel.
Now that you have spent time learning basic coding and app development, what do you think about technology being part of your future career?
Today, technology is becoming increasingly relevant and integrated in many work environments. No matter which field I decide to go into, it will definitely play a large role in creating new opportunities. As for being a developer, I think it’s a very useful skill that I would enjoy pursuing in my spare time.