Fun + Learning + Friendship = A Rewarding Student Internship Experience

Microsoft offers internship programmes and opportunities to students from all walks of life, and most recently, to Ishaan, a student at the United World College South East Asia.

In March, Ishaan’s school held the annual 36-hour technology conference, TechLife, which featured presentations, student-run workshops, field trips and tech activities. At the Microsoft-sponsored event, Ishaan topped a memory competition and won the internship placement. This allowed him to spend a week with the Microsoft Asia Pacific DX team in Singapore.

 Ishaan (sitting in front) with the friends he made at Microsoft, where he was on a week-long internship and learned about app development

Going into this internship, what were your expectations? How has it turned out for you?
I was very nervous initially as I’ve never really experienced working before, other than visiting my father’s office. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect, and could only hope that the learning process would be very enjoyable.

After the five days were over, this experience became one of my most memorable so far. I was actually sad that my internship had to end.

What was the working environment like?
Before this, I had the idea that working was all about people sitting in front of their laptops, typing the day away. But Microsoft surprised me, and I’m glad I was wrong. It actually turned out to be a lot of fun!

I would play FIFA on the new Xbox One with my buddies during my small breaks. Everyone was so friendly and would say “hi” as we passed each other. I always came in and left the office with a smile. It felt like I had made lots of friends from day one. To sum up the experience in three words, they would be “fun”, “learning” and “friendship”.

Could you tell us more about the application you developed?
It’s a photo-editing app that I created on a software called ‘Project Siena’. With it, you can easily edit facial features, such as enlarging your face or eyes, with just the press of a button. I got my friends to provide feedback on the user interface, their experience using the app and how I could improve it further.

What were the top three lessons you learnt during the internship?
Top of the list would definitely have to be learning how to develop an app and understanding more about the skills and processes needed for successful development. This also helps to sharpen the mind, which has made me think more deeply about the career path I want.

Secondly, I’ve learnt that having similar interests can bring people closer together, regardless of age. I’ve made a couple of good friends here and I plan to stay in touch with them.

Last, but not least, was the learning about the finer aspects of marketing and business, like the strategies to sustain a product in the marketplace. This would be useful for my career in future.

To learn more about TechLife, a technology conference organised by students at UWCSEA East for students in Singapore, East Asia and beyond, go here.

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