Festivity High at Campus Party - Glastonbury for Geeks
Hi all, we are Olly and Rebecca and have been Microsoft interns since 1st July 2013. Olly is an intern in the Windows Consumer Marketing team and Rebecca works in Developer Platforms – Windows apps marketing. The reason we’re writing a blog together is that in our third month at Microsoft we collaborated on quite a sizeable project. We were well and truly thrown in at the deep end; and it was brilliant.
On the 2nd of September, Telefonica’s Campuseros took over the O2 Arena in London for a weeklong tech event aimed at developers, students and early adopters. As Microsoft was a sponsor, we got to help out in organising and executing this high profile event – working alongside two MACH graduates and the Head of Events for Microsoft UK. We took a 3D printer which we used to scan people’s heads with Kinect, an Xbox One, Surfaces, Windows 8.1, an array of our devices and formats and a 103” TV screen and P.A. System… not to mention the fact we both got to use the brand new Nokia Lumia 1020 for the week! It’s fair to say the set up was amazing – and the General Manager for the whole of Microsoft UK even came down to have a look.
But before we could sit back and admire our hard work there was a lot to be done. The planning process was one which took over our usual day jobs. We worked very closely with the marketing agency regarding all the devices for the event and overall organisation and got to visit their offices in London (once, we even had to get a black cab to their office and join a conference call whilst looking out at Buckingham Palace and the Thames). We were also responsible for organising and training 50 Microsoft student brand ambassadors and 40 of our fellow interns who volunteered to help out at the event. This involved numerous Lync calls, including giving the ambassadors details of the tents they would be staying in (much to our amusement, not theirs!).
And then, before we knew it, the week had arrived. We were in London bright and early on the Monday morning for the set-up, stopping off at a local WHSmith’s to stock up on breakfast biscuits to get us through a long morning. We spent the whole of the first day sorting through t-shirts, briefing our ambassadors (also giving them each a Surface RT and Lumia 820 – which they got to keep) and 3D printing VIPs up in the Sky Lounge of the O2 Arena. Over the course of the week we kept reinventing our stand to keep it interesting to the audience. This involved some rather unusual marketing activity – but between having a Macarena flashmob, a campus PARTY and an Xbox tournament, we kept the Campuseros, the staff and the ambassadors interested and happy.
The learning from this article is that Microsoft is such a fluid company that teams can be effortlessly connected no matter where they sit in the organisation. Our teams do not often work together, but at the flick ofa switchduring the project they became the only teams we worked with! An internship here really is a fantastic and broad experience. The structure of project work means that ideas can span across more than just your owndepartment – and let’s be honest: Microsoft are great to their interns – we were both expensed to stay in Canary Wharf hotels and eat out every night which we thoroughly enjoyed!