Lee Cowen - Consultant Intern

lee profileHello! My name is Lee, and I work as a consultant within Microsoft Consulting Solutions here in Reading. My department works with some of the biggest companies around the world to create bespoke solutions such as Windows and Windows Phone apps, back-end infrastructure, proof-of-concept publications and much more. Within just 6 months here, I have been involved in many different types of project. I have helped to create a Windows 8 app as my first project, before moving onto a proof-of-concept working with the Guide Dogs for the Blind charity. Just this week I am working on the team that builds Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps for customers, which is already proving to be a testing but incredible experience.

As you can guess, the main aspect of my job is development work. This ranges from Windows 8 applications using C# to web-based applications running on JavaScript and MVC technology. All of this was new to me when the projects began, but through the use of the on-site library and the help of fellow consultants around you, the knowledge comes flooding in. You just have to be prepared to learn more than you have ever done before in much a shorter space of time. If you can manage that, then you’ll love the opportunities that a technical Microsoft internship has to offer.

I moved a fair way to come to Microsoft, as I study Ethical Hacking for Computer Security up in Northumbria University in Newcastle. As niche as the course sounds, the first few years of study gave me a wide range of skills across multiple disciplines which have helped during my time here. Whilst I have completed several modules in programming, I did not have as much knowledge as a Computer Science student would when I began my internship. This quickly changed however, as being exposed programming five days a week along with the expertise of those around you provides more learning opportunities than university ever would. I don’t think I’ve ever met people more willing to spend time with you and help than the people who work here. It’s fantastic.

In addition to day-job of my role, I am involved in several different and varying responsibilities. I help to teach the staff at a local school on a bi-weekly basis, which is a welcome challenge as makes you think about the basics of computing and how different people approach technology. I am also one of three technical interns involved in what is known as our UK Services project. This involves a group of 7-8 interns within Services getting together over the course of the year to provide something of value to the business. Our idea involves a sort of automated notification system connected to Outlook, which has grabbed the attention of some senior managers who are now fully backing our idea. Finally, I am responsible for the Customer Partner Experience surveys within MCS. This can be a nice break from everything else, as it involves communicating with many different people across the business and processing surveys as they are returned. From this, I generate weekly and monthly reports which are used at company meetings by senior management throughout the year.

So as you can see, there is a massive range of roles and responsibilities within Microsoft. The internship here is second to none, and will give you a huge boost of knowledge, confidence and energy ready to return back to your final year of university. Plus with the experience of a company as large and respected as Microsoft on your CV, you’ll no doubt improve your chances at finding a graduate job. There are roles to suit everyone here, so get yourself involved and you’ll never look back.

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