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The Internship That Students Drool Over 692

selan writes "The Baltimore Sun has a feature on Microsoft's internship program and why it is so popular with college students. Not only are interns paid, but they also receive the same perks as other Microsoft employees. At the end of the summer they are treated to a catered barbecue at Bill Gates's house and have a good shot at a full time job after graduation. You do not know the power of the Dark Side."
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The Internship That Students Drool Over

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  • Sorry if it's a stupid question but I would have thought most internships are paid - at some level or another.

    Or have I got the wrong view of this completely?

    • Yes, you do seem to be operating under a misconception. Many internships are not paid. Or you could say the pay is the experience. It might be that most I/T internships are paid, but maybe that is changing now.
      • Many internships are not paid. Or you could say the pay is the experience. It might be that most I/T internships are paid, but maybe that is changing now.

        Really? Many moons ago (~10 years ago) I did some internship work at Warner Music (Before we had this whole World Wide Web thing, and certainly before Napster was even a wet dream ....) and I was paid for my time. :)

        I'm surprised to hear that most internships aren't paid at all.... I figured they wouldn't pay WELL, but they'd pay at least something!

    • From the article

      Many companies do not pay interns, said Bill Coleman, senior vice president of compensation for Wellesley, Mass.-based, a software company that researches corporate pay and employment practices. He estimated that an internship at Microsoft may pay as much as $25 an hour, or $1,000 a week.

    • Fluffer.

      They're the guys who get the porn acteresses 'ready' for their next scene. Yeah, and they get paid too.

      Just watch out for diseases, mate.
      • buck wild wrote:

        My idea of the perfect internship:

        They're the guys who get the porn acteresses 'ready' for their next scene. Yeah, and they get paid too.

        Just watch out for diseases, mate.

        Um, I hate to break this to you, but I've never heard of fluffers being used for porn actresses. The few times I've heard of fluffers being used, they were for the porn actors.

        You sure you want to be a fluffer []? ;-)
  • by jez9999 ( 618189 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @08:50AM (#5475734) Homepage Journal
    they are treated to a catered barbecue at Bill Gates's house and have a good shot at a full time job after graduation.

    For a second or two, I thought that sentance was gonna finish "and have a good shot at Bill Gates's head". Really.
  • Experience (Score:5, Informative)

    by BluGuy ( 617572 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @08:52AM (#5475739)
    I have a good friend who interned an MS. He had a good experience, and was offered a job when he graduated. They pay interns very well, but they are expected to pull 55+ work weeks, and have no weekends. If you can get past the stigma of working for the Dark Side, it's a great opprotunity...
    • Re:Experience (Score:3, Informative)

      by Meddel ( 152734 )
      From my own internship experience there, this is *highly* group dependent. There are groups where one might be expected to pull 60 hours a week, but there are many where 40 or so would be perfectly acceptable.

    • Re:Experience (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BTWR ( 540147 ) <americangibor3@y ... inus threevowels> on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:13AM (#5475859) Homepage Journal
      If you can get past the stigma of working for the Dark Side

      This "Stigma" you speak of is only within the "geek" community. You tell everyone at your high school reunion "I'm a vice president at Microsoft" you'll be the envy of everyone. The 5 kids from the computer club might shun you, but no one else will. :-)
      • by milo_Gwalthny ( 203233 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @10:06AM (#5476189)
        Right now the five kids from the computer club would be emailing you their resumes.
      • Re:Experience (Score:5, Insightful)

        by the gnat ( 153162 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @10:13AM (#5476237)
        You tell everyone at your high school reunion "I'm a vice president at Microsoft" you'll be the envy of everyone.

        Hell, you tell everyone "I'm a computer programmer" and the hot chicks will still not speak to you. You tell them "I'm a computer programmer at Microsoft", they probably won't be able to keep their hands off you. The difference in popular opinion is roughly that between garbage collecter and movie star. (I get people asking me why I didn't go to work for Microsoft all the time, usually because they know nothing about my job except I work with computers.)
    • Re:Experience (Score:5, Interesting)

      by LeiGong ( 621856 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:20AM (#5475903) Homepage
      Not everyone is expected to work 50+ hours a week or even more than 40 hours a week. It all depends on your group and where they are in the product developement cycle. I can speak for myself and some of my friend when I say we were in by 10 and out by 7, every Monday through Friday. We had social lives outside of the office and almost NEVER went into the office on weekends unless we needed to use the high-speed connection to surf the web (we didn't have high-speed in the apartments). If he didn't take advantage of the Pudget Sound area, he really missed out on the whole intern experience.
    • by t0ny ( 590331 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @11:15AM (#5476652)
      I have a good friend who interned an MS. He had a good experience, and was offered a job when he graduated. They pay interns very well, but they are expected to pull 55+ work weeks, and have no weekends. If you can get past the stigma of working for the Dark Side, it's a great opprotunity...

      I have a friend who interned with Linux. He had all the free beer he could download, but the company went chapter 11 before his internship was finished. They didnt pay anything (the OS is free, after all), but they are expected to contribute while they arent playing Quake. If you can get past the stigma of living with your parents, its a great opportunity...

    • Re:Experience (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10, 2003 @12:17PM (#5477199)
      You do have it all wrong. I interned there and I know at least 10 guys who interned there. None of us put in more than 40 hour weeks. No work on weekends.

      Every Friday, Microsoft will treat you to the Friday fest - free food and free unlimited beer. Yes you heard that right - every friday.

      They will take you out to trips, pay for your tickets for ball games, sponsor white water rafting trips and what not.

      I don't think after this experience there was a single one of us who hated MS anymore (and trust me, most of us were extremely anti-MS to begin with).

      They pamper you more than you can ever imagine.
  • by The-Bus ( 138060 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @08:52AM (#5475740)
    (Dell Guy Voice)
    Dude, you're working in Hell!
  • hrmm (Score:4, Funny)

    by odyrithm ( 461343 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @08:52AM (#5475743)
    more like an Intergration into the borg mother ship ;)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10, 2003 @08:52AM (#5475744)
    I propose that we create our own intern positions (special sourceforge accounts maybe?), and at the end of the year they are all treated to a barbecue by Linus!

    Actually I'm half serious. Perhaps we really should be taking on interns; it strengthens both persons involved in the relation and open source in general.

    • and at the end of the year they are all treated to a barbecue by Linus!

      Good idea, but Linus is not rich, Billy is.
    • by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:32AM (#5475971)
      Can't happen, the very nature of distributed development prevents it. This article is basically about geeks going "wow, cool" when faced with stupendous concentrations of wealth that is then spent by other geeks. It's computer-person utopia.

      Unfortunately, the real world is not such a utopia. The real world is what you get when the market economy actually works, as opposed to the computer industry, where it's been warped and twisted into a smoking pile of slag.

      Open source and free software are about sharing the (intellectual) wealth around, making it available to anybody, not concentrating it in one place. It's a people thing.

      This article is the modern day equivalent of stories of how rich and opulent the Kings palaces are, how his staff and manservants live in stunning surroundings and how much they love the King for it. Interesting reading, and it certainly sounds like a cool place to work, but not sadly reflective of anything that can be really recreated while we use our current economic system.

      Oh BTW, I might as well remind you that some say [] it's all built on a house of cards. Is it true? I don't know. Make up your own mind.

  • mmm... (Score:2, Funny)

    by MrFreshly ( 650369 )
    "Bring me your young..." said the beast.
  • great employer (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10, 2003 @08:55AM (#5475766)
    My wife worked at Microsoft for a couple of years, and they are a GREAT employer. In terms of corporate culture they really rock.

    Their raises are always above average, their stock options used to rock (the stock has flatlined for the past 2 years, but before that it went up something like 50-75% ever year).

    They have volleyball courts, stand-up video games in almost every hallway, pizza parties, great hardware to play with, great buildings, nice walking/jogging paths right near campus.

    And everyone there LOVES Microsoft. They love being part of an org that's in the forefront of technology.

    It's pretty amazing to see.

    Anyone who hasn't should read Microserfs. While it may not be based on a true life story, it definitely captures the essence of Microsoft.
    • by gricholson75 ( 563000 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:01AM (#5475795) Homepage
      It's kinda like working for Apple, minus the personal humiliation by Steve Jobs.
    • This explains why they don't spend enough time on making (some of) their products secure enough to be used by a sane person. :)
    • Re:great employer (Score:4, Interesting)

      by luzrek ( 570886 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @10:21AM (#5476298) Journal
      I don't doubt that Microsoft is a great employer. However I'ld be very worried about how the company will treat its employees in the future. I don't mean intentional neglect, but what will end up happening when the company starts to shrink (or even stablize). The two products M$ makes money on (windows and office) are already near 100% market share, so the only growth possible is from people buying new computes. In addition, Microsoft's two flagship products are now starting to experience increased competition (OSS + SUN + China + India). In the past, when other US companies have been in this situation their workers get stuck holding the bag. Look at Bethlehem Steel. At one point they employed 300,000 people and was a dominate force in the worldwide steel market. When they went bankrupt last year they had less than 3000 workers trying to support the pentions and health benefits of 75000 retirees. The US airline business is experiencing similar problems.

      I'ld guess that the perks you see now, and those for the interns are probably designed specifically to foster "love" for Microsoft so when the company has to start cutting real benefits their employees will stay loyal.

      BTW. If everyone in an area has above average income, the cost of living goes up pretty dramatically and vice versa. Where I live there are lots of students and state workers. As a graduate student I've been able to buy a house. I doubt that the $100,000 a year accountants in Pallo Alto have been able to buy a house.

      • Re:great employer (Score:4, Insightful)

        by shadow303 ( 446306 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @10:29AM (#5476341)
        When things get tight, I am sure those perks will be the first to go. During the big economic boom, the company I work for was constantly trying to find interesting perks to offer us, but now that things aren't going as well, they have stopped looking for new perks and have taken away some of the ones they added.
  • well.. i worked on open source in college.. $11 an hour... But I can sleep at night :P
  • Sorry but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by awx ( 169546 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @08:57AM (#5475775)
    ...I don't see the problem. If it's secure paid work in these times, who cares? Hell, i'd do it.

    "Oh no, a company is going to great lengths to make itself appear enticing to prospective employees".

    Let me break it to you: These are hard times we are living in. A job is just a job. You earn your shit from 9-5 and get out of there, it's what you do to pay the bills so that you don't sit at home twiddling your knob all day bored out of your skull, so that you can afford a roof, to eat, and buy funky cool things.
    • Re:Sorry but... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Zayin ( 91850 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:12AM (#5475851)

      Let me break it to you: These are hard times we are living in. A job is just a job. You earn your shit from 9-5 and get out of there, it's what you do to pay the bills so that you don't sit at home twiddling your knob all day bored out of your skull, so that you can afford a roof, to eat, and buy funky cool things.

      Let me break it to you: Morale is not something you can just throw away when the going gets tough. (And no, I'm not saying that there exists such a thing as an absolute morale, I'm talking about your personal morale.) A job is not "just a job", it is something you choose to do. What you do during work hours matters, just as much as what you do during your spare time. Having a hard time is the only true test of your own morale.

      • Re:Sorry but... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by micromoog ( 206608 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:28AM (#5475947)
        Morale is not something you can just throw away when the going gets tough. (And no, I'm not saying that there exists such a thing as an absolute morale, I'm talking about your personal morale.)

        I believe the word you're looking for is morality. From what I hear, morale [] is consistently pretty high at Microsoft.

      • Re:Sorry but... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by metlin ( 258108 )
        And just how is working for Microsoft immoral?

        Because they behave just like how every other big multinational corporation would? Look at HP. Look at Enron. Look at Worldcom. Compare them with Microsoft. Each and every one of them has done much the same deeds as Microsoft, and have been responsible for the demise of smaller companies as well as people losing their jobs.

        Hell, they know what they're up against in the industry and produce workarounds. Just because you disagree with them hardly makes them immoral, my friend.

        As if Netscape would have donated all their profits and all their wealth to the world so that people live happily ever after? For all you know they would have done much the same thing. Get over it, its competition. Its got nothing to do with whats right or whats wrong. Its business.

        Hell, if Microsoft is gonna make billions and if even a significant percentage of that money goes towards charity, I say more power to them. Look at half the people running multinational corps across the world. How much do they spend against fighting AIDS, Cancer or poverty? Just look at how much the "much hated" Gates has donated, and has designated for donation. Go ahead, compare.

        See, Microsoft may have been a company that has done a few questionable deeds, but that's just a part of business. Pfizer sells life saving drugs at ridiculous prices in the poorest parts of the world, without even spending a fraction of the costs in manufacturing them. Don't give me that crap about R&D, look at the annual figures - a fraction of the profits are spent on R&D. A company that makes 8 Billion a quarter spends 1/8th of it on R&D. Its not software that we're talking about here, its LIFE!

        Software, technology etc are all nice and cool, but calling working for a company whose principles you disagree with immoral is ridiculous.

        Something I choose to do? I would much rather work for a company like Microsoft, make lots of money and spend it on charity than work on Opensource software getting paid next to nothing and live a life of hypocrisy believing that some mere lines of code are somehow miraculously going to change this world.

        I would much rather have a "non-hard life", earn, live happily and use that money to adopt a few kids whose lives I will change.

        Yes, I like Opensource. It is a tool, a movement. Nothing more. But taking it to preposterous degrees and dubbing everything else immoral, unethical and the like is outright stupid.

        I did not mean to offend you, but sometimes this almost fanatical attitude by a lot of Opensource evangelists is what disgusts me.

        • Re:Sorry but... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by WNight ( 23683 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @02:21PM (#5478236) Homepage
          Sorry, but it's not an open-source issues. It's all about how important your personal morality is. I've quit jobs because the company was breaking the law and hurting people in a way that I wouldn't do. By working there, I felt that I was contributing to that, and parlty guilty for the losses of the innocent people being bilked. That wasn't even a computer company, no open source, no Microsoft, nothing but dishonest people stealing from innocent customers.

          What offends me is your attitude that there's nothing more important than a comfortable income. To the point that you'd work for Enron, or Microsoft. You're right that Microsoft is no worse than Enron, they're exactly the same. It's an old tired story, but Microsoft has broken many laws. If they weren't as rich as they are they'd have been smacked by the courts. As is, they've merely destroyed the livelihood of thousands of people whose only crime was to want to run their own company and develop their own products.

          The worst part of white-collar crime is that it's socially acceptable. Nobody would associate with a car thief at a cocktail party, but the lawyer that represented the thief even though he knew they were still in business. Nobody would associate with someone who rigged a software product to make it appear that a competitors product was defective and lied in court about it, but it's okay to work for this person or buy stock in his company and profit from his crimes?

          That's sick.
    • by unicron ( 20286 ) <> on Monday March 10, 2003 @11:12AM (#5476636) Homepage
      sit at home twiddling your knob all day bored out of your skull

      Maybe you're doing it wrong, because personally I'm NEVER bored twiddling my knob.
  • by Zayin ( 91850 )

    One of the offices, for instance, has a mountain scene painted on the wall. Another has red walls and a disco ball.

    Disco ball? Please don't tell me that's one of the DISCO [] developers...

  • Imagine that (Score:4, Insightful)

    by skroz ( 7870 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:01AM (#5475797) Homepage
    Imagine that... a well paid internship with one of the world's largest companies, lots of perks, a pretty good chance of a permanent position with said megacorp, great perks, AND a catered lunch?

    Yeah, I wouldn't take that position. That would be fucking stupid.
  • by kahei ( 466208 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:01AM (#5475799) Homepage
    ...when you ask Bill to share the sauce, he makes you sign an NDA. Heck, I've even heard he refuses to *open* the sauce.

  • Not out of line (Score:2, Informative)

    Many companies pay fairly handsomely for internships, at least for students beginning their senior year. Individual companies offer specific perks - Apple allows interns to customize their own computers while employees and Ford offers a small discount on cars.

    The difficult years for internships are for freshmen and sophomores - even at top-notch universities students may end up humping campus jobs for $8/hour in their first year or two.
  • by LeiGong ( 621856 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:07AM (#5475829) Homepage
    The Interview
    Not only does Microsoft fly you out to Seattle/Redmond for the 2nd round interviews (all expenses paid), they also give you an extra day to tour the city. Which is very nice of them.

    Each interview tends to last 1 hour, like Rafi said and questions vary between positions. For Program Managers (PMs) questions are more scenario based, for Software Design Engineers (SDEs) the questions are almost all programming and algorithm questions. Most questions do not tend to have the "right" answers but the interviewers are looking at how the candidates think.

    The Internship

    Once an offer is accepted by the intern, MS takes care of all the traveling details. From the plane ticket, to the apartment, to the subsidized car rental (I'll talk about this more later), to shipping your computer and stuff to Redmond. Perhaps the most interesting perk is that MS will help you rent a car. Normally, a driver has to be at least 25 years old to rent a car, but with MS interns as young as 18 are able to rent cars. This eventually leads to many accidents a year, the costs of which are all covered by MS. :)

    Interns and recruiters also team up to sponsor lots of activities to keep the geeks happy. Activities range from a Puzzle Day, a full day of team-based puzzle solving, to a scavenger hunt through Seattle, to a ski trip to Whistler (only a 3-4hr drive). Other perks also includ free membership to the posh Pro Club gym and a corporate card that offers special discounts to all the sights and attractions across the Pudget Sound area.

    Personally, I had a great time as an intern at MS and would do it again in a hard beat. The only complaint I had was male intern to female intern ratio.

    • by ojQj ( 657924 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @10:06AM (#5476187)
      (Sorry that I'm reposting this -- this is my first time posting on Slashdot and I messed up my first attempt)
      > Personally, I had a great time as an intern at
      > MS and would do it again in a hard beat. The
      > only complaint I had was male intern to female
      > intern ratio.

      Speaking as a former female intern at Microsoft, for me the negatives outweighed the positives. In the group I was in I was the female developer. The men tended to be very cruel in various ways (not just to me -- also to each other). I suspect this problem wouldn't have occured if there had been more women in the group. Listening to them talk about women who had formerly been in the group, positively frightened me. Either none of those women were competant, or a woman was incapable of proving any kind of worth to these men.

      I had a great deal of trouble getting attention from my mentor when I needed help with my first experiences in Windows programming. The other intern in my group got interesting projects and the help he needed to learn how to do them. I got boring projects which I found it difficult to get motivated for, and which focused more on exactly the things in which I had little experience, rather than on one of my strengths. And I got seriously slammed when I made mistakes stemming from my lack of experience, thus further reducing my motivation.

      The male intern to female intern ratio was also a problem for the female interns, because many of the male interns would go all wierd around us. Bad hit-ons, and just plain standing and staring were common. There were also occasionally borderline-sexist comments in the intern newsgroup. The woman in human resource in charge of the intern program, had to delete some comments from the newsgroup that went over the line. I don't think it would have been this way if there had been more women -- the men would have quickly learned that we are normal human beings just like them.

      All in all, I did fairly badly at Microsoft (although I have done very well at numerous other software development internships), because I was not in an environment where I could concentrate and learn and feel motivated. Because I take a great deal of pride in my work, and like doing a good job, and because Microsoft was not an environment in which I could realize even a fraction of my potential, I would not go back to work for them. The perks are nice and I certainly did enjoy them, but they don't make up for the fact that it was a bad job.
      • by pq ( 42856 ) <rfc2324&yahoo,com> on Monday March 10, 2003 @12:51PM (#5477483) Homepage
        ... this is my first time posting on Slashdot ...

        In case you read replies, I should warn you not to take them personally.

        The vast majority of the people here read a great comment, nod or shake their heads, and carry on without replying. I was about to do the same, until I read some of the other replies you got... Don't take the anonymous replies from a few cruel jerks with too much time on their hands as opinions representative of the rest of the people on the site. Your comment was a great one, and at least the moderators showed their appreciation.

  • I internerd (Score:5, Informative)

    by oZZoZZ ( 627043 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:07AM (#5475832)
    I interned at Microsoft up in Canada for high school, then they invited me back when I was in University. I got a job working for one of Microsoft's partners part-time while I was attending school, and during summer.

    It was an amazing place to work, and I'd say as many as 20% of the employees there were interns (In MSFT Canada HQ).

    The everyday perks were incredible, free drinks, 1/2 subsidized lunch room, laptop, iPAQ, yearly budget to purchase anything you want (that will help the company)... It was really amazing.
    • Re:I internerd (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pubjames ( 468013 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:30AM (#5475964)
      The everyday perks were incredible, free drinks, 1/2 subsidized lunch room, laptop, iPAQ, yearly budget to purchase anything you want (that will help the company)... It was really amazing.

      It works like this:

      1) get graduates straight out of universtiy.
      2) condition them to believe working extremely long hours and weekends is "normal".
      3) condition them to believe that if you're a real professional then your work is more important than socialising with your friends and spending time with your family.
      4) pay them relatively low salaries, but promise big ones in the future.
      5) give them free pop, sweeties and toys.
      6) See how far you can push the suckers!

      When you are older and wiser, believe me you will look back on your free drinks and 1/2 subsidized lunch room and realise how gullible you were when you were younger...
      • Re:I internerd (Score:5, Interesting)

        by iso ( 87585 ) <`ofni.orezpraw' `ta' `hsals'> on Monday March 10, 2003 @10:31AM (#5476362) Homepage
        Tell me about it.

        I went to the University of Waterloo [] in Ontario, Canada. This is one of Microsoft's favourite schools to recruite from, because of the co-op program and because the students are easily moldable. I knew a lot of classmates that went to work at Microsoft for internships and full-time work. After all was said and done, most agreed that Microsoft was exactly as you stated--it's filled with young geeks who don't know what they're missing (and are easily wooed by gadgets), and a bunch of older geeks with no social lives that never leave the Microsoft Campus. They also woo the younger ones by giving them titles like "Project Manager" to make them feel important.

        One of my female friends who worked there came back with some real horror stories: the older men there are so desperate they'll throw a tonne of money at any employee with breasts just for a chance at having a date. She said she would never go near that company again.

        Is it any wonder where the Microsoft attitude of everything-must-be-Microsoft comes from? The vast majority of employees there never leave the campus and are fed the Microsoft party-line constantly. If you think the Apple "reality distortion field" is bad, try a day on the Microsoft campus.

        Blech. At Waterloo we learned that only the pathetic people who were willing to give up their lives for money were the ones who interned at Microsoft. In case you haven't noticed, the whole experience left a bad taste in my mouth. :)

        - j
        • Re:I internerd (Score:4, Insightful)

          by bellings ( 137948 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @11:11AM (#5476630)
          One of my female friends who worked there came back with some real horror stories: the older men there are so desperate they'll throw a tonne of money at any employee with breasts just for a chance at having a date.

          To a poor college student, any multi-millionaire is going to look pretty damned frivilous with his money.

          But those "older guys" are probably 35 years old, and just realized:
          • because of the options they picked up at microsoft, they could easily spend $1,000 a day, every day, for the rest of their lives, and still have a big pile left over when they die,
          • geek girls are cute,
          • they never did get married, and
          • there are much worse ways of spending a $1,000.00 of your daily "play money" than trying to impress a geek girl
          I'm just saying that if I was in that position (single, with several million dollars cash in the bank) I'd probably be hitting on geek girls all the time too.
          • Re:I internerd (Score:3, Insightful)

            by RevAaron ( 125240 )
            Seems to me that your view of MS employees is a bit distorted. Yes, a lot of them have a lot of money, but I don't think money of them have millions upon millions of dollars, as you're asserting. ($1000 * 365 * 30 ~= 11 million)

            Besides, rich or not, you'd still be a dirty old man without the social skills to realize that being a dirty old man isn't a good way to get geek chicks.
          • by Drakonian ( 518722 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @03:30PM (#5478862) Homepage
            Hold the phone! Did I just read a post moderated as insightful basically promoting lightcore prostitution? OH WOW.
  • by Morphine007 ( 207082 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:08AM (#5475835)

    ..... .. . what about: if you can't beat 'em; join 'em ?? I'm a hardcore slackware kind of guy and spent my last two years of university (honours comp. sci.) without ever touching a windows box, but I'd go work for them, in a heartbeat.....

  • by LeiGong ( 621856 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:14AM (#5475860) Homepage
    There's more info about the entire interview process and the positions on their MS College Website: []
  • by DaHat ( 247651 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:20AM (#5475905) Homepage
    I've got a stack of about 40 rejections sitting in my drawer right now, they are in response to about 160 resumes I've sent out in the last 5 weeks alone. An internship with Microsoft would be a great opportunity, regardless of the stigma. At this point I'm just looking for the internship, regardless of where and who.
  • Bleh! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Otis_INF ( 130595 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:27AM (#5475941) Homepage
    "You do not know the power of the Dark Side".

    Grow up, child! Even if it was sarcastic or in a wicked way ment to be 'funny', it's too pathetic for words. Microsoft is like any other company which wants to make money. Employees who work at Microsoft, do that because they get paid for what they do there, like people at Sun or IBM (or Red Hat).

    Just because MS mistreats some of its customers, doesn't mean the individual employee there is a bad person, or worse: stupid, because he felt for the 'power of the dark side'. For once, keep marketingpoop and real life separated.

    You should read "Proudly serving my corporate masters" by Adam Barr ( I believe he even is a slashdotter). Then you will understand that interns at Microsoft are not picked up at MacDonalds, but recruited at the finest universities and should pass a tough selection program. No wonder as a company they are treated as normal human beings: the best people know they are the best and will only work for... the best, ('best' can be different for a lot of people) so Microsoft will do everything they can to get them on board (like IBM, Sun and other companies will do too).
    • Re:Bleh! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JohnFluxx ( 413620 )
      You're the one that needs to wake up.

      If you don't like the company, THEN DON'T WORK THERE.

      And yes, the individual employee DO have some responsibility. You can't go working for a company that actively breaks the rules, then claim that you are 'just an employee'. 'Just following orders'.

  • by kurosawdust ( 654754 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:35AM (#5475991)
    ...and I apologize if this has been answered ad nauseam, but maybe any MS employees out there can answer: does Microsoft prohibit you from working on open source projects on your own time, even if they aren't related to the project you are currently doing at MS (eg. Windows developer working on the gimp or something)?
    • by TPx ( 64118 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @11:53AM (#5477001)
      My understanding, with dealing with various MS employees, is that they're not allowed to see ANY source code if it doesn't have a license attached. If I show some code to a MS person and that code, by purpose or not, ends up in a MS product, I could sue the company.

      Not wanting to take that risk, MS asks its employees to avoid looking at "unprotected" source.
  • ... barbecued at Bill Gates's house.

    Never underestimate the appetite of the Dark Side !
  • by ipmcc ( 466386 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:39AM (#5476017) Homepage Journal
    I was an MS Intern several years ago. (And was a MacPhile and OSS proponent the whole time.) It was probably the single best work experience I've ever had. And that's even after I mention that my boss and I clashed at every turn and I ultimately got a "no hire" recommendation, pretty much blacklisting me from ever working there again. You can hate the way they do business, or their FUD marketing or whatever you want, but at the end of the day, working there is like being an endowed researcher at the coolest, most well-funded university on earth, where they only let in the uber-smart. It was easily the highest concentration of smart people I've ever had the pleasure of being around. If someone had handed me a crystal ball and told me the shit the economy was about to become I would have kissed some serious ass and made sure I got an offer there.
  • by pnot ( 96038 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:49AM (#5476076)
    According to a Sunday Times report [] the other day, Microsoft is the "best" UK employer. Scary quote from the article: []

    "We aren't the Moonies, but it is like a family. I met my wife, Moira, at work and when we got married the canteen even offered to bake our cake!"

    I expect their children will automatically be indentured at the age of 16 ;-).
  • STOP IT!!! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Robert Kuilman ( 657921 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:58AM (#5476132)
    This is just terrible! I am an absolute Apple fan, and I absolutely hate the software Microsoft sells, but reading this thread, almost makes me anxious to work there!

    must ... ignore .. power of .. dark side
  • IBM Extreme Blue (Score:5, Interesting)

    by spotter ( 5662 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @09:58AM (#5476135)
    As someone who was somehow insanely lucky to be selected into IBM's Extreme Blue [] internship while going to a liberal arts school that isn't known for it's CS program (put it this way, I was mixed in with top students from MIT, CMU, Stanford, Berkely, Cornell, UT-Austin, my undergrad CS program on the otherhand left a lot to be desired to put it nicely)

    Anyways, the only way I can explain EB is to say that it's a cross between a few things. Summer Camp, the hardest work you've put it so far into a job, the best toys (in summer 2000 when I was in it we were given gigahertz p3 desktops, right after they came out, and 600x thinkpad notebooks, both top of the line at the beg of the summer, though IBM came out with the T20 in the middle of the summer and we are all drooling over those) and finally working with some of the best people (students and mentors).

    EB is different than most internship programs in that it is basically all student work. You are teamed together in a group of 4-5 interns, and you basically have your own project to do. It's hard to describe. IBM's SashXB for linux [] (XB for eXtreme Blue) development basically came directly out of EB. EB also provides it's alumni with tremendous set of contacts (it's other goal is to be basically a recruiting vehicle to get "the best and the brightest" to come work for IBM) so that any job within reason is open to you within IBM. The summer after I was in EB I worked on the IBM's Linux Watch at IBM Research This summer I hope to be working for IBM Research's Internet Security research team. Working on these cool projects was made possible because of the contacts I made during EB (they basically have flood you with meetings and talks given by senior people in IBM including CEOs Gerstner and now Palmisano)

    anyways here are some links as I'm not able to do EB justice.
    Boston Globe Article []
    Wired Article on my summer []
    Lou Gerstner's message to us (real video) [] (ASF) []
    Recruiting video made after my summer in EB []
    IBM's Current EB Recruting Video []
    IBM's own page of news links []

    anyways, enough shilling for IBM (makes one feel a little dirty, even if it is for a good thing). I loved my experience in EB, and I whole heartedly reccomend it to anyone who is willing to put in 100% effort. For those that want more info there's plenty of other info on the web so hit google and you can figure my e-mail address out of the columbia links (though any non serious emails will be quickly deleted)

  • words for the weak (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10, 2003 @10:18AM (#5476272)
    "If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."

    -- Samuel Adams

    (thx to Phil E)
    • "If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."

      -- Samuel Adams
      (thx to Phil E)

      There is a huge difference between taxation without representation and the ability to put dinner on your family's table. You're not making stuff designed to kill people, what's the big deal of working for a company that wants to pay you well?
  • by wayward_son ( 146338 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @10:39AM (#5476414)
    It's a good program. I got to the second round, but was eliminated (thanks in part to a nasty head cold that struck during the interview). They fly you out to Seattle, get you a rental car and a hotel room, pay all your expenses and take you out to dinner with a group of the other interns. From what I can see, they have a really nice corporate culture. This internship is popular because:

    You're paid - well. They hook you up with an apartment and either buy you a bike or subsidize a rental car.
    Seattle/Redmond area is such a cool place, especially in the summer.
    Experience with the leading software company in the world. (Linux geeks may scoff, but let's face it, most people see experience at Microsoft as a good thing)

    As for those who talk about "selling out" "joining the dark side", etc: It's capitalism, dumbass. Selling out is the entire point of capitalism. If not for MS, then for someone else.

  • by Flamesplash ( 469287 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @10:46AM (#5476470) Homepage Journal
    I interned at MS for two summers ('99, '00 ) and while the article makes some very high level explanations it all comes down to the atmosphere, freedom and fun that MS has to offer.

    It's not that they pay their interns but that they pay them really well, and give them many financial bennies on top of it. I had a free, after reimbursement, rental call every month I was there. They place you in really nice housing with other interns, and while you all end up splitting the actuall rent ( $500/mo for just me to share a two bedroom with private baths ) MS tosses in so much more. The apartments are furnished down to wine glasses, cable tv, and a maid every two weeks.

    Campus is more than just a work place it is fun, there are pool tables in various locations through campus as well as two sky walkways lined will old arcade machines. The conference rooms are left open for late night movie get togethers with free soda right down the hall. And the annual Puzzle Hunt is amazing.

    You can go anywhere on campus at any hour including the front of Bill's lobby at 8pm, just don't take a picture the security gaurds don't like that as I came to find.

    I'll stop here :) but in short it is an amazing experience, for me at least. I hated MS before, based purely on my like of apple, but after working there I have a better appreciation for the place. I still like *nix though.
  • by Shaheen ( 313 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @12:09PM (#5477131) Homepage
    I have been a Microsoft intern the past two summers. I've also accepted a full time position with Microsoft once I graduate from college.

    Some interns have much better experiences than others. I would say a vast majority have a great time, both professionally and socially. I am one of them, although I know some that didn't have a good time at all.

    Work is work as an intern. You're expected to gear up fairly quickly, but not so as to stress you out. You *are* an intern - Microsoft is not going to give you a job that is 100% mission critical. However, as an intern, you *can* make significant contribution to your group's products (You can find my name in the Xbox credits :). It's a slight ego booster.

    I saw a post that said you're expected to pull 55+ hour weeks. This isn't true. You are required to complete your assignments. If that means you need to work your ass off, and you want a good review, then that's what you have to do. If you're an awesome coder and can get it done in 20 hours, good for you. Go drink the rest of the time :)

    Corporate culture is great. Everyone is supportive about things like personal time, social lives, time off, etc. Morale is really high at Microsoft. Through the roof. The company just treats you right in many different ways.

    Being a Microsoft intern was the first time I had a consistent, fulfilling social life too. Pretty much every weekend was a party and having fun around Seattle.

    The party at Bill's house is getting to be a bit cliche. I suspect Bill doesn't really want to do it anymore, but he's expected to now. There are so many interns at MS that there are several parties over the course of a week.

    On the other hand, it's pretty damn sweet to get to see the inside of Bill's house.
  • Been There, Did That (Score:5, Informative)

    by nachoboy ( 107025 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @12:42PM (#5477400)
    Yup, I was one of them. I landed an internship for the giant in the summer of 2000. Here's my take on what happened:

    The Interviews: One phone interview with what I later learned was an HR rep took about 90 minutes. She mostly asked generic thinking questions, encouraging me to think aloud. Stuff like "If you could build your own movie theatre, what would it be like?" A couple of days later, I heard from an actual recruiter who said they'd like to interview me in person. At many of the larger schools, a Microsoft interviewing team will actually visit the campus, but in this case, they flew me up to Redmond. Got a sweet 4 day trip - one day to fly up, one day to interview, one day to hang in Seattle, and flew back on the last day. I will have to say that the interview day was without doubt the most grueling day of my entire life. I was directed to show up at campus at about 8:30 AM. Since I had been provided a rental car and hotel room about 3 minutes away, this wasn't a problem. I spent the first interview with another HR recruiter (Brian Schneider actually, who was quoted in the article). He mostly prepped me for the day, telling me to always remember who the audience was for anything I spoke about and to not worry about getting the right answer, just to talk through what I was thinking. I was then shuttled over another building, where the real interview process goes like this. You sit in the lobby, and someone comes out from the back. They take you back to their actual office and spend 45 minutes to an hour with you. After their questions, they lead you back to the lobby. There's two choices after that. If you did well, another employee will come and interview you. If you didn't, the next person to come out will call a shuttle for you back to the HR building, and your day is over. I wasn't that lucky. What they don't tell is that after every interview, the interviewer writes up a short spiel about you and passes the email thread along to your next interviewer. I spent the entire day in 5 interviews. They literally picked my brain to pieces. The only tough development question I was asked was how I would reverse a linked list and I wrote out some pseudo-code. (I wasn't, however, applying for a 'grunt' programmer position, although I do like to code.) The vast majority of the questions were "how you think" questions: how I would design an alarm clock with an unlimited budget, how elevator controls should work, justify my programming of a TV with 5 buttons. Also several "puzzle" questions which I usually had to think about but got an acceptable if not expected answer in the end. Everything was very laid back - the campus dress code is wear something, and everyone has carte blanch over how they decorate their office. I made it home after 6PM and pretty much just curled up in a ball and slept. They make it a point to get back to you in a week, and when they did, I was shocked at the salary. Let me just say that the article cuts the line a little low. (Although not everyone makes the same amount - you do better in a product group with an app that ships and makes money like Office or Windows, than you do in a business group that just manages internal affairs like payroll databases.)

    The Summer: I had a blast. Every intern gets assigned a "mentor" who is more of a guide than a boss. You usually take a bit of his/her work and it actually gets assigned to YOU. Whatever decision YOU make is what stands. It's cool cause you can actually make a difference. Of course everything is still subject to peer review but I can recall some decisions I made. [Our product never actually shipped although some reincarnation of it may appear in the future...] The first day I showed up I had an actual office with my nameplate already on it and a computer hooked up and ready to go. I was free to do what I want, really. And contrary to the article, you work your own hours. Literally. I was provided subsidized housing and a subsidized rental car, as well as a pass card that would let me into any building on campus 24 hours a day 365 days a year. As long as I showed up for any meetings I was a part of, I could work as many or as few hours a day/week as I wanted. Still had to get the work done of course, and I did work some *long* weeks, especially when bug or demo deadlines were coming up. They also *threw* money at me. Every time I turned around, someone was dropping a "perk" off at my office... a designer fleece... a picnic backpack... cool stuff you actually use and not worthless corporate "gifts." Oh, and all the drinks are free all the time to all employees. The many kitchens are all constantly stocked with both a Pepsi and Coke fridge.

    The Perks: We had free use of the buildings anytime. Quite a few times we hauled a DVD player down to a "conference room" (think small movie theatre size, not nonproductive-meeting-room size) and set it up on the giant projection screen for a movie night. I never got one peep from security, even when playing laser tag across the corporate campus from 11PM - 2AM with half a dozen other interns. Basically if you work there, have it your way. You have many of the same perks as full-timers as an intern. Free bus rides all over the city. This MS "benefit" card that got us and guests free or heavily discounted admittance to TONS of Seattle attractions. The MS shuttle system is designed to get employees to and from the separate buildings but they also make scheduled trips to various outlying areas. It's all free. Oh, and one of the best parts is the MS Company Store. Yes, every version of every software product MS has ever made is freely available on the corporate LAN, most of the time with those @$#& CD-keys disabled. But if you'd like a boxed copy with a real CD and that pamplet that passes as a manual these days, the company store has all current products at a heavy discount. Books and hardware are usually 50% off retail (I picked up quite a few of the Intellimouse Explorers) and software is 90 to 95% OFF retail. That means copies of Windows were $20-25, and full versions of Office were only slightly more. Felt good be legit for once. ;)

    The Barbecue: Yup, we went to Bill's. Met him, Melinda, and even the kids Jennifer and Rory. Played on their private beach. Swung on the swing set. Ate until we were gorged. Pretty much just hung out for the evening. The classic moment was when I had loaded my plate up (it's a buffet) and was walking back to my seat. A waitress passed by with a mouth-watering plate of the best looking fruit-topped cheese cake I'd ever seen. I immediately swung around, saying "I'm gonna make sure and get me a piece of that before it runs out!" The server just turned around, smiled, and said "Oh, don't worry, we never run out of anything." I was shocked but it turned out to be true. When I went to the dessert table later there was still plenty of everything.

    The Secret: All in all, the intern program is lucrative so as to benefit MS, not you. An internship for them is basically an extended interview. They like to give internships to those who are one summer away from graduation. That way, if you do well over your three months, they can snap you up right after graduation. If you don't, well, they only lost 3 months worth of salary on you. It's all about finding the top talent.
  • Don't know why (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mullen ( 14656 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @12:43PM (#5477416)
    I don't know why people are slamming college students that are interns at Microsoft.
    First off, any job in this economy is a good job. The dot com boom is over and so are the 100K jobs where a pulse was the only requirement.

    Second, when you have a big company like MS on your resume, the job market opens up a lot more, even in bad times. I worked at the "Evil Northwest Book, CD's and More company" and don't regret it one bit. After leaving that company I had a job in 6 weeks that paid 15K more a year. Having that those kinds of companies on the resume helps a lot. You can call me a whore, but you'll do it from the unemployment office.

    Three, MS treats it employees well. I know of very few companies that offer all of the benefts and salary that MS offers. When it comes down to it, work is only about three things; Pay, Benefits, and Intresting work. MS appears to provide all three.
  • by AssFace ( 118098 ) <> on Monday March 10, 2003 @12:52PM (#5477488) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft has always been one of the Fortune top rated copmanies to work for []. Up there with Adobe, WalMart, Wegmans, and Pfizer.
    (granted they did have an issue with being sued by the part time people because those people apparently felt that the contract that they agreed to and signed... was unfair - not sure what ever came of that - perhaps with the downturn in the economy those people realized that they were lucky for their jobs and shut the hell up)

    I have 10 friends that I went to college with that interviewed with Microsoft, and now 5 of them work there (they all got offers, 3 of them didn't want to move, one of them opted for grad school, and the last thought he had a chance at Apple or something... he didn't last I heard). (I can remember one of the guys wore Tevas, a shirt he had painted in that had holes in it, and ragged cut offs to his Microsoft interview, while some others debated on suits or not - he wanted to make sure that they were only going by his brain... he got the offer... and turned it down to go to grad school)
    The guys that work there love it. And in the tech world (I guess only outside of slashdot), seeing that you worked at Microsft actually has some tech cred to it - I know of 3 guys that I went to school with that went on to start their own companies and the MS name on their cv helped get their funding.
    I know a guy that works in their computer game department, and I know a guy that works in their XBox game department (I think it is slightly funny that they are even different departments). They each think it is the coolest job on the planet, and I'm not sure I blame them.

    I find it really amusing that "everyone" here thinks MS is so evil, when in reality, they are one of the best companies to work for - and perhaps are even doing some things right - as much as it hurts the people here to think.
    It is human nature to strive to be at the top, and to some extent, to resent those that sit at the top. Were Apple or Linux to rise up and dethrone the current MS position, the same people here would start griping about the exact same issues that MS is going through because they are side effects of beinga successful company.
    and in true slashdot mentality, I'm sure this will get modded troll
  • by Chokai ( 10224 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @01:46PM (#5477912)
    I grew up in Seattle and actually started working for Microsoft my Junior/Senior year of high school through their HS program. I then worked for the company for the three summers of my college years at the UW. All told I did 5 internships in 3 different divisions. In the end I decided not to work for Microsoft, opting for a smaller and highly profitable company in downtown Seattle.

    I did however really enjoy my time at MS. It's a fun intern program. Microsoft knows how to party and for a college person it's an ideal situation.

    However I concluded that my internships really didn't help me in the end. Also because I had been at the company so long Microsoft assumed I was garunteed to work for them after graduation. When I interviewed for FT my senior year recruiting did not listen to my desires. I was lied to about position availability and after battling with them for some time about various things when I showed up I was interviewing for a position in a group I had specifically requested not to work in. This is not unexpected though. If you give someone the perception that they have control over you they will often times abuse it.

    Fortunatly I am happier now and am being given a level of responsibility MS would have never given me. :-)
  • by carambola5 ( 456983 ) on Monday March 10, 2003 @03:04PM (#5478620) Homepage
    I'm a student. I've been actively recruited by MS. Was I drooling when I got my first email? No. I was having a difficult time coming to terms with it.

    You see, I, unlike some people, actually act upon what I believe in. I believe that Linux is the future. I believe that MS has bad policies and intentions.

    So I did what I thought best: turned the offer down. Perhaps I was a bit rough around the edges on my reply (probably burned a bridge or two), but I did what I thought was best. I ask that anyone who truly believes Linux is superior to do the same with any recruitment offers.... well, I suppose you could turn it down a bit more politely.

"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham