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Microsoft: Program Management

What is Program Management at Microsoft?

In the summer of 2021, I worked as a Program Manager Intern at Microsoft within their MSAI (Microsoft Search, Assistant, and Intelligence)  group. Throughout my 12 weeks there, I owned a feature on the Microsoft Teams app that focused on expanding intelligence on Cortana, which is Microsoft’s virtual productivity assistant housed in most O365 apps. I loved this job; while my role was to ensure clear communication between the software developers (devs) working on the projects across teams, no two days were the same. When I wasn’t checking in with devs, I had the opportunity to not only think about the state of the feature once we complete it, but also ideate through what the feature can look like in the near future. It’s a role that quite literally allowed me to dream up whatever ideas I thought would be best for Cortana and MSAI. I chose to pursue program management because of the versatile skill set that it could teach me; despite not PM’ing in software before, I was able to apply principles I learned when managing projects within my major of mechanical engineering very well. The added challenge of having a different medium to ideate solutions with — software — stretched me in ways that made me feel uncomfortable at first, but made me a better teammate, manager, and engineer in the long run.

 

Listen to the clip above to hear some of my learnings from this past summer.

Due to the nature of my NDA, I cannot reveal too much about this summer’s projects — but I can show a small portion of our demo! Despite this video being only a few seconds long, it took work from devs across 2 continents over the course of 3 months to get here. I’m incredibly proud of our team for seeing this through and I’m excited to see how the feature grows in the future!