At Microsoft, we’re embracing the “new normal” for how we work and live as the world comes together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety of our employees, interns, and their families is our highest priority, which means shifting in-person experiences online and working together to find creative solutions to new challenges.
For more than 30 years, Microsoft has hosted students from around the world as part of our summer internship program. This year, more than 4,000 students had plans to join us — the largest and most diverse class in our history — taking on roles spanning all our functions. And while we’re incredibly disappointed that we won’t be with them on our campuses, we’re committed to creating a meaningful and fun virtual internship experience for each one of them, and remain eager to absorb their energy and learn from them as we always do.
As we prepare to welcome our incoming interns, we’re working to set them up for a remote experience that will provide a rewarding professional development opportunity as well as meaningful connections. We’re fortunate to have the infrastructure and support needed to deliver a world-class remote internship program through onboarding tools like Microsoft Dynamics 365, and collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams. We also recognize that some individuals may be unable to participate in the virtual internship, so we’re providing an opportunity to defer their internship to next year, if needed.
In short order, the program team will begin hosting remote events that focus on building connections, fostering learning, and empowering interns to achieve their goals and uncover their passions. Participants in the program will connect with one another, build community within their teams, and engage with senior leaders across the company through a variety of virtual events. And we’ll empower our interns to co-create their summer experience with us. In the past, they’ve done everything from hosting their own volunteer projects and sharing TED-style talks to creating a musical.
While this experience is not what anyone expected, we’re embracing this opportunity together with our interns to learn from one another and grow. After all, the power of a growth mindset is that every obstacle is an opportunity to succeed. Adversity often creates some of the biggest leaps in innovation, and I predict that this year’s intern class will not only help us shape our virtual experience, they will have a lasting influence on our program for years to come.
Welcome to our upcoming class of 2020 interns, and thank you in advance for your hard work, creative thinking, and won’t-be-stopped attitude.