Clara Lam – Microsoft

Lam_Clara_Intern

This coming June I will be graduating with degrees in Visual Communication Design and Business Administration with a focus in Marketing. I love both disciplines but will primarily be focusing on graphic design as a career path. I’m passionate about User Experience (UX) Design but I’ve found that my business degree allows me to have a more holistic picture of how companies work.

My first encounter with Microsoft recruiters was through the Design Career Fair last spring. They were friendly, talked about some interesting projects, and accepted my resume and a portfolio sampler. A week later they set up an interview date and within three weeks I found myself at the Microsoft headquarters in Redmond.

Most design interviews go like this: 1) Morning portfolio review which includes a 45 minute presentation about you and your work, 2) lunch on campus to get to know you better, and 3) back to back interviews with designers that you might work with down the road. It was a daylong affair that really gives you a sense of how you would like working at Microsoft. They called me less than a week later with an offer and flexible start date.

I loved every minute at Microsoft. My official title for the summer was UX Design Intern at Bing. Bing is like a mature startup within a giant corporation. The branch just turned five in July so there’s a lot of passion and excitement with every milestone. I worked on the Visual Refresh team to come up with a strategy for the next version of the Bing brand, which included the visual language, a mobile priority, and new goals. As a side project, I worked on developing a new app to utilize Bing’s expansive information database that may be in production within the next few months. I got to work on real projects that made an impact and was treated just like my full-time coworkers. It was a magical experience.