Summer in Seattle

By: Paul Ip
June 17, 2007

I'm just about to start my fourth week of my internship here at Microsoft as a Product Planner Intern. It hardly seems like I've been here that long, but it's been great so far. They have me and most of the other 59 MBA interns in these swank apartments downtown. It's a fun group of people and I love living downtown. So my agenda for tomorrow... I begin my day at 9:00am for a full day "offsite" meeting. (It's actually in a neighboring Microsoft building) I work on the Windows Live team of product planners and one of the pieces is my responsibility. I've got 30 minutes to present to our team what Yahoo and Google are doing in my area of focus. In return, I get to hear them share what's going on in their areas. It's going to be a long day, but I think we're all going to get a lot out of it. The other bonus is that this will be the first time I'll be going up to prove that I can actually do real work. We'll see what happens. (-; Afterwards, party at Bill Gates' house. No joke. We're heading over to his place for a party with him and a bunch of other executives. My guess is that I won't be getting much face time if any at all. There'll be several hundred people there so it isn't exactly what I would call an intimate event. And no, I won't have any photos. We are not allowed to bring in electronic devices of any kind. No cameras, no phones, none of that. Just my ID card, wallet, and keys. Fun? Maybe. But at the very least it should be an experience. But more generally speaking, working here is great. Flexible work hours, great people, and very interesting work. Most people in my group get in at 9:45am and leave by 5:30pm. Its also a good situation where I can define what I want to do (within reason) and how I want to do it. Right now I'm doing a lot of competitive research to see what's out there and I'll also be reviewing research to see what people's habits and practices are. In other words, I'll be applying a lot of what I've been learning in Competitive Strategy and the Innovator perspective. Towards the end of the summer, I'm aiming to have some good conclusions about what we should be doing in my area of focus as we move forward with improving Microsoft's online offerings. Sorry about being vague, but I don't want to give *too* much away. (-; I do have one confession to make. I went to work today. I needed to put in a few hours to get my presentation ready for tomorrow. But it's OK. Weather wasn't great today so I didn't mind staying in. Besides, I'll be using that day later this week when the weather gets nicer. For what? If the weather's good, I'd like to head up to Mount Rainier again. One of my favorite parks.

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Paul Ip