Brittan Berry ’16
Internship: Surface Product Marketing Team, Microsoft – Redmond, Washington
Home country/state: Chino, California
Favorite Yale SOM class: The class that has prepared me the most for this internship has been my Yale Center for Customer Insights Discovery Project. I, along with a team of other Yale SOM students, acted as a consultant for Visa to bring them insights and recommendations on how to improve millennials’ relationship with banking. I used a lot of the methods from this course, along with Visual Sociology that I took at Yale College, to get my project started.
Before I came to SOM I worked in HR, and I realized what I liked the most about my job was finding the best ways to speak to each audience in order to get them all to do the same thing—putting out one blanket statement doesn’t prompt every type of person to take action. I realized that the marketing was the aspect of my job I enjoyed the most, and at Surface I love that we break our product marketing up to focus on different audiences—students, creators, professionals, etc.—instead of just an overall focus on the specs of the product itself. It has allowed me to dig deep on learning how to win share with a particular audience and focus on what they need, how we can best meet this need, and how to articulate the value our product can bring. It really is everything I had hoped I would get with a marketing internship, doing everything from developing insights to creating assets.
I spent last week leading a hackathon team of 20-plus employees from across Mircrosoft, which gained the attention of several executives and produced some ideas that will likely be reflected in future iterations of not only the Surface, but MSN Lifestyle, the Windows Store, the Microsoft Band, and solutions coming from the accessibility team.
I’ve been inspired by what people are doing at Microsoft, even outside of Surface. We recently had //oneweek, where the whole company spends and entire week on hackathons, evangelizing each business units’ work to each other, hearing from great speakers [including the CEO], enjoying concerts, and having fun. It is amazing what technology and passionate people can accomplish.
After my internship hiring manager left Surface and went to Viacom, where he hired my classmate Tanmay, Tanmay and I have been placing bets on who will have the best internship. I know that I win. Not only is the leadership above me fun, but it has really been powerful to see how they support and elevate their reportees to get their work recognized. Additionally, Microsoft really loves their interns—like, private Maroon 5 concert love. Yes, I was just feet away from Maroon 5 at a private concert, before we all exited with a brand-new Surface 3 in our hands.
Beyond the perks, my internship experience has been great based on the opportunity and ownership I have been given. I spent last week leading a hackathon team of 20-plus employees from across Mircrosoft, which gained the attention of several executives and produced some ideas that will likely be reflected in future iterations of not only the Surface, but MSN Lifestyle, the Windows Store, the Microsoft Band, and solutions coming from the accessibility team.
This summer has not only given me the opportunity to be a part of a dynamic team, but also to spend some time leading a team. In all honesty, I know Tanmay has loved his internship this summer, though—so I guess we are even!