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Summer 2019

Summer Diaries: Microsoft

August 9, 2019
- Lakshya Kumawat

So around March, most of my friends were having a blast with their on-campus interns while pre-final year designers like me struggled for opportunities.

But that day my struggle came to an end. This is Lakshya Kumawat and I spent my third year summers interning as a UX Designer at Microsoft.

How I chose the company I wanted to dedicate my summers to:

My journey as a designer revved up once I entered my second year. Learning and practicing were the key motives of my life. And after my second year intern in a mid-level startup, I had made up my mind to apply to a big startup or a corporate, offering exposure and learning opportunities I wouldn’t get working with small firms. Me and my friends started listing out good companies and collecting contact information so that we could apply in the future.

How I applied:


For an off campus intern, the only way to apply is by mail or LinkedIn. There is no constraint on when to apply, but the sooner the better. In my experience, the end of January through the first week of February is the best time to send in applications.

It’s important to have connections. More often than not, an offer won’t simply be handed to you. Opportunities need to be worked out by oneself. An active social and social-media life sure helps. Stay active on LinkedIn, connect to the people in your respective field, especially those working with the firms you’re interested in.

In my case I got to know of the intern hiring going on at Microsoft from my seniors. I applied, mailed my resume to HR and a couple of weeks later, they wrote back saying they liked my work and scheduled a skype interview.

I had 3 technical interviews in 3 days and a basic HR round (not a typical HR round but some conversation on mail). In about a week, I had a confirmation mail with me. In all of this, perhaps the most important takeaway is that your work should be clear and well documented. I maintained a basic portfolio website ( which had well documented accounts of all my major work. This makes it easier for the interviewer to go through your work properly without missing anything as they usually only have so much time to go through each individual candidate’s portfolio.

What I worked on:

pic Foundry Interns with mentors

pic Intern Inauguration Day

The program I was interning under was called “FOUNDRY”. Nine designers from all over India had been selected as summer interns. In this program there is a team of 4-5 people, of which one is a UX Designer, and then you have 3-4 Developers. Their aim is to understand the project and work together to finish the product in the two month time period. The projects were all pretty amazing but given the short deadline, it was important to plan out our timeline effectively and work as efficiently as possible .

My Project was under “Microsoft Teams”, which is a collaboration platform used by various big organisations. As a UX designer, my work was to understand the platform and leverage its functionalities to achieve the aim of the project. Doing research, converting it into valuable outcome and designing the screens was the main work I did there as a part of my Internship.

pic The Workspace

I was assigned a mentor. So your internship mentor is supposed to be your best buddy cum manager for the duration of your stay there. They look after your daily work and any doubts you may have regarding the same . Then there’s the manager, who is a senior designer in charge of evaluating your work and keeps track of your weekly or monthly updates. In my case, both were very supportive and it was awesome working with them.

Working hours weren’t really rigid and we were free to even stay at the office if we felt like it. It was open 24 hours. Also there were “Nap Rooms” for catching up on rest and occasionally, quick naps. Also the cafeteria and lunch hall were the center of attraction for a foodie person like me. Fun and games like Xbox, TT, Cricket nets, Futsal, Foosball, Air Hockey, Pool etc. made my time there much more enjoyable.

Adding to all this fun we were provided with 5 star accommodations for the entirety of the internship period. For food we were given 200 rupees in our “Hungerbox” account which we can use to eat breakfast, lunch & dinner at Microsoft Office only.

pic The cafeteria

The work culture at Microsoft is the best I have ever seen or heard of. Everyone around you is very nice and the folks there love to help in any way possible. There is a vertical hierarchy in the organization but it isn’t really that prominent. PMs used to go out with us, and we had a lot of fun with the technical team. There was also this one time we boogie-woogied with the Director of Design, India. Looking back, the two months I spent at Microsoft feel like an ecstatically blissful album, with each page merrier than the last.

Summing up and Key learnings

These were undisputedly the best summers I’ve ever had. All the friends I made, all the connections I made, all the fun I had. My plan worked out pretty well and also I completed my project which was very satisfying. I suggest everyone to plan things out in advance to grab big opportunities like this.

You never know when a little effort on your part could land you somewhere you never imagined.

pic The 9 UX designers