Week 1 – Summer’s here

I arrived at Seattle on May 7th, a Sunday. My relative had come to the airport to pick me up. I reached home, wrote a few mails and slept of in an hour and woke up in the evening. Then I had lunch-dinner and was on the comp again.

The next day I was on the comp most of the time and also keeping my documents ready for the orientation on Tuesday.

Tuesday was when we had our NEO (new employee orientation).  It was about 4 hours long and we basically got our account created and then had a 3 hr lecture on Microsoft, policies, legal issues, benefits and so on.

After lunch, I went to the new intern lunch at Microsoft Research. I met my mentor there and talked to him over linch. The VP of MSR gave a short talk on how MSR has progressed in the past 15 years. After lunch my mentor took me to my office and gave me my login and password. Then we went to Startbucks and discussed about the projects. He talked about 5 projects and asked me to choose from them. We talked for quite some time after which I narrowed it down to two projects, both related to the web : one on page ranking and another on a protocol design problem.

I then had to go back home, so I tried to find the bus stop where my bus stopped but in the end couldn’t find it after walking around for an hour and so I called my relative who came and picked me up. Anyhow, from the next day onwards, I was able to find the bus stop.

At the office we get an unlimited supply of cold an hot drinks and also popcorn. I tried making popcorn but as soon as I finished, the smoke alarm went off and they evacuated the building….I am not sure if my popcorn making had anything to do with it or if it was a routine fire drill 😛

The rest of the days were typically like this : I would wake up at 630, check mail etc till 745, then have breakfast, get dressed and come to the office either by catching a direct metro bus or by going with my relative to his office which is in Microsoft’s Sammamish campus and then taking a shuttle from there.

I would reach work at between 930 and 10 and then spend 2 hours checking mail, chatting etc. Then for lunch I either would go to the cafeteria or microwave something in the office and eat. The cafeteria food was nice but there weren’t that many dishes that I liked. An average meal comes to $5.

After lunch usually I feel a little sleepy and so, I generally am not that productive. In the end, I generally end up doing work from 2 to 4:30 and somehow I am able to do quite a bit of work in this time when I am able to focus.

Then to go back home I either take the bus at 6:30 or I take the shuttle to the other Microsoft campus at 5pm, sit in the library there and come off with my relative.

I didn’t do that much in the first weekend…on Saturday I went to the house where the other IITK guys were staying since there were planning on going to Seattle but thanks to all the procrastination, by the time we were ready it was 4pm and eventually reached the bus station at 4:40. I decided to drop out since it would be late by the time they got back from Seattle but then my relatives were planning to go to Seattle that evening and so I also went with them. I went to the top of the Space Needle. It is a high tower like place from where you can see the whole of Seattle. There are binoculars to zoom in quite a bit. The breeze was nice and cool since it was close to the coast.

On Sunday I went to church. It was similar to the churches in Muscat/India.

In the evening, I had dinner with a friend who was a year senior to me in school and now is working at MS.

4 Responses to “Week 1 – Summer’s here”

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