Developing Tomorrow’s Tech at Microsoft

ISyE junior Governess Simpson spent her summer building a business strategy with experts at Microsoft in anticipation of a new product launch that could affect the entire Windows ecosystem.

Prior to the pandemic, Governess Simpson was planning to temporarily relocate to Redmond, Washington for a summer internship at Microsoft’s headquarters. “Though I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be experiencing the internship in-person,” says Simpson, “I’m grateful Microsoft was able to make the transition to a virtual format as seamless as

Simpson’s U of M experience opened the door to a career in technology, an industry that she had not considered before joining the Industrial and Systems Engineering program. As a Program Manager Intern at Microsoft, her interest in technology only grew. According to Simpson, the internship managed to merge the problem-solving and logic-based skills she learned in engineering courses with that of a people-management role.

“It’s an extremely collaborative role; I spent over 75 percent of my day in meetings with my fellow employees discussing aspects of [a new] product, such as the targeted market, its design, and what implications the [product’s] features will bring to the entire Windows ecosystem,” says Simpson. “I’m learning how to run meetings with key stakeholders and develop a business strategy plan.”

The development of this new product covered the entirety of Simpson’s three-month internship as she worked with the company’s marketing, sales, and engineering staff. “I was in charge of driving a vision for a product rather than the implementation of it,” says Simpson. “That experience was very rewarding—and fun, as well!”