REflecting on my experience as an intern & Person Of Color @ Microsoft
I am a storyteller first and foremost, and I want to make people feel something regardless of their place in a company hierarchy. During my time as a content developer intern at Microsoft, I decided to write a series of articles about my own experience as a person of color at Microsoft and how I overcame emotions of impostor syndrome and made the choice to believe in myself. It was a way that I could leverage my love of creative storytelling, but turn the camera and talk about my own experiences.
“I’m brown and female and Muslim and because of that, the word ‘engineer’ doesn’t sound quite right when it's used to describe me.”
- From “Working at a tech company as a person of color” on LinkedIn
These articles were published on LinkedIn and Medium, and they’ve been picked up by the Career and Internship Center at the University of Washington and adapted for other platforms. Sharing my story makes me proud to represent my program, Human Centered Design and Engineering, in the process.
Ultimately, being at Microsoft was an exercise in bringing all of myself to the table, and writing these articles was an opportunity to reflect on my identity as a person of color at Microsoft and share the things I was learning through conversations with engineers, researchers, and designers at the company.
I wanted these articles to serve as an outlet for reflection and a reminder to bring all of myself to the table, while also providing a few helpful tidbits for anyone else doing an internship.
- Team: Content Experience in the Windows and Devices Group
- My position: Content Developer intern
- Collaborators: Doug Kim and Ashley Walls
- Duration: June 2017 - Sept. 2017
- Skills: Inclusive design, UX writing, and user research
By writing these articles, I hoped to be more intentional about codifying the things I learned during my time at Microsoft, but also have a helpful point of reference to look back on - these are stories and lessons and experiences that I can't tell after the fact, so I want to capture them when they're fresh in my mind.
The overwhelming support that came out of these articles as phenomenal, and I'm glad that I could contribute to conversations about how we all demonstrate values of diversity and inclusion in our work.
A FINAL WORD
Interning at Microsoft has taught me more than I could have ever imagined - I was a little bit nervous to jump into a big tech company after being fresh off my acceptance into Human Centered Design and Engineering, so I knew that I wasn't the most tech-savvy person in existence and I don't even have a PC anymore– but maybe my mom and my supervisor and adviser and friends were all onto something for believing in me because I've got the Microsoft badge to prove that I was worth taking a chance on.
I'm here and I'm brown and Muslim and a woman, and I deserve to be at the table with the best of 'em (in reference to all the software developers and UX designers and content strategists).