July 2009

How are you spending your summer vacation? Nine Boston area high-school students have joined NERD family for the summer!

If you’ve ever had a doubt about the future of the world, you clearly haven’t met the 9 awesome high school interns that are spending their summer vacation working 40 hour weeks at NERD, side by side with developers, marketers, and managers. The 9 interns started their 8 week stint last Monday, and for some, it’s their first time working in a corporate environment, for others it’s commuting in on the Red Line to Kendall Square everyday (after getting up way too early). But no matter which of the 9 high school interns you chat with, you’ll be knocked down by their eagerness to learn, their creativity and their infectious passion and energy. We’ll be asking each high school intern to spend a little time sharing their experiences with you all each week — but before we do that, let’s meet them:

The 2009 NERD High School Interns:

Susanna Y.
Dorchester, MA: John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science
Susanna will be conducting a user research project exploring the communication and collaboration preferences of teenagers ages 14-18, as well as designing an informational web site for the NERD Summer Intern program.

Thomas M.
Cambridge, MA: Cambridge Rindge & Latin School
Thomas will be setting up a system to automate security code scans and creating programs to assist with the analysis of fuzz test results.

Christine U.
Roxbury, MA: John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science
As a member of the Application Virtualization team, Christina will be working on creating new images for virtual machines used for testing and writing scripts to collect machine utilization data.

Saketh K.
Shrewsbury, MA: Shrewsbury High School
Saketh will be working on creating a dynamic, interactive user assistance tool that will provide our customers guidance on how to successfully virtualize an application.

Arjun A.
Cambridge, MA: Cambridge Rindge & Latin
Arjun will be working as a financial analyst for NERD. One of his initial projects will be identifying variances and correcting them for several hundred profit centers and then he will work on re-allocating assets to the correct accounts and cost centers.

Stacy O.
Dorchester, MA: Fenway High School
Stacy is working with the Software Quality Assurance Team in the Microsoft Startup Labs at NERD Center. She is helping with the testing of cutting edge software projects operating on the Windows Azure Platform for cloud computing and deployed for use on Windows Mobile devices, and modern web clients.

Patrick L.
Whitman, MA: Whitman-Hanson Regional High School
Patrick is creating a marketing plan to drive awareness for Microsoft Students to Business (S2B) internship offerings, facilitating webcasts and evaluation distributions and helping the Academic team to gain a broader understanding of the technical student population in the greater Boston area.

Kayla M.
Dorchester, MA: John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science
As a member of the NERD marketing and evangelism team, Kayla will be undertaking a project to design and create plaques that highlight the accomplishments of influential Boston leaders and scientists, in addition to working on internal employee morale programs and helping to drive general awareness of NERD.

Jennifer D.
Hyde Park, MA: John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science
Jennifer is working on improving the internal process for testing our products before they are released to the public. In particular, she will be learning the products themselves, generating reports for our senior management, and drafting new proposals for improving the process end-to-end.

Here’s what Kayla M. had to say about her first week:
“My first week at Microsoft has been awesome. I’ve experienced a great deal of independence, trust, and confidence from all of the employees, while still feeling connected to them in terms of the work we do. Attending meetings, listening in on conference calls, starting my first assignment, and having a fun lunch hour can describe my first week at NERD.”

So stop by one of the many weekly events at NERD to say hi, ask the interns how they’re doing, and impart some knowledge on them about how to succeed. We’re really looking forward to having all of the new additions to the NERD team as part of the family this summer!!

Microsoft Rocks the Charles River with 500 Employees at NERD on the 4th of July

On Saturday, July 4th we had our first summer event at our newly renovated space in Cambridge. We invited all of our Massachusetts employees, resulting in a mix of about 500 employees, friends and family. With our campus being located directly across from the Charles River, we had a brilliant view of the fireworks, along with good food and great company. It was so much fun to mingle with coworkers and their friends and family in such a relaxed and entertaining atmosphere. From hot dogs to temporary tattoos to listening to the Boston Pops, it was truly a blast!

Fourth of July Fireworks in Boston, MA (July 4th, 2009)

We were so excited to celebrate this annual Boston tradition and to have a special Microsoft memory. One of our friends, Jeff Potter took some amazing photos of the fireworks: Cooking with Jeff @ Flickr.

Looking forward to next year’s festivities!

Introducing the latest version of ourselves…

Hello and thanks for reading our inaugural blog post!

My name is Paul Coebergh, and I am part of a new team working on Microsoft’s involvement in the greater Boston tech community. Let me start off by introducing my fellow team members and future co-bloggers…

Sara Spalding is the Senior Director of our campus and a 15-year Microsoft veteran. Prior to leading Microsoft’s efforts in Cambridge, Sara was the Product Unit Manager for MSDN; she also worked on the .NET Framework and IE4. Sara holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Math from the University of Puget Sound, and lives outside of Boston with her husband, daughter, and dog.

Gus Weber is the Business Development and Community Relations Manager where his primary responsibilities are to work with the greater Boston tech community, and the Cambridge community. Gus is a student at heart, and spent his first 3 years at Microsoft in the Academic Evangelism team working with students and faculty across the Northeast US. Gus is an alumnus of RIT and come June, will reside in Clinton, MA with his wife, son and their 2 Welsh Corgi dogs.

Leah Brunson is the Marketing Manager for our campus. Her primary responsibility is to manage the newly designed Conference Center and develop internal marketing initiatives to generate employee engagement. Leah is a new member to the Microsoft community, joining our team in May 2009. Prior to Microsoft, Leah worked in the retail industry where she led a variety of corporate brand and CSR initiatives. Leah is a graduate of Simmons College, holding a dual degree in English and Marketing. When she’s not planning an event, Leah enjoys volunteering in her local community and travelling.

My role as Senior Marketing Manager is to help promote our efforts broadly to the local tech community. I spent the past 6 years in Redmond working in a variety of Product Management roles, most recently on the Office team. I am excited to be back in Boston where I grew up and attended Babson College as well as Boston University’s MBA program.

Our hope is that this new blog can serve as a vibrant place for discussion. Let us know what’s on your mind, and what Microsoft can do to help the local tech industry in terms of events, community involvement and other initiatives.

P.S. we are now also live on Twitter.