MIT Externship Program Pushes Forward Collaboration, Innovation

 |   MSNE Staff

MIT Externs presenting projects

This January, we were excited to host a group of 34 MIT students as part of our yearly externship program. This program exposes students to real-world job applications in the technology sector.

Externs entering the program had the opportunity to work on one of 18 different projects with various teams here at our Microsoft New England Research and Development Center (NERD). At the program’s conclusion, the students had the opportunity to present their research to our employees during a Lunch and Learn Expo.

Lunching and learning.
Lunching, learning, and discussing the future of tech.

Shannon Hwang and Kenny Derek, both majoring in electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, served as externs on the MAIDAP team. MAIDAP is our Microsoft AI Development Acceleration Program, a ground-breaking program unique to NERD that is developing the next generation of leaders in AI. The externs said they were drawn to apply to work with MAIDAP because of the nature of the project. 

“We both want to get our masters degrees concentrating in artificial intelligence,” Kenny said. “On the MAIDAP team, we’d be able to create a responsible AI model, which we were really interested in because that’s a big problem in AI these days.”

MIT Extern Ruwien Fu presenting to employees.
MIT extern Ruiwen Fu presents her research to our employees.

Ruiwen Fu, a computer science and biology double major, saw this externship as an opportunity to blend her two passions together. 

“I have always been doing biology research, and I learned there are not many opportunities in that,” Ruiwen said. “I saw Microsoft had a research team that provides opportunities to work on some biology-related stuff”. 

In the past, Ruiwen worked in labs. She was excited by that fact that at NERD, “it’s more industry, and there’s more collaboration.” 

During her time here, Ruiwen embraced and enjoyed Microsoft life: “Overall, Microsoft feels like one huge community,” she said.

On the Azure team, externs worked on a data privacy AI model. Our own Eduardo de Leon, a software engineer for Azure and former extern himself, said he loves the externship program and is excited to continue hosting MIT students on his team moving forward. 

“Projects are always fun,” he said. “It’s hard to fund one project for a month, so having high quality workers like the externs helps.”

All of our MIT Externs.
Meet the January 2020 externship class.

Thank you to our MIT externs for all their hard work in driving forward solutions for our teams and helping to create what’s next. 

Learn more about NERD and our innovative teams here