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Microsoft Internship a 'Dream Come True' for INI Student

August 25, 2010

Divya Soundar, an INI student in the Master of Science in Information Security Technology and Management (MSISTM) program, has had a remarkable year pursuing her personal and professional goals. As she continues to follow her dream of becoming a system software expert, Soundar credits the INI and her summer internship at Microsoft Corporation for preparing her for a successful future career.

This summer, Soundar worked as a Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET) Intern at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Wash., a campus that stretches more than 100 buildings. Soundar was responsible for developing and testing Microsoft applications and utilities, seeing them through their entire life cycles, and providing periodic demonstrations to key stakeholders.

This process required Soundar to understand the key technologies used by the applications before she could delve into the development process. Fortunately, Soundar took the INI's Introduction to Computer Systems and Operating Systems course, which taught her the intricate details of system software development, an "enlightening" class that significantly helped Soundar with her role at Microsoft. To develop a successful product, Soundar worked closely with other research teams, sharing ideas and improving the products based on the offered suggestions.

"My work was very interesting, and the learning curve was awesome," Soundar said. "Every day, I faced new challenges and new problems to solve. It was a very eventful 12 weeks."

However, Soundar's experience wasn't all work and no play. Microsoft treated its interns to a variety of special activities, including a tour of Seattle, a hike at Mt. Rainier, movie nights, tickets to Cirque du Soleil and Puzzle Day. Additionally, interns attended 'tech talks' and product experience shows where Microsoft Senior Employees presented the latest technology trends, as well as a Q&A session with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Soundar's internship reinforced her career interest in system software, motivating her to enroll in courses this fall that will further develop her expertise in the field. Upon graduation in December, Soundar will return to Microsoft, where she has accepted full-time employment as a Software Development Engineer in Test.

"Microsoft and Carnegie Mellon was my dream for many years. My family was instrumental in motivating me to pursue my Master's degree from Carnegie Mellon, and I am very thankful to the INI and its esteemed faculty who made all my dreams come true," Soundar said.