Name: Carolina Uribe-Gosselin
Hometown: Miami, FL
Degree/major: Bachelor's in computer science and a minor in psychology
Where are you working? Title? Microsoft, program manager
How did you get your job? Through UPE’s ShellHacks, I met a Microsoft recruiter and expressed my interest to join Microsoft. I eagerly shared with him what motivates me, my experiences, how I resonate with the company's sustainability efforts and their mission. He was incredibly supportive and set me up with my first round of interviews.
I was thrilled for the opportunity and spent my time outside of work and classes preparing for the interviews. Although I didn’t make it to the final round, I was still proud of myself for getting the chance to interview at a company I admire so much and ultimately it was a tremendous learning experience.
The following year at ShellHacks, I went back to the same recruiter and told him how much I developed over the year and he scheduled another interview for me. This time, I made it to the final round and received an internship offer! Upon completion of the internship, I received a full-time offer to join the Developer Tools Program Management, Design and Research team at Microsoft.
What was your greatest fear going into your first job and how did you face it or overcome it? Working alongside the brightest minds and not being able to produce quality work at the same rate as them because of my limited experience and knowledge was my greatest fear. Heck, some of them have been working at Microsoft longer than I’ve been alive!
The way I was able to overcome my fear was by appreciating how much learning is valued at Microsoft. This helped me embrace that it is okay to not know something, that learning is a part of my job. This eased my fear that I should be at the same level as my senior counterparts, because they’ve been learning the industry and gaining experience longer than I have.
What surprised you the most about your first job? What surprised me the most was how accommodating the WFH lifestyle has been. The idea of working from home has always fascinated me, but I would stray away from it because I felt it would impact my ability to learn and connect with others. Yet, Microsoft and my team adapted to the virtual environment so well and created this space to empower me. Everyone is always open to meet with me to discuss a technical topic, answer my questions, or even grab a virtual coffee with me.
What advice do you have for those beginning the job search process? Take time to reflect on what you care about and what you love to do. This will help guide your decisions on what companies and roles to apply for. The job search can feel daunting, but if you’re excited about what the company does or values, you’ll be more eager to apply and go through the interview process.
Don’t doubt yourself either, apply for the positions you’ve been eyeing. Worst case they say no and you gained valuable insight on the company and their interview process. Then you can apply the following recruitment cycle.
What does a day on the job look like? No two days are the same, but ultimately they can involve empathizing with customers, collaborating with the program management or/and product marketing team to strategize and prioritize work, meeting with the engineers to support their features, writing technical documents, knowledge sharing sessions, and even virtual game nights.
How does your job connect back to your coursework? My coursework at FIU set the foundation for me to deeply understand technical concepts as a program manager on the Azure Cache for Redis team.
How has your transition from school to work been?How do you balance your time? Overall pretty smooth, I feel that my internships prepared me to work. Working from home is a bit of a challenge, because you sometimes forget to separate your personal life from work. I sometimes catch myself working late into the night just because it’s so accessible to just stay online. I do try to catch myself in those moments and step away. I also have a virtual planner in OneNote where I track my weekly action items. I give each item a priority, a time estimation and a due date. This helps me plan out my days and not go overboard with tasks.
What’s been the coolest thing about your job so far? How much time senior leadership invests in our development and getting to know us. As an example, the corporate vice president of program management set up a daily "Breakfast Club," where we’re all invited to come together and meet other people under her leadership we probably wouldn’t meet otherwise. I’ve joined a handful of them, and she’s regularly present. It's always great to chat with her