I'm only three days in to my summer software development internship at Microsoft, but one thing has already become abundantly clear: Microsoft does everything at scale. Microsoft has nearly 120,000 employees worldwide, 40,000 of which live and work in Washington State. Microsoft owns or leases more than 14.3 million square feet of land in this region. I work at the Redmond campus, and it's not dissimilar to a college campus. There are jogging trails, soccer fields, parking lots, cafeterias with a wide variety of dining options, and places to sit and relax outside. It takes a while to walk across campus, but don't worry: you can just call a free shuttle to take you from one building to another whenever you want.
The main dining complex here at Microsoft is known as the Commons. In addition to more than a dozen restaurants, it contains a post office, a credit union, a hair salon, a bicycle repair shop, and more. I knew that there were other cafeterias on campus, but I just assumed that most of them would be quite modest compared to the Commons. However, I found that the cafeteria in the building I work in has enough restaurants to rival the food court of the mall back home in Lincoln. The food is good, and it's cheap enough that I'll probably buy lunch several times a week.
A software company like Microsoft needs people who can code, people who can manage, and people who can sell, but it also needs people to staff HR, accounting, legal, recruiting, and facilities. There needs to be a receptionist in every building, security guards, landscapers, and groundskeepers. A lot of people were needed to make new employee orientation quick and efficient. I started the same day as 300 other new interns, yet it took only about an hour for all of us to complete new hire paperwork and have our identification documents checked off.
My experience with corporate life so far has helped me realize that job creation in high technology fields doesn't just benefit people interested in technology -- with some time and growth, it can create jobs in all kinds of different fields, across a wide spectrum of education and experience levels.