I worked at Microsoft Research India as a research intern from Jan to June 2007. They were perhaps the most fulfilling 6 months of my life. And, I had great fun too. I worked mostly on the Geocoder project and did get a feel of the Virtual India project.
What struck me was that the people at the lab were so passionate about what they were doing and were enjoying themselves thoroughly. And it surely did rub off on me. I had a really good time, in all respects. Joseph, Vibhuti, Tanuja and Gopal were great to work with and the environment in the lab was fantastic; everybody and everything was almost beyond expectation.
The experience at MSRI has helped immensely. Previously, I wasn't really inclined towards research, but MSRI ignited a spark somewhere, and pulled me towards research, even though I was in the Advanced Development Group. After that I cannot quite do any other routine work. I was also lucky to get the opportunity to co-author a paper with exceptional people.
Everyone in the lab somehow manages to combine great work and dedication with fun and enjoyment. This experience is something I will cherish all my life. Truly remarkable.
My 6 month stint at MSR was one of the most interesting, fun and informational periods of my life. Partly because it was my first job :-), but mostly because of the great atmosphere it provides for one to learn, work and party all at the same time. The people in MSR were extremely smart, friendly, interesting, fun loving and more than anything else, encouraging and accommodating. These are not just a bunch of adjectives I pulled from the dictionary. I mean every word of it.
I could not have kick started my career in a better fashion. I have profited from my encounter with every person in MSR, in more ways than one. And that's another great thing. In MSR, you don't just work with your team, you work with the whole lab. You have interesting talks, exciting discussions, fun filled outings and activities; and all this apart from the opportunity you are given to express yourself, go after your ideas, and follow exactly what you want. MSR will always have a warm place in my heart.
To tell the truth, I was in a state of confusion when I got accepted at MSR India as an intern, as I had to decide whether I should take the internship offer from a University abroad or come to MSRI. And now, at the end of my second internship, here I am feeling that this was the best decision I made in my life. This has the same level of excitement working in a startup if not more.
I was given a concept that was broad and I had to abstract it out and create a proof of concept. On the way I faced number of challenges which required my learning of in depth knowledge of new concepts in .NET programming. I was given access to plethora of tools and utilities which made coding challenging and never tiring.
One cool part about the internship was how I could subscribe to many of the discussion groups where Microsoft Employees from around the world share their concepts and ideas and help each other. The informal nature of your day to day relationship with your manager adds to the charm of the place. If I keep on going into more details, I would have to write a 20 page report on why it is so cool to work here at MSRI.