Energy was high and innovation was in the air at the second annual Microsoft Student Partner Summit in Redmond, Washington. This year, the 55 best and brightest MSPs from around the globe were invited to Microsoft headquarters for a week-long retreat during the Imagine Cup finals. Their schedule was packed with mentoring, networking, hackathons, and teaching, as well as attending the finals live and watching Satya Nadella crown the winning Imagine Cup team, team eFitFashion from Brazil.
As a former MSP and past summit attendee myself (click here for a look at last year’s summit), I was invited to give a talk at the summit about my experience. It’s still surreal to me to be on the other side of the podium because I still feel like an MSP myself. The student partner community is a fantastic network of bright and ambitious technologists from around the world, and I am honoured to have the continued opportunity to be part of it. After my talk I shadowed the MSPs in between meetings, getting to know them and their work. Some are just starting out their careers with Microsoft, while others are the leads of national user groups, organizers of large-scale conferences, and developers with millions of downloads on their apps.
MSPs also acted as the official mentors for the Imagine Coding Camps, through which over 2000 youth aged 5-18 worked together to break the Guinness world record for most people learning to code at once. The energy in those rooms was incredible, and it was so encouraging to see kids of all ages coding together using the TouchDevelop language.
Being a Microsoft Student Partner means being a student evangelist, a tech guru, a coding ninja, and a people person all at once. The MSP program gives technical students the tools and skills they need to make a big impact in their communities and do truly incredible things. For me, being an MSP was, without a doubt, the catalyst to the start of my career at Microsoft. I hope that, next year, one of the MSPs I met at this year’s summit will be giving the same talk as I did, telling the next generation of student evangelists about his or her own road to Microsoft.