Claire: You're watching the Microsoft US health and life Sciences Confessions of Health Geeks podcast. A show the offers industry insight from the health geeks and data freaks of the US health and life Sciences industry team. I'm your host, Claire Bonaci. On today's episode, I talked with our HLS industry team summer intern Param on how he spent his three months at Microsoft and what surprised him most.
Claire Bonaci: So, welcome to the podcast Param. You are our summer intern on the HSL industry team and it's been really great to working with you. So I'd love to get your perspective over the last few months here.
Param Mahajan: Thank you. Thank you for having me. A quick background about me. I'm a rising senior at Cornell. I'm double majoring in computer science and economics, and my experience has over here has been pretty great so far. I mean after COVID hit, I think my internship went virtual and I'm definitely missing out being in the cool NYC office of Microsoft. But I think the transition to a virtual internship was pretty efficient and effective. My team members were very reachable. The people I was working with always took out the time to meet me and help me out in my project. So people have been very accessible. People have always tried to help me out, so it's it's been a phenomenal experience.
CB: That's great, yeah you do. You have a very impressive background. I know you worked at a digital services startup where you built an enterprise at health cloud and last summer you worked at PwC cyber division, assessing a market for a cyber threat simulator. So I guess you mind telling us a little bit about your experience as an intern at Microsoft, kind of what your project was, what you worked on for last three months.
PM: Yeah, absolutely. So my project for this summer was to make a global point of view for the space of manufacturing in pharmaceutical and life Sciences, and internally for the healthcare and life Sciences team. This was an area which was lacking focus initially and it's a focus area for FY 21, which is why I was asked to focus in this area. In my project I made a global POV deck with an inventory of current assets, resources, solution areas, partner and user success stories. I worked with the healthcare and manufacturing teams from across the US, Europe and APAC. And I also work with a partner development teams at Microsoft to make sure that all the information is up-to-date and the most recent ones. In the latter half of my project, I made a selling strategy document. The thought behind making this document was that infield sellers for healthcare and life Sciences are more used to the health care domain and um so this setting strategy document was made to bridge the gap between the health care domain and the healthcare and manufacturing domains intersection. And this setting strategy document was divided into 6 solution areas with summarized links to either a user success story or a partnership story. And one key aspect of of the selling strategy document was that a lot of our manufacturing success stories are just that like they're only in the manufacturing domain. And we want to emphasize that OK, we're going to replicate that success as it pertains to, um, the healthcare and life Sciences sector as well. So there's that
distinction in the document as well. So yeah, that's a brief summary of my project and we're waiting to do a final review, do some field tests and then it will go into the team sales
CB: That's great, yeah, I've been a little bit apart of what you've been doing the last three months and it has been very impactful. Very helpful. I'm really looking forward to using these documents in FY21 since I do think they're going to be really helpful for the team overall. So, given your extensive background, why did you actually choose to work at Microsoft? Why did you choose to intern here rather than some other companies?
PM: Right. So as I said before, my background is in computer science and economics and I have always wanted to do a role which had elements of both. I like a role with client facing
and business development elements. But I also like roles which have some technical elements that coding or technical analysis. So I think Microsoft as a company is one of the few companies that has a breadth of roles which which helps you choose an combine the
elements of your background that you like an make a role that is very suitable for you. So that was a primary reason. And secondly I think the team's culture and the teams values
really resonated with me. I think in, especially now that, I didn’t think of this like when I
was choosing, but I I, I think, especially now in an era is like great income inequality's and great disparities in social justice. I think it's, uh, it's good to be working for a company which is not tone death, which takes these matters seriously, and which is actually reflects my values. So both of those combined, I think, helped me make my decision.
CB: Those are all really great points and definitely one of the reasons that I came to Microsoft as well. So during your three months here, what surprised you the most? I know, yeah, your fresh, coming from college and obviously you have you had that experience
working at a large company. So what kind of surprised you most here?
PM: Yeah, so I think two things stood out for me. The first one was every company that I've worked at before and every [advert] every company that tries to advertise says that oh, bring your passion into work, speak about your passion. And let us know what your passion is, but I think your passion just stay that, like your passions outside of work and the one thing that pleasantly surprised me at Microsoft, especially in this internship was I spoke to my mentor and my manager about exploring some other roles which has surrounded the industry team for healthcare and life Sciences. And they were like OK if that's your passion, let's include that in one of as one of your deliverables or one of your core priorities. So I think my passions were really heard and they were not just like encouraged, but they were included in what I was supposed to do in this internship, so it's quantifiable. I actually had an opportunity to pursue them, so that was a pleasant surprise. And it was, it was great actually pursuing your passions as part of your job. And the second one was, I think I touched on this before was the breadth of roles. I've spoken to three to four people in the company that I've come in with a multidisciplinary background in computer science in health care, in ah business and you know, client relationship development. And these people have picked and chosen whatever aspects of their background they like and they have made or they have made their respective roles tailor made for themselves and they have been doing that for the past nine years. And I think that was a big big takeaway because listening to company say oh you can you know adjust your role, you have flexibility, that all sounds great, but I think having some of these people on my team interacting with them and seeing how they actually may like sometimes the seemingly most like weird roles, but now they are very sought after and valued and then an essential part of the team. I think that was a great surprise for me and it's very encouraging to me as well.
CB: I think you really hit on the best parts of Microsoft for sure. And you have made a huge impact already, just in the three months you’re here. I'm really looking forward to hopefully working with you in the future. So again, thank you so much Param for talking to us explaining your internship and giving us a little bit about your insight and we look forward
to seeing you in the future.
PM: Absolutely, it was a pleasure.
CB: Thank you all for watching. Please feel free to leave us questions or comments below and check back soon for more content from the HLS industry team.
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