Dinner with Microsofties

I went to dinner (Nola’s, Palo Alto) tonight with 3 new grad Microsoft hires, 2 PMs (one from MSTV and another from MSN Search Toolbar) and one from sales (not quite sure what she’s selling). Interesting conversation throughout the night; it was nice to get other people in my simular situation’s view on Microsoft, their careers and such. They’d graduated from Princeton, Stanford and Cal Poly and had offers at i-banks (e.g. GS and Merrill), tech companies (Google, Yahoo, etc) and all chose to come to Microsoft. Pretty interesting, I’m not sure given those opportunities that I would have come to Microsoft. I remember before the Summer of 03 I was applying to consulting internships at firms like BCG, Bain and McKinsey and wasn’t even looked at. In retrospect, it seems like have school credentials such as Priceton and Stanford sure would have helped, I now look at Microsoft as a gateway to have street cred if I ever want to go that route again (and hopefully not start as lowly analysit).

Also, one of the questions that came up was, “what do you want to do when you grow up?” My answer — I want to change peoples lives. Sounds very Microsoft brainwashed, doesn’t it (MSFT vision statement = “Empower people through great software anytime, anyplace, and on any device”)? As I explained it, it made more sense to me as something that doesn’t necessarly mean Microsoft and doesn’t neceesarly mean technology. What do I want to do? Change lives, whether it be via building the next Wal-mart, writing the next Windows, helping solve social issues, stopping wars, or building cars, it doesn’t really matter as long as I’ve changed somebody’s life. The end result in all those scenarios being I want to effect change — for the better — in peoples day to day lives.