Taking on the best at Microsoft
If you’re a non-native English speaker who hasn’t been educated in the United States or another English-speaking country, Microsoft Research Asia is the last place you would think about applying to for a job.
But that’s exactly what Song Young-in, 34, did, and his gamble paid off.
Song starts work at the Beijing-based MSRA later this month. He is the first Korean engineer to be employed by MSRA even though he does not hold degrees from overseas universities.
Song received a doctorate in computer science from Korea University in September last year.
“It’s hard to tell you exactly how much I will earn per year, but my pay is similar to those of senior researchers who work for Korean research centers that belong to local conglomerates,” said Song.
In addition, MSRA provides benefits such as apartment rental, relocation costs and two round trips from China to Korea every year.
So how did Song land this coveted position?
He applied for an internship program that was co-sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and Microsoft.
Through this global six-month internship, Song was able to improve his English skills.
After that, Song applied for another internship, held at Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington headquarters from July to September last year.
Six Korean students won tickets to the Redmond campus, each earning between $5,600 and $8,000 per month.
“It’s not common for Redmond campus to accept a majority of non-native English speakers,” said Song.
Song used to work between 12 to 15 hours a day while competing against some 200 interns from all parts of the world at the Redmond campus.
Song was the oldest among the interns at Redmond, but this did not hold him back in any way.
With his ample experience in various research areas - he was involved in team projects with other Korean researchers back in college - Song will readily adapt to working at MSRA, according to his mentor Lee Mi-ran, an MSRA director.
By Lee Na-ree JoongAng Ilbo [firstname.lastname@example.org]