Understand that people problems need to be solved so that you can focus on technical problems. You don't need to play politics, but you do need to understand ownership and how best to navigate silo'd resources to get something done.
Former Producer/Marketing Communications Manager Contractor at Microsoft
about 3 years ago
Microsoft is a huge company where every organization and team have their unique strengths and weaknesses. It can take a long time to learn the culture and all of the ins and outs of working here. In my experience, having a great manager is key to success. I would also recommend getting a mentor as well. The advice I would give to anyone that wants to work at Microsoft or anywhere else is to be humble, be willing to do the "not so fun" stuff, and aspire to learn something new.
Learn about how the company is structured, and really own business goals. The people who are most influential in your promotion want to see how you support business goals and what cool work you've done at the company. It's hard to control what you work on, so try to do something you can really get behind.
Dedication, passion and hard work are the keys. Having said that, Microsoft has a great summer program where you are not just working all the time. They have a lot of fun events and programs organized just for the interns apart from the ones happening in the company that the interns are welcome to join. They make the atmosphere very conducive for working without stress or constraints.