While I am not aware of a formal mentor ship program, every one of my coworkers were available to give me insight and to work with me on my projects. I did not know how to use the program for the newsletter when I got there and eventually I my coworkers showed me some tricks. There is also an FRP program( financial rotation program) where you spend month in a certain sector of Microsoft Finance, and then you rotate into another sector so that you get a good sense of what works best for you.
For me, there wasn't a clear mentorship program but my supervisor and teammates were all really supportive and would clarify different things to me about the company or my projects. Having these people guide me allowed me to become successful in the company because I felt like I was supported and I felt comfortable reaching out whenever I needed it.
You will be assigned a mentor from the get-go. The mentor will be an experienced software engineer from your team who will guide you through your project. It's a great resource to have and my mentor was definitely instrumental to my positive internship experience.
Microsoft’s Support division is comprised of units based on their various products. There is the Platforms unit which is all the operating systems. The Office unit, which is the Office suite of applications, etc. I worked in the Messaging unit, which is the group of products related to email and communications, such as Exchange server, Outlook, Lync, etc. Within each unit are specialty teams. The team is focused on one of the products or features within the unit. The mentoring comes mainly thru a Team or Technical Lead within your specialty. The internal culture encourages mentoring and collaboration from everyone at all levels and across teams & units. I loved collaborating with my teammates, other unit members, other units, customer account managers, and even the programmers. All on behalf of a customer who had a problem I needed to resolve. Microsoft also encourages cross-specialty training so if you decide you wanted to learn more about another product, you can request a team or unit transfer. If you show initiative towards learning and a passion for the products, chances are you will be successful. Since leaving Microsoft, I don’t deal with problems as frequently. BUT, my troubleshooting skills honed in MS support are always with me so when I do face a server issue, I can apply those skills to resolve whatever it may be. It also literally saves my company money because opening a support case with Microsoft for an issue is not free.
If you are referencing after you have been employed or accepted as an intern, yes. My mentor has been the person I can go to and ask those questions that we may not feel as comfortable asking your manager or project leader. Moreover, he provides me with some of his connections and expertise as I am onboarding so that I feel welcomed and surrounded with individuals in our line of business.
While Microsoft offers formal mentorship programs for specific interest groups (i.e. people of color, women, etc.), I found a lot of mentorship through the other individuals on my team. I felt comfortable asking them for help on my project, on navigating a large company, living in Seattle, and choosing a career path. Ultimately, my level of comfort with seeking help was critical to being successful during my internship.