Computer science major networks with student clubs, interns with Microsoft

July 30, 2019

Unique Ratliff is a computer science major at ASU’s Tempe campus and will be a junior in the fall. But she’s spending the summer in Redmond, Washington, to intern with Microsoft as a software engineering intern. 

Ratliff shared her internship experience with ASU Student Life’s Sun Devils at Work, a series that explores how ASU students find, land and succeed in great internships and launch their careers. 

How did you find out about your internship?

I’m going back this summer as a returning intern, so you could say I heard about my internship through my internship. 

I interned with Microsoft for the first time the summer after my freshman year. I first heard about the opportunity through an email from the National Society of Black Engineers club here on the Tempe campus.

What was the application process like?

The application process was long but fun overall! 

I started with applying online and then emailing a club representative. I then had a phone interview and three in-person technical interviews. I really enjoyed the in-person interviews because they were very collaborative and I was able to see how inviting the company culture was.

ASU student  poses for a portrait

Unique Ratliff

What did you do at ASU that helped you get your internship?

During the year, I was involved in a lot of extracurriculars and clubs. I tried to meet as many people (students and industry professionals) as possible. Even though I was ALWAYS busy, I enjoyed participating in organizations because I was able to get fed with free food and attend events that helped me develop professionally and technically. 

Also I took on leadership roles in clubs that related to my interest, such as Women in Computer Science, which allowed me to develop myself and network even more.

What are your tips for future interns to get an internship?

Try to get to know as many people as possible and apply to as many positions as possible. Also, don’t be discouraged if it’s taking a while to hear back from a company; be politely persistent and keep an open mind. 

ASU has a tremendous amount of resources, so make sure to take advantage of them and sign up (and show up!) for events from as many different email lists/newsletters as you can.

What are your career aspirations?

I aspire to be in a career where I can make products that positively impact people’s lives, while also being in a position that allows me to be creative, have fun and constantly learn.