The Technology of Business

Katie Schoenfeld has first-hand knowledge of the Menlo Advantage. She is one of two Class of '08 alums hired by Microsoft for a highly competitive summer internship that ultimately led to full-time employment at the software giant. Chatting by cell-phone from Redmond, WA, while running to an afternoon meeting, Katie was abuzz over the past months' developments.

“It was a great learning experience,” the 23-year-old said. “I was shocked by how much responsibility I was given right away.”

When she first arrived after graduation, Katie was given a brief tour of the Microsoft campus and immediately assigned to the Finance Team of the corporation's Business Operations organization. “You have to know a significant amount of information about everything, whereas in other departments you need to have a vast knowledge about one area,” she said.

“Needless to say, this was a bit intimidating,” Katie, who majored in Management at Menlo, added. “I was up for the challenge and soaked up as much knowledge as I possibly could.”

Placed on an extremely fast track, Katie was soon named Project Manager. “This was extremely exciting because in most companies, you would have to wait months and sometimes years for an opportunity like this,” she said.

“The responsibility I was given was priceless, although scary at times,” Schoenfeld added. “The results of the projects I helped create are now used on a daily basis by not only the top execs, such as Steve Balmer and Bill Gates, but by managers and employees all over the world.”

“I am happy to say that everything has worked out and I am now no longer an intern, but was recently hired on under a long-term contract!”

Katie said her experience at Menlo—particularly the collaborative aspects of the College's Management classes—provided great preparation for the high-pressure, rapidly evolving world of Microsoft.

“I credit much of my success to Menlo College and its outstanding faculty,” she said. “The projects I worked on for my classes and the on-campus programs I participated in gave me the challenges and self-confidence I needed to make the transfer to the business world seem a bit easier.”

Katie and her fellow grad, Mike Jeffrey, were recruited by Menlo College alumnus David Sogn for the internship. Mike also found permanent employment at Microsoft 's Platforms & Services Division (online services).

Sogn, a Class of '04 alum, worked as a Senior Reporting Analyst at Microsoft Online Services before recently accepting a new position at Disney. He affirmed that Menlo specializes in preparing students for the “real” world.

“Menlo College's location in the Silicon Valley helps students to keep their finger on the pulse of the digital market—or at the very least be aware of it,” he said.

Noting Katie and Mike's success, Sogn encouraged all Menlo students to get as much “real world” experience as possible.

“I am a true believer, no matter what you do—whether it is waiting tables, selling time shares or bookkeeping at a law firm—anything that you can do in a professional environment will help the employee to perform more professionally, understand the importance of time-sensitive deliverables and multitasking,” he said.