On June 29, 10 University of Michigan- Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute (UM-SJTU JI) female students, led by Yanji Liu, Career Counselor, visited the Microsoft at Zizhu Industrial Zone and had in-depth exchanges with Amanda Luo, Manager of Microsoft Global Technical Support Center. This was the first of the series of activities for JI’s future women engineers and managers, which aims to teach them how to effectively take advantages of their female characteristics at work, discover self-worth and dispel misunderstanding.

Accompanied by Ms. Luo, the students visited Microsoft’s friendly infrastructure, including the clean dining room, various sports and recreational facilities, and the busy but orderly work environment. Students were deeply impressed. From Luo’s detailed descriptions of Microsoft employees’ daily work routine and conditions, students appreciated Microsoft’s culture and work environment.

图1 微软部门经理Amanda Luo为同学们介绍园区设施与环境_副本Ms. Luo introduced Microsoft’s facilities and environment

Subsequently, there was a lively discussion in the meeting room. Among JI’s students, some were freshmen who had just selected a major and some were doctoral students who hesitated between academic career and entering the job market. To their different questions, Ms. Luo shared her own career development process, including choosing career paths, job interviews and workplace experiences. She summed up the positive attitudes and effective communication strategies when facing challenges.

On multitasking strategies, Ms. Luo suggested prioritization and negotiation for deadline extension.

Having understood the workplace environment, the students realized that JI teachers have been demanded them the same way as the Microsoft expects from its employees and they should treasure this professional training from JI. 

图2 图2 同学们就女性工程师的成长困惑与Amanda展开深入讨论_副本Students in deep discussion with Ms. Luo

On “Career Planning for Women Engineers,” Ms. Luo analyzed some issues women engineers may encounter in the workplace, such as gender discrimination. She used Microsoft’s recruitment data to prove the company has no such issue. 

Ms. Luo pointed out that Microsoft’s employee diversity in nationality and gender helps to improve team efficiency. Also, Microsoft has a female club and holds a Women’s Conference annually. Female employees get equal opportunity in career development as their male counterparts. Ms. Luo encouraged students to be self confident; women’s unique empathy, sensitivity and sharp observation are strengths in the workplace.

The Microsoft visit was beneficial to the students. They not only got to understand Microsoft’s corporate culture, but also gained insight into women engineers’ development process. With solid training and confidence, female engineers will certainly blossom in their career paths.

图3 女性工程师分享会之微软站全体师生合影副本