OneNote has several interns joining us this summer and we love having them. They work hard, make great contributions, bring a fresh perspective, and add an element of fun to work. William Devereux joins us from California State University, Sacramento, where he is a senior in the computer science program, graduating in December 2013. To welcome William as an intern Program Manager on the OneNote team, we asked him for one answer to each of our questions about his Microsoft experience. Here’s what William had to say.
What’s OneReason you decided to intern at Microsoft?
I’ve been a big fan of Microsoft’s software, services, and devices for a long time, from Xbox, Zune, and Windows Phone to Surface, Windows, Outlook.com/SkyDrive, and of course Office. These products are used by millions of people around the world, and Microsoft continues to pave the way in the tech industry. Take, for example, the design language used in Windows Phone, which started with Zune and eventually proliferated throughout the company and the industry as a whole. I decided to pursue a degree in computer science with the goal of one day working at Microsoft, and I can’t imagine myself at any other company.
What’s OneWay you use OneNote in your daily life?
I use OneNote for keeping track of just about everything in my life, from lecture notes and assignments to tasks, shopping lists, WiFi networks, lists of books to read or games to play, podcast show notes, project planning, gift cards, case numbers, and much more. Basically, if I want to remember or keep track of something, it goes in OneNote.
What’s OneFeature that’s your favorite?
OneNote has more great features than I could possibly count, but the ability to sync all of my notebooks to SkyDrive is probably my favorite. It allows me to access my notes from any device, and I can easily share them with friends, family, and coworkers. The ability to annotate with ink, however, is rapidly becoming a close second favorite.
What’s OneSurprise you discovered while working at Microsoft?
Microsoft is always working on future versions of really cool things, and employees/interns often have the opportunity to play with them ahead of time and provide feedback. A surprisingly cool new feature is always right around the corner!
What’s OneGoal for you as an intern here?
My number one priority this summer is to learn as much as possible from the brilliant people here at Microsoft and design an awesome feature that will eventually make it into a future release of OneNote.
What’s OneDay like for you at work?
I’m currently a few weeks into my internship and no two days have been completely alike. I generally arrive at the office shortly before 9:00 AM and start by catching up on my email. The rest of the day, however, could be filled with anything from meetings and off-site visits to writing feature overviews and specifications, mocking up designs for new features, and bouncing ideas off other PMs. Microsoft also sets up a ton of really cool activities for interns to participate in. Every day is a new experience, and I always look forward to coming into the office.
What’s OneFavorite Microsoft product? (after OneNote, of course!)
This is a hard question, and it’s probably a close tie between Xbox and Windows Phone. But if I can only pick one, I’d probably have to go with the latter, since Windows Phone does a fantastic job blending all of my favorite products and services into one device. Plus, it never leaves my side.
What’s OneFun fact about yourself?
I have one of the longest gaming streaks in the world according to 360voice, with over 2,200 consecutive days connected to Xbox LIVE. I also played a small role in the recent Xbox Anthem video along with some of my fellow Xbox MVPs.
What’s OneTip you’d like to pass on to OneNote users?
Don’t be afraid to explore OneNote! It has a ton of great features you might not know about, including styles for headings and code, tags for organizing content, linked note-taking, handy page templates, a really cool equation editor, and great inking technology. Trust me on this last one. I have terrible handwriting, and I’m constantly surprised by how accurately it reads words that even I can’t decipher. The OneNote Blog has a bunch of great tips and tricks as well, but you probably already knew that.
Have a comment or question for William? We’d love to hear from you!