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Divya Srinivasan, a CAMD graduate student pursuing an MFA in Information Design and Visualization (IDV), has been spending her summer on co-op at the Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, WA. There, she is working as a user experience (UX) design intern under the Windows NEXT org in the Windows and Devices Group (WDG) of the company, where her main focus is UX and visual design.

Throughout her co-op, she has been focused on telling compelling stories about an idea, relating back to her coursework in IDV, which centers on telling a story about a data set in a way that users can relate to and understand. So far, her research methods, visual communication, and interaction design classes have been proving to be very applicable. Her role at Microsoft focuses on user research, information architecture, wireframes, and prototyping – as well as doing HoloLens and VR demos to better understand how to design for a virtual world!

“What’s great about my co-op experience is that there is a great mix of ‘work and play,’ and it influences me towards holistic development,” explained Divya. “The experience has been diverse so far! I took part in a one-week long hackathon, and I have had the opportunity, through Microsoft, to meet and network with like-minded individuals. In addition, my team is geared towards future innovation, so most of the products are designed to live in the METAVERSE, which motivates me to think in that direction.”

Creative Women weekly meet-up

In addition to the day-to-day excitement, one of Divya’s highlights so far was a Q&A session with Satya Nadella, the current CEO of Microsoft.

“Satya Nadella is an inspiration and I took the opportunity to gather my guts and ask him a question,” described Divya. “To be able to hear an answer from the man himself was an amazing feeling. And when you see him in person it gives you the realization that if you have a dream and you chase it, you can achieve anything you want to in life!”

Q&A with Satya Nadella

Another highlight was the Microsoft Intern signature event, where Microsoft invited the Chain Smokers to campus for a private intern event. In true “tech giant” fashion, the organization gave every intern an Xbox one S as a gift to express their appreciation toward them and how much the company values their work.

Microsoft Intern signature event

As Divya continues her work at Microsoft, she is excited to continue to learn as much as possible from the talented and empowered colleagues around her, especially other women.

“I am always motivated when I see women in the creative industry being great leaders,” concluded Divya. “My goal apart from being a good designer is to also lead and motivate my team to follow an idea that could make an impact and Microsoft is filled with innovation and creative women entrepreneurs who can influence me in this direction.”