Sarah Wheeler compiled her wish list. And then she made her wish come true.
“I put together a list of the top 30 companies I would want to work for. Microsoft was in my top three from the beginning,” says Sarah, a native of Shelbyville, Indiana.
She met with Microsoft representatives at an IT career fair at Purdue and told them she was interested in a job combining business and technology. When she interviewed for her position as an IT solutions manager, she was the only business student in the running for the engineering-type role.
Following her interview in Redmond, Washington, Sarah was in a room with other applicants trying out different Microsoft products. She was in the middle of fiddling with a Zune when she was called back in and given the good news.
“The MIS classes I had at Purdue really prepared me for the interview and the job. They led me through the processes and gave me the necessary tools,” Sarah says. She gave particular praise to MIS Professor Roy Dejoie, who teaches students to tackle large, comprehensive projects one piece at a time.
The toughest interview challenge she faced? “Design a plane with no wings. And mine would have flown,” she says proudly.
Sarah also credits her participation in several case competitions, including a Big 10 event sponsored by Accenture and contests sponsored by American Eagle and General Mills. The latter competition sparked her interest in the company and led her to a financial analyst internship in Minneapolis after her junior year.
She also did an internship with the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce and BRM Capital, where she identified a company to acquire. “I did the due diligence, and they bought the company while I was still there,” Sarah says.
In her position at Microsoft, Sarah will be going through six-month rotations with various product lines, such as Xbox, Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows Phone. She’ll serve as a liaison between back-end developers and consumers, determining how to deliver value through the products.
“I want to be a part of creating technology that has a positive impact on people in their day-to-day lives,” she says. “And I also want to be in a position where I can give back to Purdue. I’ve had a great experience here.”