Each summer, students from the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics gain important real-world professional skills through internships. In each installment of this series, you’ll hear firsthand about how one Lerner student secured their internship, what their experience as an intern was like and what comes next!
Iyanna McCoy, Class of 2020, majoring in Management Information Systems, spent her summer as a business development analyst intern at Microsoft.
Q: How did you find out about this internship?
McCoy: I was recruited by Microsoft via LinkedIn.
Q: What is the most exciting task that you have undertaken in your role?
McCoy: I have worked on a total of six amazing projects, three of which were tented [Microsoft internal term meaning that access to any information on the project is tightly restricted], this summer. However, the most exciting project I worked on was leading performing company, industry, market and competitor research on the cross-platform mobile development vertical as part of a mergers and acquisitions deal.
I was able to get a first-hand experience creating a deal thesis and strategy approval and heavily collaborate with key engineering stakeholders on a daily basis. It is amazing to be able to witness the impact your decisions make as an intern.
Q: What did you learn through this internship that you don’t think you would have learned anywhere else?
McCoy: How to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. The business sector at Microsoft is extremely small. Out of 4,500 interns [at Microsoft], only four are business development analysts, so the hierarchy is relatively flat (I am seven positions away from the CEO). Everything I presented, the head of an organization (i.e. Engineering, Marketing or Sales) was present for. I had to get used to talking to Executive Vice Presidents (EVP), Corporate Vice Presidents (CVP) and Senior Directors regularly.
Eventually, it became second-nature and instead of focusing on someone’s experience I began to focus on establishing relationships. I would have a weekly one-on-one session with the Business Development Director for Microsoft Office where we would drink imported green tea from China and talk about a range of topics. I had the opportunity to have breakfast with the EVP of Business Development, Peggy Johnson, and I don’t think I could have had such an experience anywhere else. The confidence that I gained throughout the past 12 weeks is something that I can carry and keep for the rest of my career.
Q: What is an example of a time you were able to apply something you learned at the Lerner College to your role?
McCoy: Lerner has taught me the importance of networking, so during my 12-week internship I networked with 50 full-time employees in diverse fields and made sure to stay in contact after our initial meeting. I was pleasantly surprised to find fellow Blue Hens! I even asked if they would be interested in working with UD and my registered student organization, The National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), and provide resources for my organization and the university.
Q: What has been the most fun part of your internship?
McCoy: Participating in the annual One Week Hackathon was such an amazing experience! Nearly 27,000 employees and interns participated from 470 cities across 70 countries!
The project I worked was called Project TIRA, a Trafficking Interruption Resource Agent that quickly finds and deliver high-quality resources to victims of human trafficking and their advocates. Not only did our project improve the lives of others but, out of the more than 6,800 hackathon projects, Kurt DelBene, Microsoft chief digital officer and executive vice president of corporate strategy, core services engineering and operations, chose to promote our cause. Because of that Project TIRA, gained additional resources and increased in ranking!
Outside of work, I have visited San Francisco, California, Los Angeles, California and Vancouver, Canada! I embraced the Washington culture and have gone hiking and skydiving.
Q: How do you think this internship will help you with your professional goals?
McCoy: I have always wanted to work at a tech company and this has opened the door for me and has even given me the flexibility to switch into any role I desire.
Q: What are your plans or next steps once this internship is over?
McCoy: I will be accepting a full-time offer from Microsoft and enter the Business Development One-Year Rotational Program!