Update: I've been selected as a Microsoft Student Partner!! Check out the new post to know more :)
How many times have you glanced at a Google Product and said, "Oh it's by Google. Let's check it out!” How many times have you turned away from an application just because it's from Microsoft? Today, there's a growing trend of "Anti-Microsoft" feeling amongst most of the tech-enthusiasts. They'll blindly buy an Apple product, but ask them anything about Microsoft and they'll start making faces. And to an extent, Google & Apple have managed to draw attention thanks to their revolutionary products, but somehow a lot of amazing Microsoft application are not even known to people (Take MS Office OneNote for example. I never cared to look at it till now, but once I did, I realized what an awesome product I'd been missing!)
I guess this gave a hint to the smart minds running Microsoft that something needs to be done. There wasn't anything wrong with their products, what was needed was to make sure people atleast try it out once before checking some other vendor. And here comes the concept of Microsoft Student Partner.
MSP are selected from different colleges, mainly to try and make their college peers aware about different MS products. Products which are better than the ones they are currently using, but never cared to try out, maybe just because of the common notion to under-estimate Microsoft. And the selection test was held this Sunday (19th Oct) in 8 cities across India to choose the next MSPs.
I and few of my friends were shortlisted for the test, and I went to the Delhi center (As I was leaving for Pilani to participate in Oasis). And nearly half of those in the Delhi center (More than 75 students) were from BITS Pilani! A short introductory session made us more familiar with what MSPs are, what benefits they get by being one and what they are expected to do. And then we went for the written eliminations.
The written test was of 4 parts (of nearly equal questions). First one was on Logical Reasoning, with simple puzzles like in any IQ test, and a section having excerpts from a technical article/news items and questions based on it. This was followed by a test to judge Analytical Ability, in which you had to use the statistics provided (Bar graph of Sales, Details of Bus timings etc.) to answer the questions.
Next, we had to technical papers. One was on C Programming, which was pretty simple (except for some questions based on syntax and header files which you need to mug up to answer). The last paper was the weirdest of all, as it had high level technical questions (some about how data is sent in a network, memory architecture and what not!). Thank god there was no negative marking!! :D
Some 40-50 students were shortlisted from the 200-300 present, and were grouped for GDs. Sadly, I had a couple of 3rd years in my group, and they turned out to be pretty good at GDs. We got the topic as "Relevance of Internet in Rural Areas in India" and the ten of us started thinking about what to speak. But what was disappointing in the GD was the contrast in experience of the participants. One of them was very dominating, where as some 1st yearites were actually quarrelling, instead of letting others speak. Unable to understand what's going on in this fish market, the Observer finally asked everyone to speak one by one, and then asked the dominant participant to conclude (Sadly, she didn't conclude the GD. She just concluded what she was saying). And well, that was it.
The results are expected around
Anyway, I took this opportunity to talk about getting some Microsoft guys to do a presentation/guest lecture etc in our campus, under CSI (Computer Society of India, BPGC Chapter). Hopefully, you'll see a notice soon with the Microsoft logo \m/. Oh & if there's any particular topic you would like to have a lecture/workshop on, do tell me!
So what do you feel about this whole Microsoft Student Partner idea? Do you feel it'll be able to reduce the "Anti-Microsoft" feeling which is there among a lot of students today? Do leave a comment!