You’re Hired! CSS senior headed to Microsoft after graduation

Published: February 24, 2015

Months before receiving her diploma, UW Bothell student Eleanor Wort has already secured a position with one of the region’s top employers. In July, she will be utilizing her bachelor of arts in Applied Computing degree as one of Microsoft’s newest associate consultants. How did she land one of the most sought after jobs before graduation? Eleanor insists that anyone can with help from UW Bothell.

“UW Bothell not only connects you to great experiences, but they teach you how to market those experiences to companies that want to hire you.” As a student, Eleanor has taken advantage of everything the University has to offer: she utilizes the small class sizes by reaching out to her professors for advice, obtained a position as an Orientation Leader, and successfully applied for a study abroad opportunity. According to her, it was these experiences that enabled her to lock down the position.

During the interview process, Eleanor was flown to Dallas, Texas. Along with 42 other applicants, she was given two days to prepare a 20 minute presentation for a panel of Microsoft employees on something she was passionate about. She decided to present on her study abroad experience in San Sebastián, Spain.

“Everybody I met in Spain was really surprised that I was a girl doing any kind of engineering. They would tell me, ‘what, no, you can’t do that. You are a girl.’”

What they didn’t realize is that Eleanor represents the future of STEM disciplines. The number of women in STEM majors at UW Bothell has more than doubled from nine-percent to nearly 19 percent in 2014. Women make up 40 percent of STEM faculty, far outpacing the national average.

During her Microsoft presentation, Eleanor used the disbelief she encountered in Spain to fuel her commitment to encourage more women to consider STEM fields. “I talked about my passion to raise awareness for women to join Computer Science, or STEM fields in general. I want to teach them that it isn’t scary, that they can do what I did.” While many in Spain found Eleanor’s career choice difficult to believe, Microsoft got it and hired her.

So, do you need to be a STEM student at UW Bothell in order to get a prestigious job before graduation? Eleanor doesn’t seem to think so. “Yes, your degree matters, but it is really about how you act in the interview and how you show your skills. It’s all about how you market yourself. There are endless opportunities for everyone, it isn’t just Computer Science.”