Landing Microsoft job before graduation


By Douglas Esser
Well before Karishma Sharma was scheduled to pick up her University of Washington diploma she had put together an academic and work resume to land a job with Microsoft.

Not long after commencement, the business administration major with a focus on marketing and technology innovation starts her career June 27th as a Microsoft solution sales specialist in education.
Sharma will be selling Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, to schools and colleges.

Her enthusiasm for education pointed in that direction during the interview process.

“They could tell I’d do better in education because I’m really passionate about it,” she says. “A lot of the initiatives we’ll be able to take are with underprivileged schools.”

A Running Start student from Bellevue College, Sharma chose UW Bothell for her final three years because it was close to her home in Maltby, and she was drawn by its reputation for student-centered learning.

“I knew I wanted to get as much as I possible could out of my education,” she says. “The first year I was here, an accounting professor asked me if I wanted to go to the Costco shareholders meeting. That’s how close, tight knit, our community is here.”

While a student she's also worked at jobs that included being a fitness supervisor and community assistant at UW Bothell and marketing internships at the FINAO social platform company in Mukilteo and with the Vertafore insurance software company in Bothell.

After one internship she realized she couldn’t sit behind a desk for eight hours a day and decided to pursue a career in sales. Sharma comes from a family of entrepreneurs.

“Education is definitely really important in my family,” she says.

Her advice for students who follow her is that attitude and flexibility are as important as expertise.

“No matter what anyone says to you – a lot of people were putting me down for not doing a more technical degree – what I’ve learned is that companies are starting to realize they would rather bring on people with a good attitude — always wanting to learn and adapt."

UW Bothell helped Sharma develop her professional life and to grow as a person.

“Not only am I leaving school with a better understanding of the technical and business skills from my degree, I am leaving with a better understanding of myself, my passions, and a stronger stride into the next chapter of my life," she says.

Grads, you are invited to share your excitement about your accomplishments through photos, short videos, and what you loved most about your UW Bothell experience. Give a shout out to those who supported you through your journey. Use #uwbgrad2016 on social media and your post may be shown on the big screen at commencement.

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