Microsoft Group Holds Technology Day for Minority Students
Blacks at Microsoft (BAM), an African American employee organization at the Microsoft Corporation, held its annual Blacks at Microsoft Minority Student Day (BMSD) last month to encourage broader access to technology and education. Jeff Raikes, Microsoft group vice president of productivity and business services and executive sponsor of BAM, kicked off the event with a talk on the theme of Putting Potential in Motion.
Students from the Puget Sound region in Washington state as well as those at corresponding events on Microsoft campuses in Charlotte, N.C., and Mountain View, Calif., via webcast, participated in the student day activities, which included a question and answer session with Raikes. More than 300 students participated in the event from the three locations and they engaged in interactive discussions, panels and a product fair showcasing Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004, Windows Mobile software for Smartphones, the Xbox video game system, Microsoft Office and advanced learning technologies.
In 1992, BAM established scholarships to help minority students realize their goals of careers in technology. The recipients are also considered for a paid high-school internship at Microsoft before starting college.
One such student who has participated in the BMSD event described it as having shaped for him a positive impression of the company as well as his current interest in technology. Yared Ayele, a University of Washington junior, had his BAM scholarship and his internship renewed for two concurrent years.
“My view about Microsoft changed, not only as a corporation, but as an environment for a student with my interests and background. The positive experiences and benefits that come along with being an intern and being associated with BAM are endless,” Ayele says.
Since BMSD was launched in 1990, Microsoft’s efforts to increase the availability of technology resources, coupled with the efforts of BAM to reach kids in regional communities, have exposed hundreds of students to career opportunities in information technology, according to Microsoft officials.
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