I went to Syracuse a little over a week ago to recruit for Microsoft. Since I started on the Sparkle project nearly 4 years ago, I’ve had the opportunity to go to Shanghai, Romania, Bulgaria, U-Penn twice, Duke, Carnegie Mellon, Va Tech, UCLA, USC, Arizona, Texas A&M, Purdue, and Florida, and I’ve done phone interviews with candidates from Waterloo and Ohio State. I enjoy meeting bright students with passion for technology, I do enjoy traveling, and college recruiting is one part of my strategy on building a great team.
Syracuse had surprisingly little snow for mid Feb. Having lived in the area 15 years ago (I’ve lived in 16 states, so no surprise that I lived near there, huh?), I was prepared for feet of snow. Instead, you could actually see grass, and the roads were all clear.
We invited the students to a pizza dinner on Sunday evening, and I was a little tired after flying from Seattle to Dulles, and then to Syracuse, but 30 minutes after we got to the hotel, we were in a room with about 40 students answering their questions about Microsoft, the recruiting process, etc. Unfortunately, we screwed up, and we only order pepperoni pizza, and I think half the people there were vegetarians. Anyone who was there, I apologize for the mix-up, and we’ll do better next time.
Monday and Tuesday we conducted interviews for about 40 students. I went on this trip with 2 leads who had never been on one of these types of recruiting trips before, so I spent time observing them (and them observing me) and providing feedback. Wednesday was the long flight via Dulles back home to Seattle.
One thing I’ve never been able to coordinate on one of these trips was attending a sports event. I was at Purdue when they were playing Notre Dame during football season, but my flight left in the middle of the game. I was at Arizona, but they were on the road. Texas A&M, but they were over in Waco. At Duke, but they were on the road that week. But this time, Syracuse was hosting West Virginia in basketball, and WV was ranked in the top 10. So Monday evening after a day of interviews, I walked up to the Carrier Dome, paid $10 over face value outside the stadium, and got a seat 6 rows behind the Syracuse bench. The place was rocking, and it was alot of fun. I have to say, thought, the Carrier Dome is really not a great basketball facility. Syracuse upset WV 60-58, and the home fans went home very happy.