Ballmer Talks with Local Students About Cool Opportunities in Tech

REDMOND, Wash., February 12, 2001 — More than 100 local high school students visited Microsoft’s Redmond campus today to learn about opportunities in software and other technology industries. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer talked with the students at the 10 th annual Blacks at Microsoft (BAM) Minority Student Day, which is an opportunity for Seattle-area African American, Hispanic and Native American high school students to learn about the wide range of exciting jobs available in technology fields.

Phoebe Magruder, a software test engineer and BAM. member, coordinated this year’s event. Magruder said BAM’s goal is to give students an overall view of some of the innovative products coming out of Microsoft, as well as a chance to meet the people behind those products.

“Microsoft is doing a lot of important work to connect kids, especially among underserved populations, with the amazing things that technology can offer in terms of learning opportunities, connecting with people and just having fun online. We’re sponsoring technology learning centers in urban centers, and have made significant software grants to a wide range of organizations. Our hope is that the kind of exposure the kids got today to people who actually work in the technology field will light a spark about career opportunities,”
Magruder said.

BAM provided overviews of careers in areas such as software development, testing, marketing, licensing and product management. Students also got a glimpse of implementations of Microsoft products.

“Obviously, the games and play testing tour was a big hit. But we also conducted tours through places like MSNBC and the Microsoft Home – to give the students a feel for the many ways our products and businesses are changing peoples’ lives,”
Magruder said.

Participating this year were students from Cleveland, Franklin, Garfield, Nathan Hale, West Seattle, and Rainier Beach high schools, as well as students from Career Link Academy/Upward Bound.

“BAM Minority Student Day is important because it helps create awareness that so much opportunity is right in our backyard,”
said Ballmer.
“It’s important that people know that if they’ve got a passion for technology, they can be a part of it.”

About Microsoft

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