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Oregon Tech Student Wins Golden Ticket to Visit Microsoft

May 27, 2011
Nicholas Wisner, a junior Computer Software Engineering Technology student at Oregon Institute of Technology, participated in the 2011 Golden Ticket Project at Microsoft’s world headquarters

Nicholas Wisner, a junior Computer Software Engineering Technology student at Oregon Institute of Technology, participated in the 2011 Golden Ticket Project at Microsoft’s world headquarters in Redmond, Washington. On April 15, Wisner joined an exclusive group of 50 students from across the country identified as top college sophomores and juniors, all with the potential to excel in the computer and software industry. The group participated in an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the products, people, and culture of Microsoft.

The Golden Ticket Project is an all-expense paid, two-day trip to Microsoft. The students were given the opportunity to look behind the curtain of one of the world’s leading technology firms. After a Microsoft campus tour, the students met Microsoft’s top engineers, visionaries, and grassroots innovators.  They also observed and practiced the ideas and concepts taught in their classes through workshops, including a test workshop where they practiced black box, white box, and real-world testing.

“Visiting Microsoft was a great experience,” said Wisner. “It made me feel really confident in the education I’m getting from Oregon Tech. I was familiar with everything the engineers talked about and I had already done a lot of the tests we did in the workshops.”

Wisner said that one of the most memorable parts of the trip to Microsoft was visiting The Garage, where Microsoft founder Bill Gates began his career, and where over 2300 employees create and develop side projects in their free time. Microsoft employees who are part of The Garage demonstrated some of their projects for the Golden Ticket students. In fact, Golden Ticket is the only event where students are given access to The Garage prior to becoming either an intern or full-time employee.

“There’s a real sense of community at Microsoft. Employees enjoy freedom to experiment and take risks with their ideas. I originally thought I wanted to work for a small company, but this experience changed my outlook. I like the thought of being part of something bigger, a company that has an impact on so many lives, and having an opportunity to explore new areas of interest,” commented Wisner.

After a full day of workshops and demonstrations, the Golden Ticket students were whisked away to The Space Needle for a private dinner event that afforded them some well-earned down time as well as the opportunity to experience Seattle.

So, did Wisner get to meet the software pioneer, Mr. Gates, himself?

“No, I didn’t see Bill Gates,” smiled Wisner. “But, that’s ok. I think he was there in spirit. It was a pretty awesome experience.”

About Oregon Tech

Founded in Klamath Falls in 1947, Oregon Institute of Technology is one of seven institutions in the Oregon University System, and the only public institute of technology in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon Tech provides degree programs in engineering and health technologies, management, communications and applied sciences that prepare students to be effective participants in their professional, public and international communities through hands-on learning. Oregon Tech’s main campus is in Klamath Falls; other sites are located in Portland, La Grande and Seattle. Visit www.oit.edu to learn more about Oregon Institute of Technology.

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