Microsoft Student Partners
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The Microsoft Student Partners is a worldwide recognizable program to sponsor students majoring in disciplines related to technology. The MSP program enhances students' employability by offering training in skills not usually taught in academia, including knowledge of Microsoft technologies.
The program is available in most countries, and all students in college and university level are eligible to apply. If accepted, Student Partners are assumed to further share the knowledge among the academic community by, for example, arranging courses, giving presentations and initiating projects.
The MSP Program was initiated in 2001, and operated in 15 countries for five years. In late 2006, the program was expanded to 50 countries worldwide, and as of July 2010, there are more than 2800 members worldwide across 101 countries and regions.
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The MSP program is an educational and promotional program to sponsor undergraduate and postgraduate students majoring in disciplines related to technology, typically computer science, computer information systems, and information technology. MSP program aims to enhance students' employability and increase students' awareness of Microsoft technologies. Student Partners are offered training especially in product-specific skills not typically taught in academia.
The program aims to increase awareness of Microsoft products, programs and initiatives. Consequently, the program helps expanding the user base of Microsoft products, and results in better availability of properly educated workforce in those technologies.
The MSP program is active around the world to college and university level students[note 1]. Microsoft chooses one skilled student from each institution at a time to serve as representatives. Typically, a Microsoft Student Partner is science major from engineering or business school of higher education.
Microsoft offers compensation to the members of the Student Partners program through salaries (in some countries only) and software and hardware packages which are distributed to them for testing and promotional purposes. Student Partners are given access to MSDN Premium Subscriptions to support their promotional activities. At times, Student Partners are invited to technology-related conferences.
The candidate students are evaluated on the following attributes:
- Technical expertise
A strong understanding of the overall set of Microsoft Visual languages and the .NET Framework is preferred, along with specific demonstrable skills in one or more languages or technologies. Students skilled in multiple platforms, languages, and technologies are especially encouraged to join the program.
- Be a campus leader
Nominees should be actively involved in student technical clubs, societies, and organizations, preferably in leadership roles.
- Be an active part of the online community
Nominees should be actively involved in online communities, academic or professional. Examples include blogs, newsgroups, forums, online clubs, and related.
- Embrace new technology
Nominees should seek out new technologies, explore them, and share that experience and knowledge gained with fellow students and faculty.
- Work well with faculty
Nominees should be well regarded by faculty within their department and across campus.
- Keep an outgoing personality and mature attitude'
Nominees should have an outgoing personality in public situations. They should also have a positive, mature attitude towards responding to criticism and engaging in debate.
Student Partners are given access to the latest Microsoft software, development tools, reference material, industry events, and training opportunities. MSPs are assumed to further share the knowledge among the academic community by arranging courses; giving presentations and lectures; and initiating projects among the students. MSPs are also used to promote incentives, for example, the Microsoft Imagine Cup;[note 2] and programs, such as the Ultimate Steal and its affiliate program. Some Student Partners (based on a selection criteria) are provided internships and job opportunities at a few Microsoft Divisions through the program.
Local MSP activities include, for example, attending the Student Technology Day in UK, which included high-profile presentations, such as one by the CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer; and TechDays, for instance in France, and in Canada. In New Zealand, the MSPs developed a programmed called the Microsoft Student Accelerator (MSA), which aims to not only train the students throughout the year but also place the students in various internship programmes over the summer.
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- Imagine Cup
- MSDN Academic Alliance
- Microsoft Certified Professional
- Microsoft Developer Network
- Microsoft Most Valuable Professional
- Microsoft Research
- Attending at high school level, or earlier, may also be possible, depending on the individual. Youngest MSP, Babar Iqbal, is 13 years old. The youngest Microsoft Certified Professional, M. Lavinashree, is 9 years old.
- Student Partners may also actively compete in Imagine Cup; they are not directly affiliated to the organizers of the incentive.
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