Path to PR: Xbox & Microsoft Product Manager: Vicky Flores

Who is your current role model?

My current role model is Gary Vaynerchuk. I admire his story as an immigrant who has grown several companies and the fact that he is always analyzing and acting on new opportunities and trends.

How did your journey start?

My journey started at Claremont McKenna College where I recently graduated in May 2020 with a BA in Economics. During my time in college, I interned at an artificial intelligence startup, an asset management firm, a consulting company, and finally Microsoft/Xbox. After my internship at Xbox, I was offered a return offer for a full-time role as a part of Microsoft’s ACE Product Marketing Rotational Program.

What helped you get into the Business Planner role at Xbox and Product Manager at Microsoft? What tips do you have for those interested in this area?

I got the opportunity to interview at Microsoft through a LinkedIn DM from a recruiter. After that initial conversation, I had a phone interview and was then invited to fly out and interview in-person at the HQ in Redmond where I had 4 interviews with different teams. I highly recommend keeping your LinkedIn profile up to date since opportunities can really come from it!

How did you go about building your professional network?

Leveraging social media and networking platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Clubhouse have been really helpful in growing my professional network online. At my job, I also schedule several 1:1 chats with different people across the organization to learn about them and what they do.

What’s your advice for international students looking to become sponsored by companies within the US?

My advice for international students is to network with other international employees at the companies they are interested in. I also recommend researching which companies sponsor and being transparent with recruiters at the beginning of the interview process about your visa situation.

How did you start making friends when you first landed in the US?

I made friends by joining clubs and organizations that I was passionate about in college. I found it easy to make friends when bonding over a common interest.

What clubs or groups did you join as a student while at school? Any advice? (pre-pandemic and during)

I was involved in my college’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship as the Montgomery Student

Manager and in the Career Services office as a Lead Career Services Mentor. I recommend choosing 1-3 things to be deeply involved in and where you can make impact rather than choosing a variety of different clubs/orgs in which you are just a member.

Are there any common mistakes you see International Students making or have made yourself looking back?

One of the biggest mistakes that I made in the beginning was not utilizing my college’s alumni and parent networks and understanding the importance of referrals.

Is there anything you would like to share?

My biggest piece of advice for college students is to make sure you do something every summer. The most important thing when you are starting out is to get experience and gain skills through different

Internships or projects. Rather than focusing on landing a big company as a freshman, focus on gaining valuable skills and experiences that will help you in the future.

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