On June 3, 1991, I began my career at Microsoft. Today is also the one year anniversary of my brain surgery. Both have provided incredible experiences yet only one left me permanently scarred.
For the first four years at Microsoft, I worked in research to bring Windows to fax machines so you could send files from floppy disk via fax:
Interestingly, my first manager at Microsoft was one of the company’s earliest and most successful female executives, Karen Hargrove. I’m greatly appreciative for having had a strong woman leader as a mentor. Another member of our team even went on to become a U.S. congresswoman and her lowly husband, only the head of Microsoft Office.
I left Microsoft in 1999, with one of our At Work team members to launch GiftSpot, now GiftCertificates.com. After leaving GiftSpot, the Wall Street Journal quoted me as saying, “It’s weird not having a reason to shower and shave.” I’ve come far.
In all seriousness, the anniversary today reminds me how grateful I am for my best friend Kerry who stayed with me through surgery (I was required to shower for it, twice!), my neurosurgeon and her team, and the nurses that supported me in ICU last year and for the overall outcome.
I’m also grateful for my experience and time at Microsoft, my friends and mentors, and the privilege and opportunity it’s helped provide me. My time at Microsoft’s allowed me to orient my focus towards making a difference in a variety of different ways.