Explaining Yourself to a 2nd Grader

Today I went to a Job Fair at Brice's school to tell his 2nd grade class what it's like working for Microsoft.


I wasn't the only parent there, but the number's were against us - 28 2nd graders to 14 adults.

We sat around the side of the classroom and the kids went around from group to group in twos - so I had to repeat my spiel over and over again. By the end I had it down pat.

I introduced myself, told them my name and where I worked - every single one had of them heard of Microsoft. Some of the kids had parents who worked there, or *had* worked there in the past.

I then tried to explain my job.

Rather than saying I work in DPE, where we do Evangelism and try to win hearts and minds,  blah blah blah ... I used an analogy.

I said I was like their teacher. And that I helped people learn about stuff. And that I worked with people all over the world.

They seemed to grok that.

It was time for the kids to ask questions, and they had been briefed by their teacher to ask good questions.techfrank

One little girl asked if I had seen the Eiffel Tower. My immediate response *would* have been no, but I *can* program in Eiffel, but I realized that would have been lost on one so young.

Another kid asked if I make ipods - I had to say no, but I did tell him that the zune is cool too

But the most common question was, "do I have fun" and to that it was always "yes".

I gave them some stickers, including one of Tech.Frank - and they  agreed it did look like me!

As I was preparing to head out to the school, I did a tweet about the upcoming adventure and I got a wonderful email from Alfred Thompson full of Microsoft campus stats.

I used them in my talk and I will share them here.

  • 18,573 Average number of customers served in cafeterias daily
  • 2637 slices of pizza consumed per day
  • 7,464,456 cans of soda consumed per year
  • 7,899,660 cans of juice consumed per year
  • 3,520,536 cartons of milk consumed per year
  • 2300 passengers ride the MS shuttles everyday
  • 10,500 phone calls come into the Microsoft switchboard everyday

I left the kids with a little Microsoft branded tchotchke, which I have since found out caused a great deal of distraction for the rest of the day

Yes! Hearts and Minds!!

I wonder what the kids will tell their parents at home tonight??

** Update ** A photo of the aformentioned tchotchke - or more commonly known as a Jelly Yo-Yo

jelly yo-yo

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