2016 CMHS Alumnae Takes Job at Microsoft


Teresa Hoang, 2016 Cabell Midland Valedictorian, is four weeks into her new job at Microsoft. She is a Software Engineer on the Microsoft Team’s Team and explains how her high school teachers helped push her towards success.

Hoang graduated from West Virginia University last Spring, majoring in Computer Science with an area of emphasis is Cybersecurity. After learning about the job opportunity at the Society of Women Engineers national conference, she accepted the job in Aug. of 2019, after an intense series of interviews. The interviews required a technical screening, a phone interview, then an in-person interview. “The company flew me out to Utah for the in-person interview, which consisted of 4 hour long interviews (all with different people), back-to-back. These interviews were largely technical interviews, meaning I was posed with a coding problem and had to deliver a coding solution on the spot by writing it out on a whiteboard. I prepped and studied for weeks prior,” she explained. At her job, she said she and her team codes, tests, and reviews products as well as sets up meetings with people outside of the team to better understand the scope of the code and the product. Hoang said she loves her job; “I don’t think we’re using technology just because it’s there. We’re using it because it’s making our lives more convenient, it’s making the world smaller and faster, and it’s advancing discoveries more than ever before” and she “…wanted to be a part of the contribution process that makes it all happen”.

However, the CMHS graduate did not always know what she wanted to do, and gives thanks to her Cabell Midland teachers for helping put her on the engineering path. Especially Don Pennington. She explained that he steered her towards the engineering field and helped navigate her college path as well. This is just one of the many teachers she thanked for shaping her into the person she is today, including Mrs. Jessica George, Mrs. Trena Wise, Ms. Jenna McComas, Mr. Brian McNeel, Mr. Eric Desmond, Mr. Seth Floyd, Mr. Scott White, Mr. Don Scalise, Mrs. Donna McComas, Mrs. Julie Brumfield, Mr. Bob Morris and Mr. Matthew Stead. “I think their open-mind views, passion for what they love (whether it was what they were teaching or the hobbies they raved about), and unrelenting kindness was so vital in my development as well as everyone growing up at CMHS. High school is such an important time in anyone’s personal character development, as they’re slowly establishing their world view, and I think it’s so important to have leaders like all the teachers I named who will give discipline when it’s needed but most importantly, forgiveness when it’s due (and high schoolers require a lot of forgiveness),” Hoang stated.

Hoang also said she had an amazing experience at WVU, ” I could not be more grateful to WVU for all the memories and friendships it has given me, but I am especially grateful for the opportunities and challenges that continue to shape me into who I am today”. For any student interested in Computer Science, engineering, or just perhaps attending WVU, Hoang provided a QR code to a five minute video explaining her experience and why she recommends becoming a mountaineer.