I have gotten a few PMs from people asking what a Microsoft Student Partner is. In short, MSPs are "those college students in the United States who have demonstrated strong technical and marketing knowledge of Microsoft technologies, and who willingly share that knowledge and enthusiasm with fellow students through campus groups, clubs, and online communities
Throughout the school year we give tech talks to student groups, make demonstration videos
, help students find cheap
software, help promote or organize LAN parties
, hold workshops, do product release events
What are the benefits of being a student partner? Lots. We get MSDN accounts which gives us access to all of the Microsoft stack. Depending on your geographical region, student partners get laptops. We get to give away software. We get a certain celebrity status on campus. We use the position to push some our own agendas. I talk about using social media, volunteering, and leadership. I talk to middle school and high school students about technology and science in the hopes of encouraging them to pursue careers in technology. There is a weekly stipend, Last spring I was treated to an all expense paid trip to MIX09, which included lodging at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. We work with Microsoft employees from various departments which gives us a chance to make ourselves known to them. A portion of Student Partners go on to work for Microsoft.
Every spring around April, Microsoft begins the hiring Student Partners for the following school year. Worldwide, there are around 2500 student partners. I am unsure of how many there are in the US. Less than 100. At any rate, if you are going to be a full time college student for the 2010-2011 school year, you might consider applying.