Happy new year and welcome back! On January 10, 2022, ABSA held the first event of winter quarter online with guest speakers from Avanade, a global professional services company providing IT consulting and services focused on the Microsoft platform. Without further ado, here are the key takeaways from the presentation.
Who is Avanade?
Avanade is the leading provider of innovative digital and cloud services, business solutions and design-led experiences delivered through the power of people and the Microsoft ecosystem. Their purpose is to make a genuine impact for their clients, people, and communities.
Who is AEN?
AEN is Avanade’s Asian Employee Network, whose mission is to…
Empower and educate the leaders of tomorrow
Promote professional and personal growth among our community members
Raise Awareness of our diverse cultures
AEN offers a safe space for all community members and allies at Avanade.
Consulting is defined as the practice of providing expert business advice to help companies increase their efficiency by addressing major operational or strategic challenges they currently face. Consultants provide services on various topics such as information technology, marketing, and corporate strategy. They also identify problems and challenges, create implementation plans, and deliver solutions and recommendations.
More specifically, as an IT Consultant, you provide services using your business/technical expertise and knowledge to solve complex IT problems and deliver solutions that help meet the client’s business objectives. Ultimately, it is a balancing act between delivery excellence and relationship management.
Meet the Panelists:
Bella Ge: Consultant - CRM Business Analysis
Bella’s Day at Avanade:
Gather requirements from client; manage and monitor project progress
Work with cross-functional teams to solve business problem through CRM solution customization and deployment
Networking (AEN, Talent Community, other ERGs); learning
William Harding: Group Manager - Advanced Analytics
William’s Day at Avanade:
Collaborating with clients and internal teams to design solutions to business problems
Collaborating with clients and internal teams to build solutions to business problems
Lots of code, infrastructure diagrams, meetings, and fun
Side projects: making games and working on open source projects
Jalin Nguyen: Consultant - Full-Stack Dev
Jalin’s Day at Avanade:
Full-Stack Developer Role for Client
Participate in various Avanade community events
Checkup on people e.g. CA, Avanade Buddies, colleagues and peers
Bench – Certifications (Studying/Taking), reading coding books, trainings, relaxation from crunch
Jamie Villanueva: Senior Analyst - Business Analysis
Jamie’s Day at Avanade:
Scrum Master / PM for Scrum Teams in a CRM Implementation project
Co-Lead of the Asian Employee Network
EN Leader / ally for INSPIRE West (Black EN) and Adelante (Latinx EN)
Networking with other Avanade employees (TAP Ambassador, TC Social Committee)
Learning & Training: Self-Study and Certification exams
Buddy to 4 pretty cool new hires
Garin Wedeking: Consultant - Business Analysis
Garin’s Day at Avanade:
Training and some studying
Linda Young: Senior Director - Business Dev. Sales
Linda’s Day at Avanade:
Research – clients, prospects, solutions, technologies
Talking with decision makers on business challenges, proposing solutions, sharing success stories
Account Management tasks – contract management, opportunity development, delivery excellence
Business Development – networking, virtual team management, solution development, pipeline management
Q & A:
How did you enter your current role in Avanade and what led you to this career?
Bella: She didn’t get into IT consulting for more than 3 years and took the grad school process of figuring out what she wanted to do. As Bella advises, internships help you decide what you want to do and what you don’t want to do. For example, she was involved in a cherry blossom festival for an event and through that experience, she figured out what she didn’t want to do and ended up not considering that certain career route. It also helped her discover what her interests were and concentrations from her college degree which were event hospitality and management.
Jalin: He was a junior in college looking for an internship between his junior and senior year. Avanade came up and he was referred to the Seattle internship program for 6-8 weeks where interns were placed on various different projects with real clients. For his case, he was laced to do what he wanted and worked with the director as well which eventually turned into the position he has in Avanade as both a software back-end developer and front-end/database and full-stack.
Garin: He knew the person who gave him a reference and internship through the grad program.
William: His first job was working for the Nielsen company doing TV ratings. He also got a job in audience measurement and research out of college. He was good with technical skills, building Excel sheets, data analytics, data science, data engineering, and Power BI reports during the beta phase.
Linda: She engaged in a lot of networking and did similar roles in different companies. She started out as a computer scientist developing code and changed throughout her career. Being able to work with great teams of people, she evolved through finding the right opportunities and building great networks of people that she knew and learned from over the years.
Jamie: She had a hard time finding a job in the field of marketing, however, she saw on LinkedIn that there was an entry level analyst position available. She noticed that someone in college was connected to the university recruiter and got hired as a business analyst, going into the consulting route.
Tips, Tricks, and Takeaways:
Network and connection have been a common theme for all of the panelists
It is important to have a LinkedIn profile, especially since Avanade recruiters use LinkedIn
Avanade is looking for people that are motivated to learn and usually put more value on internships and then group projects because everything they do is in a team environment and how you perform and collaborate is extremely important
Case competitions allow you to shoot for the moon (and sometimes miss!) with very low risk.
Challenge and stretch yourself and find what is most uncomfortable for you, then practice or find opportunities to get better at it
Have a growth mindset–in other words, see failures as incremental steps to perfection and practice storytelling
We hope your winter quarter has been off to a great start. We hope to see you all at our next event on Monday, January 24. As always, stay safe, healthy, and happy!