My First 6 Months at Avanade
Coming up on the 6 month mark for myself at Avanade, I took some time to reflect on what it was like to join. I'm going to answer a few high-level questions one might have if they're about to join Avanade or thinking of doing so in the future. I'll provide you with a quick introduction to what consulting is, inform you about who Avanade is and finally, I'll provide some notes on what the first week at Avanade looks like.
What is Consulting?
Oxford dictionary defines a consultant as "one who gives expert advice professionally" . That's a pretty broad statement. Let me give you an example:
Client A wants to modernize their decision support systems to monetize their data. Currently they are able to provide their workforce with performance indicators and information about what happened in the past. What they would like to do is start to optimize their business as an outcome of their data assets. Data is continuing to prove itself as the world's new oil and companies know they have a lot of data, they know they're capable of capturing even more data, but where consulting might come into play is helping to identify and measure the valuable data assets and then the advisory and implementation of how to appropriately build such a solution and then doing so. These business outcomes could include predictive insights, creating products from data, bartering for goods and services with your data and so on.
Consulting often requires weekly flights regionally or nationally and can sometimes be abroad. It will test your ability to remain productive during high stress environments, teach you to research effectively, and provide you with skills that will remain with you throughout the rest of your career.
Who is Avanade?
Facts about Avanade (as seen from the website)
"Avanade was founded as a joint venture between Microsoft Corporation and Accenture LLP. Our solutions are built on an unrivaled combination of insight, innovation and technical knowledge, backed by proven tools, methodologies and practices.
Our Microsoft expertise is unsurpassed:
14-time winner of Microsoft Partner of the Year
24,000+ certifications in Microsoft technology
90+ Microsoft partner awards
17 Gold Competencies"
Learn more about Avanade here
What is on-boarding week like?
After accepting a role with Avanade you will be brought to one of the regional innovation centers. Currently for the United States this is downtown in Chicago, IL. Some of the things you will experience:
Meeting your on-boarding team: it is very important during your time in consulting to network and make connections with people not only within your area of expertise but also from different industries and business units. Many of people I met in my on-boarding class I still collaborate with.
Methodologies and Frameworks: One of the great benefits of consulting is the valuable internal methodologies and frameworks that have been established in order to deliver the highest quality work. You'll get an initial overview on working with these tools.
Strategic Thinking: You'll often go through some form of strategic thinking or design course in a collaborative manner, this is the first opportunity to work on a quick project together. Consulting is all about team work, a team will always be able to outperform an individual.
Navigating: You will learn how to navigate the vast amount of resources available to you. Avanade has a wide arrange of resources from people, processes, and technology that can assist in projects. It's important to know where to go when you need something.
There are many things I didn't cover here such as the great meals that are catered throughout each day, the first visit to the office, the Avanade swag, etc. On-boarding week is full of excitement and anticipation. It will be one of your most memorable moments during your time at Avanade but there will be many more to come!