My Emerging Tech internship at Avanade
- Posted on October 23, 2019
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
This is post was authored by Matas Kaucikas, who interned on our Emerging Technologies team this summer.
Avanade is a place that brings many unexpected surprises. From fast-paced deadlines to the people that make it what it is, no day is ever the same. Over the summer, I worked as an intern with Avanade’s Emerging Technology team based out of Avanade’s London Digital Innovation Studio. From the unexpected delivery of treats, down to the lively calendar with client meetings, workshops, training and focussed work. It certainly breaks the stereotypical nine to five.
What I’ve learnt
Being at Avanade has given me a stronger understanding of working in teams, structured problem solving, breaking tasks down, learning new skills and the sheer importance of customer focus. But after all that, one of the most rewarding things at Avanade was learning from the people. As Bill Nye said, "Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don't.” This quote really resonated with me during my time at Avanade and was at the top of my mind in every interaction. I was given opportunities to take part in a lot of new activities, like design thinking training and machine learning research. All of these things cemented in my mind that working at Avanade this summer was the right choice for me.
One thing that really stood out to me at Avanade is how harmoniously everyone works with another. It's something I've never seen before. The fact that everyone is so helpful makes you feel like part of the team and makes you always want to produce your best work possible.
One of my first tasks as an intern involved using an array of technologies – some I hadn't even heard of before! At first the approach we considered using to accomplish the task seemed overwhelming, because there were a lot of factors to take into account. I broke the task down into small chunks and slowly but surely, everything came together one bit at a time.
My task was to integrate Form Summariser into Azure Cognitive Search. It required the use of Microsoft's Form Recogniser and Cognitive Search APIs, along with software applications such as Postman and VS Code/Visual Studio for development; finally being deployed to Microsoft's Azure cloud platform. I know this might sound complicated, but what it really means is, I was teaching computers to ‘read’ and understand forms. For example, automatically reading medical forms or financial forms. Someone in my team was even in a Microsoft blog post about this.
This was my first experience using C# and Python for any significant amount of time and it definitely taught me a lot, from painful errors with Python indentation, down to the use of breakpoints in C#. It's a learning curve that took a lot of patience, as well as trial and error, but it paid off in the end and it brought a huge smile to my face.
Did you know?
Fun fact! Before joining Avanade, I was asked, "When you hear the word Microsoft, what does it mean to you?" I responded, "Office 365." If you were to ask me the question again, I'm certain it would encompass a lot more than just "Office 365!”
To summarise, Avanade has opened up a ton of opportunities for me, and I’m very grateful. I feel like I came to Avanade knowing practically nothing and now I leave with my hands full of memories, valuable knowledge, practical experience and life-changing connections. I can’t thank Avanade enough for taking on someone who initially thought Microsoft was only composed of "Windows & Office 365" and now also sees Azure, cloud, machine learning and so many more technologies – and now understands better how we can use those to build a better future.