From petroleum engineer to experience designer: Why I joined Avanade

  • Posted on January 12, 2022
  • Estimated reading time 2 minutes

My career journey has been an interesting experience to say the least. Given that I’ve gone from a petroleum engineering graduate in south Texas to an experience designer, you can imagine it’s had some twists and turns.

In the spring of 2014, after a lot of hard work studying petroleum engineering at the University of Houston, I was ready to take on the world and start my journey as an engineer. But a month before I graduated, the oil and gas market crashed, so I had to figure out a new option. After a friend’s recommendation and some searching, I was told to jump into the tech space.

I had zero tech experience to say the least – I had never written a line of code in my life. But I jumped headfirst into a coding bootcamp and learned to code as a backend engineer. I didn’t really know what I was doing at the time, but I trusted the process. After the bootcamp ended, I worked at two startups as a full stack engineer. This was a proving ground for myself to learn a lot of skills very fast and I grew a lot in this time, but it was time for a change into a larger company and really grow.

A chance encounter with a friend of a friend who worked at Avanade led to a referral. I got an interview within a week, and I was ecstatic. The interview process went smoothly, and I got great feedback after each round. I was also interviewing with a few other places at the time, trying to decide what was the next best step for me. What really sold me on Avanade was my final interview with a director at Avanade, which proved to be such a pleasant experience. For my entire life, I’ve enjoyed art as a hobby, and I mentioned this during the interview. The director and I connected on this in our open and candid conversation, as art is something she enjoys as well.

She understood I had a broad skillset with the ability to understand some fundamentals of design and logical problem solving with my engineering and coding background. She recommended I joined Avanade as an experience technologist – a sort of fusion role – to make the most of this wide skillset. This suggestion really intrigued me and made me realize that at Avanade, I would have opportunities to experience a variety of roles and not be boxed in.

That realization is what helped me choose Avanade: They embraced my odd combination of skills and they believed in me, which I think is hard to come by. I have been with Avanade for 4.5 years now, and that first impression has proven true.

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