15 for 15 scholarship: my once in a lifetime experience at TechSummit

  • Posted on August 19, 2016

Pictured from left to right around the table: Nina Gallegos (Avanade), Nandita Chauhan, Kaythari Phon, Raissa Engelhard, Anna Carlin (Cal Poly Pomona), Barbae Marquez, Tatiana Kambwa

This guest blog post originally published on Barbae Dwaine Lo Marquez's LinkedIn page

Even though Avanade’s annual TechSummit was only a 3-day event, it was an event that was not only memorable but inspiring and enlightening. As a college scholar, our schedule was a bit different than the other attendees but it was created in a way to help us understand what Avanade and the industry is all about. My experience at TechSummit gave me a greater outlook on my future. Being a student and seeing bits and pieces of the tech industry, it’s uplifting to know that collaboration and new ideas are a priority in creating innovations, rather than just competing to be better than one another.

As students we had a slightly different experience than most of the attendees. We attended roundtables and panels that informed us of topics like the transition from college to work and work life balance. Avanade helped us with career questions and their insight was inspiring and illuminating. Hearing the speakers’ experiences has given me an opportunity to have a different perspective in pretty much all aspects of my life. I learned that being confident and accepting failure are not things to shy away from but rather we should embrace them.

During our schedule, we were able to tour the Microsoft Surface Lab, Cybercrime Center, and the Microsoft Retail Experience Center. The Microsoft Surface Lab was one of the best places to tour because it had everything from designing and prototyping to the actual manufacturing. A lot of my interest fell within the Microsoft Retail Experience Center, not because it’s like a mini mall with cool gadgets but because the technology that’s being used is incredible. Although the Cybercrime Center visit was short but sweet, it was one of the most informative tours to have participated in. Being able to see how Avanade can track and use data was a humbling experience, not only on a wide scale but also from a personal perspective.

One memorable session was the one we had with HoloLens. I’m not a huge gamer (I do have my moments) but having seen some of the future of virtual reality (VR) wear was awesome. Along with the HoloLens they had a cardboard headset that used a cellphone as the visual screen and two versions of the Oculus Rift. It was cool to see the difference between the headsets and how gaming and productivity will change the future.

Throughout my three and a half day visit, I was able to meet the other scholars from the University of London and a couple from the University of Pretoria. We pretty much did everything together during the summit, which created new friendships. I learned more about the world I want to travel to, and we shared our experiences and perspectives in life. In a sense we created our own little family, supporting each other and helping one another make the most out of our experience as Avanade 15 for 15 scholars and TechSummit attendees.

The keynotes, speakers, innovation teams, tours made for a fun and unforgettable experience. I loved the networking opportunities and the chance to come out of my shell and get a glimpse for what my future might look like. I am forever thankful and wouldn’t trade the opportunity for anything!

Get to know me and the other 15 for 15 scholarship recipients in this short video.

BarbaeMarquezBlog post written by Barbae Dwaine Lo Marquez an Avanade 15 for 15 scholarship recipient and intern. Barbae is a junior at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She is majoring in Business Administration with an emphasis in Computer Information Systems. She is currently interning with the ITS OMS team and refining her skills in CRM and Business Analysis.

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