Avanade Voices: Building a supportive, engaging community for veterans

  • Posted on November 10, 2020
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
Avanade Voices: Building a supportive, engaging community for veterans

“Avanade Voices” is our new series in which we sit down with people from Avanade’s various Employee Networks. The series will serve as a platform to amplify different perspectives about meaningful societal and cultural issues, from racism to education to mental health. As a global company, there are so many different backgrounds at Avanade, and we have an opportunity to learn from each other by bringing our different viewpoints and passions to the table in dialogue.

This entry in Avanade Voices is authored by Julie Wyman, chair of the Veteran’s Employee Network and a director of delivery management at Avanade.

I was in the U.S. Army for nine years before a severe injury sidelined my military career. Being unable to fulfill my obligations, I accepted a medical discharge – so not only am I a veteran, I am also a service-connected disabled veteran. I’m familiar with being a part of communities that need support but are often overlooked.

My military background taught me a lot, especially how to roll with changes and be flexible. Nothing ever went to plan, so I learned to adjust quickly to change and still be efficient, especially in the field. Being agile and quick on your feet is something that Avanade really emphasizes, so I use those skills every day.

While I was in the military, I received my college degree and that, plus a top security clearance, helped me get my first job when I left the military. I was hired by a consulting firm that did contracts for the government, and that’s how I became a consultant.

This consulting firm I worked with had many former military employees, and that helped me transition into the civilian workplace. They knew the experiences I had because they had gone through the same adjustments and helped me transition. This is a big challenge for anyone coming out of the military; it’s such a different experience.

For that reason, I joined the Avanade Veteran’s Employee Network. I wanted to be part of a community that gives back to veterans at Avanade, that supports them in better assimilating into the organization and that helps our non-veteran career advisers be cognizant of what it is to have a veteran advisee.
Currently, the Veteran’s Employee Network is identifying areas we want to focus on for the year. The biggest priority is supporting veterans, both new hires and people already at Avanade. We also know that we want to do more both internally and externally, working with veteran organizations that deal with homelessness and mental health support. This year we have supported great organizations like paws4vets, where we raised over $10,000, and in October, one of our board members, Sean Clark, did a virtual 5K for Wounded Warrior, raising $1,765. Our other priority is cross Employee Network engagement.
I’m passionate about creating a community and growing our veteran outreach. We have a gap that we need to address, and we have a great Veterans Board to help us realize our goals. We’re going to see a change this year with self-identification capabilities so people can identify as veterans. This will help us reach out to the broader veteran community at Avanade. And once we have that community, create programs and tools to help them feel supported, and help others at Avanade understand what it takes to ease the transition from military to civilian life. That’s what was done for me, and that’s what I want for others.

Mande Gaffney

Amazing! Thank you for sharing this. I could love to see a similar or how you can include military spouses. I am sure I am not the only one in the ranks. 

November 12, 2020

Kamal Dhar

Julie - Respect, salute and gratitude always for serving military professionals who are always ready to give supreme sacrifice for liberty, democracy and securing Nation for outlet citizens. Veterans will always enjoy the kind of respect that comes from the core of heart. And knowing how capable you are, veterans bring a diverse leadership trait in every field where they are employed. Proud of your accomplishments. 

November 11, 2020

Angela Maier

As the daughter of a 30 year Air Force Veteran and the sister of a 26 year Air Force veteran many many thanks for your service as well as all Veterans here at Avanade and around the globe.

November 11, 2020

Kim Crane

THANK YOU for your service, Julie- and thank you for sharing your story. We are so fortunate to have your leadership 

November 11, 2020

Andrew Borg

Thank you Julie, for your service in the military, and for bringing that experience to Avanade, which has made us all richer for it!

November 10, 2020

Veronica Sosa

Julie - Thank you for sharing your story.  A deeply heartfelt THANK YOU for your service to our country. Happy Veteran's Day!

November 10, 2020

Sarah Heilig

Thank you for your service, Julie!

November 10, 2020

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