Homecoming: Endless horizons sometimes loop back home
- Posted on November 23, 2020
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
Homecoming is our series in which we tell the stories of Avanade “boomerangs,” employees who left the company for other opportunities before returning. Careers are long and winding, and personal and professional aspirations vary from person to person. It’s natural for people to want to branch out, but wherever you go and whatever you do, there is always a home for you at Avanade.
Look out to sea from the balcony of Avanade’s Recife, Brazil, office and you can see forever. Sometimes when you look to the horizon, career opportunities can seem endless, as well.
When Aline Natalie Lee, today an Avanade manager of finance operations based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, first joined Avanade, the company had been operating in Brazil for only two years. Avanade Brazil had about 300 employees and was just beginning to build its client base. Aline’s primary responsibilities were to help employees use Avanade’s various time keeping, pricing and finance forecasting systems.
After three years, Aline had started to feel a bit stuck. When another company approached her with a job that offered her new challenges, increased responsibility and a commensurate salary package, she took it, becoming controller for a Swiss logistics company, still based in Brazil.
But she stayed in touch with friends at the company and never forgot Avanade.
“From the perspective of working outside of Avanade, I could look back and see that it was run in a way that was unique,” she said. “The culture is friendly and respectful, and the work-life balance could be well managed.
“Another thing I noticed while not working here was how sophisticated the tools are that Avanade provides its employees. I was used to carrying my laptop everywhere and using our communication tools to communicate with anyone anywhere. The other employer lacked technology modernization and flexibility. In my opinion this, has a deep impact on the employee experience. Additionally, Avanade invests on a wide range of trainings to empower our employees, something I missed on the other side.”
After an Avanade team restructuring one year after Aline left, one of her former colleagues invited her to rejoin the Brazil finance team. Her primary concern: She hadn’t been away long. Would she find the limitations she had experienced before still in place?
"However, I saw an opportunity to reintegrate into a company I had always admired, with the potential to grow and put into practice everything I had learning from my past experiences,” she said. “Fortunately, I was right.”
What has her second experience at Avanade been like?
“It has been an amazing four years since my return,” she said. “Avanade Brazil is turning 10 this year and I can say that we have advanced much more in the last five years than in the first five. Currently Avanade Brazil has over 1,100 employees, a brilliant diversity and inclusion program, an accessible leadership team and is going through a period of accelerated growth. I am truly grateful to be part of this journey. I've been involved in different strategic challenges, working with more complex pricing solutions, learning from and working with fantastic colleagues, developing my mentoring skills and bringing value to the Avanade business.”
Over the course of her career, Aline said she has come to more fully realize the importance of a finance professional’s role as a trusted business advisor.
“In addition to having financial analytical skills and reporting numbers in an Excel program, it's essential that this professional play a more advisory role,” she said. “I believe that if a company’s strategies are clear, then a finance professional can add great value by identifying and then clearly communicating both potential issues and opportunities. Knowing a company’s processes and policies and how they tie into Avanade’s goal of using technology to drive create a genuine impact makes us a true ally in this journey of business transformation.”
“Aline’s insight perfectly encapsulates the importance finance professionals like her contribute to the success of our clients,” said Avanade CFO Sonia Webb. “We are richer as a company and as a culture because Aline has rejoined our team.”