Homecoming: A culture of friendship and career growth brought Ian Blitz back to Avanade

  • Posted on July 20, 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.

Software engineering manager Ian Blitz readily admits he has a tendency to make most of his friends at work. That’s why even after he left Avanade for another opportunity in 2016, he remained close to colleagues and still found himself continuing to stop by Petterino’s, a regular happy hour spot for the Avanade Chicago team. And it was this desire to stay connected that eventually brought him back home.

“I was definitely keeping in touch with people,” Ian said. “And then Modern Workplace executive Andy Marselos reached out and asked if I wanted to get a drink and talk about maybe coming back.”

Ian originally came to Avanade in 2013 after attending an engineering recruiting event at the University of Illinois. Though he said his first run at Avanade had a variety of projects and introduced him to some of his best friends, he decided to move on nearly four years later to get a different kind of experience.

“I left to go work at a former start-up in Chicago doing dot net development, and I was a software engineer on their product,” Ian said. “I was really looking for the start-up atmosphere where there would be a lot of rapid growth for both the company and myself.”

But in his new role, Ian said he wasn’t able to see the kind of growth he was hoping for. He found himself missing what he had left behind at Avanade.

“Avanade does a much better job of helping people grow their careers,” Ian said. “One of the things I really missed was the clear career progression that Avanade builds and helps people navigate. I also missed the Avanade culture: A lot of people working hard together and becoming friends and hanging out outside of work.”

Now having been back at Avanade for over two years, Ian said his second experience feels like a reset. He is involved in more stretch projects, and he credits his time away with making him more self-assured.

“Coming into Avanade the first time, I don’t have a degree in computer science,” he explained. “I just came into it and learned on the fly. Going and working for a reputable software company gave me more confidence to feel like I was actually qualified to be doing this.”

It doesn’t surprise Ian that Avanade has so many boomerangs – he credits Avanade’s eagerness to bring employees back into the fold.

“I think some of it is the fact that Avanade seems to be very welcoming of it,” he said. “No one’s holding it against you if you want to leave and come back. Beyond that, I think what happens is people think that the grass is greener somewhere else but then realize that Avanade was a pretty nice place to be and maybe the grass wasn’t as green as it looked.”

Don Lukasek

Congratulations on your return!  Avanade is a great company and continues to walk the walk...  Leadership in companies is similar to leadership in people, it’s recognized and earned.  Well done!

July 21, 2020

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