How the Avanade workforce and the Prince’s Trust launched my career
- Posted on October 20, 2014
The following post was written by Gio Paterna, Prince’s Trust Intern.
As my time interning with Avanade comes to an end, I wanted to share my experience with the Prince’s Trust and my plans for the future. I’ve faced a lot of adversity – it’s a miracle I never ended up in a mental institute, and let me explain why.
I'm the oldest of three children. One sibling is severely autistic, my mum is disabled and my dad is recovering from a mental breakdown. As a result, we’ve had to move a lot. Jumping around from Sicily to Peterborough to London and back to Sicily, I missed out on an education. I felt lost – I knew I wanted to better myself and find a job, but I didn’t know what to do or where to go.
I tried hairdressing, catering and laboring with no luck. Then, I came across the Prince's Trust, a youth charity that supports the disadvantaged. The organization gave me the opportunity to come to Avanade for two weeks to experience what it’s like in the Avanade workforce. I was assigned to the marketing team where I learned how to target customers, launch campaigns and host events. I also helped the sales team, researching companies, competitors, revenue and services. What was meant to be two weeks became eight weeks – giving me a chance to learn even more.
When I first came to Avanade, I felt a bit out of place. It was just a completely different world for me. I didn't know anything of the corporate life, but it didn't matter. I met some of the most wonderful people who taught me a lot about the corporate world.
As the end of my internship neared, I received a call from the Prince's Trust, informing me of a sales internship at another tech company. My colleagues from Avanade guided me along the way – Khary Anderson and James Mountford did an amazing job helping me make my cover letter look slick and professional; while Nic Merriman gave great advice for the interviews. Most noteably, I’d like to thank Humeera Khan, Head of Marketing UK. Humeera has been there every step of the way, helping me understand marketing, answering questions, and inspiring me to go back to college to study English. The day before the interview, she stayed in the office for an extra hour and a half to make sure I was prepared. Thanks to the support of my colleagues, I secured the internship!
Coming to Avanade is the best the thing that ever happened to me. Everyone I’ve met is so warm and welcoming. They took the time to teach and prepare me for the future. I felt lost, and they put me on a path and gave me hope. They have been the light in my darkest hour. There are no words to express how much Avanade means to me. If it wasn't for them I wouldn't be where I am now.
To everyone I’ve worked with, thanks for everything you taught me – I feel like I can take on the world. I plan to be back, so you will see me sooner than you think. Til then, I wish you all the best!