Beginning my career at Avanade
- Posted on September 24, 2019
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
Last summer I was welcomed to the Avanade team as an Experience Design intern in the Chicago Digital Studio. This summer, I am proud to return as a full-time team member back in the buzzing city of Chicago, now my home.
Looking back, I came out of the internship feeling like I was ready to take on the world. I was exhilarated by what I’d learned during my internship and by the prospects of my future career at Avanade. Opportunities that embolden employees at all levels to learn and grow are a constant at Avanade. My senior year at Indiana University allowed me to apply the lessons and ambition I got from Avanade and put it into action.
I had been fortunate enough to engage virtual reality during my internship. I was able to work and play with virtual reality and observe its influence on various markets while working alongside clients. More than anything, I saw designers approaching this technology with such a unique lens that I was motivated to dive deeper. Seeing designers engage with virtual reality forces interaction between developers, testers, designers, audio engineers and the systems themselves to create a seamless, engaging experience in a well-articulated, detailed and empathetic manner.
At the beginning of my senior year, I resolved to create a virtual reality environment. I sought out a group of teammates eager to learn and from whom I could learn as well. I was their design lead, guiding our research and ensuring that the environment we created was seamless and contained fully functional interfaces.
Being the lead, I should have felt confident in my design skills and that I could articulate an effective experience. However, imposter syndrome began to seep in when I was considering how I would evaluate my own performance. I realized that I had no background in virtual reality, had never developed in C# (C-Sharp) and had a skillset that catered primarily to 2D design. How would I ever be able to live up to the VR experiences that the internet, full of 3D-object-making wizards, were able to create? I had watched countless videos on creating environments with low-poly aesthetics, lighting design, skyboxes and so much more. Despite being as fully informed as I could be for a beginner, I couldn’t help but feel inadequate to the experts out there. I spent so many late nights trying to create the perfect product that I began to feel run down and insufficient.
What kept me going was something a friend had said to me “It takes being curious and open to learning” to succeed. This became my mantra. I had the freedom to learn through exploration and dedication to my projects and should try my best not to let self-doubt stop me.
Fast forward six months, I had created five environments and more than 100 objects for this project. When we performed a live demo of our environment to our peers and professors, we were shocked at the response. Not only had more than 20 people come to engage with this environment, but they found it relaxing, the ultimate goal we had set for this project. We had achieved our goal beyond the means that we deemed feasible.
In many ways, my experience represents one of the core values that Avanade instills in each of our employees, projects and clients: We innovate with passion and purpose. Avanade encourages curiosity, expansion and personal growth, attributes I brought back to school for my senior year and now carry with me as a fulltime employee. We aren’t merely employees performing simple tasks, we are people who strive to make experiences better.