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Avanade rising star Margaret Zou turns career recognition into reflection

  • Posted on December 1, 2017
  • Estimated reading time 2 minutes
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“The Young ICT Professional of the Year award is awarded to both a male and female who have demonstrated excellence in ICT and a commitment to professional development. They are a role model, an example to their peers and conduct themselves with the highest standards of ethics and professionalism.” – Australian Computer Society

When I first began my career in IT, I never thought I'd be accepting an award like the Young ICT Professional of the Year. While waiting backstage with all the other inspiring finalists (one of which has five patents to her name!) the possibility of winning honestly never crossed my mind. When they announced that I was the winner, it was a feeling of shock. Once I took stage I was asked “Do you think you deserve this award all by yourself?’ and the answer was “absolutely not.”  

Thinking back on all those long nights working through some challenging problems, I’ve never felt alone. I was always secure in the knowledge that I have had countless mentors and colleagues to call upon for their knowledge and advice. Whilst I attribute this award to all those people and wish they could’ve also been on the stage with me, it was amazing to see so many of my colleagues and clients – past, present and hopefully future - down there cheering on all the work we do here at Avanade. 

Once the initial surprise and exhilaration worn off, I started thinking about what this award means to me and I feel a sense of responsibility and desire to give something back.  As someone still in the early stages of their career, I’ve always looked up to and felt somewhat inadequate compared to those around who are more senior and have more experience.  Especially in a world class company such as Avanade, where it feels like all the talented people seem to congregate!  However, now I realise perhaps I too have something to share with the next generation of IT professionals, from high school and tertiary students, through to the grads joining our ranks just embarking on their career. 

There is still a long way for me to go, new milestones I want to reach, new things I want to learn.  However, I’m confident I am exactly where I need to be, right here at Avanade.

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