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The life of an Avanade technology consultant

  • Posted on October 10, 2014

Consultant
The following is a guest post by Ali Achikzai.

I’ve been working at Avanade in Northern California as a technology consultant for a few years now. What keeps me interested is that we get assigned to projects at well-known companies and gain experience in a variety of industries. The opportunity to work onsite for a big-box retail store chain, to a popular social media giant, to a university hospital -- all within two years -- is priceless. I no longer fear of getting burnt out and the working relationships I am building are invaluable!

Most recently, I’ve been tasked with scheduling machine migrations from Windows XP to Win 7 (Avanade does Windows 8.1 as well). I’ve had great project leads and very reliable partners. I’ve also inventoried thousands of hardware systems for a well-renowned hospital and performed a gap analysis, which allowed for processes to be put in place for better tracking and managing hardware components. In fact, I’ve been asked to return to the hospital’s IT department in order to work for the Project Management Office.

Furthermore, I’ve had the privilege of working onsite for a major tech company that develops and sells networking and systems communications technology products in Silicon Valley. In college, I was quite fascinated by this company and always wondered what a day in the life of an engineer was like at their campus. This project was a memorable experience in that my team of four was full of rock stars and they all gelled pretty well. I also got to see the inception of products prior to public release.

To keep growing and expanding my knowledge as a technology consultant, I would like to pursue a PMP certification that I can also add to my resume. It’s all fun and games until you get the bill. Well, luckily for me, Avanade picks up the tab through their career development program. All I have to do is show up, learn, train, get certified, get some more training in, perform well for the client, and continue training until a level of “WOW” is achieved.

To say that Avanade people are cool is an understatement! You may hear this a lot, but I think we have such a diverse background of people that I always look forward to meeting a new fellow colleague. To collaborate with each other, we use Microsoft Lync, which is an awesome office communication tool that allows you to easily contact an Avanade buddy anywhere in the world. Cool fact: people at Avanade are literally a walking bank of knowledge. Staying connected via Yammer communities is another way of making connections but also very helpful -- especially if you have a random question ranging from macros and templates to DNS server issues or different methods of solutions.

If you’re looking for a strict, uptight corporate culture that doesn’t let you think outside the box and kills creativity, Avanade’s not for you. But if you are up for taking a walk on the “Orange” side, you have come to the right place.

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