What a difference a Girl Geek Day made

  • Posted on June 20, 2019
  • Estimated reading time 4 minutes
Avanade Singapore Girl Geek Day

The following blog post was written by Avanade alum Joanne Quek.

Starting the journey as a participant
I remember the first day I stepped into Avanade’s office in May 2018 like it was yesterday.

Located on the 30th floor in Raffles City Tower, it was a couple of train stops from Singapore’s Central Business District and minutes away from the city’s popular streets where craft beer bars and wine joints thrive. If you’ve watched the movie “Crazy Rich Asians,” the office tower is across the street from the iconic church where the fictional wedding of the century was filmed.

Stepping out of the elevator, my eyes were immediately drawn to the bright orange branding and posters that led to Avanade’s office. I paced my steps, feeling excited and optimistic about what lay ahead.

I wasn’t sure what to expect out of an event called Girl Geek Day. I mean yeah, it was an event organized by Avanade to increase female diversity in tech. And perhaps it was an opportunity for me to learn more about the company – if it was somewhere I see myself building a career, make new friends and if it was a place I could get my hands on the latest and greatest in tech.

As I walked into Avanade’s office, I was extended a warm welcome by the Avanade team: “Hi, good morning! Welcome to Girl Geek Day. Can I get your name please? Need some coffee? Want to grab some breakfast before the event kicks off? Hey, do you want to try out the HoloLens?”

When we were given a walkabout around the office, I was immediately taken by the breathtaking view of Singapore’s gorgeous skyline. You literally get a sea view from the office, overlooking Singapore’s busiest port with the towering heights of Singapore’s Central Business District on the fringe – all of these keeping the pulse of our economy bustling and competitive. And we are sitting at the heart of it all, wow!

As Girl Geek Day went into full swing, the tour of the Innovation Center and the HoloLens demos of Interior Design and Dinosaur Explorer left deep impressions for me. Experiences I still remember vividly to this day.

What also stood out for me was the opportunity to mingle with my peers from the Experience Design Talent Community. Chatting with fellow designers in a casual setting was really nice and I gained so many valuable insights just from an afternoon with like-minded people. That, to me, was the highlight of Girl Geek Day and probably the moment it affirmed my intention to secure a role at Avanade.

… And now my journey as a volunteer
Fast forward a year later, I am now an Analyst with Avanade Singapore and part of the Experience Design Talent Community where we share a passion for creating user experiences that are personal, intuitive, memorable and fundamentally insights-driven.

I have since worked on exciting projects that never fail to get me out of my comfort zone and put my capabilities to the test. At this point of my career, it is also very much about learning how to collaborate with my peers and clients alike.

They say time flies when you’re having fun and I can hardly believe it’s been a year since I attended Girl Geek Day 2018 as a participant. That clueless, unsure feeling from my first encounter with Avanade is now replaced with a warmth, ease and comfort of being at home – a place where you know your colleagues genuinely care for you, like family.

Last month, Avanade celebrated Girl Geek Day 2019 and I knew in a heartbeat that I had to be a part of it all again. Only this time, it was on the other side as a volunteer from Avanade.

I was excited and looked forward to this wonderful opportunity to get to know the female participants (i.e. me from a year ago) and share my most memorable experiences at Avanade with all of them – in hopes of inspiring them to join this bold, passionate team of orange.

This year, we had Girl Geek Day at an external venue to accommodate more people, more demos and even a claw machine which I had a go at! Sitting in the room as the event went underway, I reminisced my experience from a year ago and how these ladies in this very room could be next year’s version of me.

Looking back on my experience as a volunteer, it was nothing short of inspirational. We got to hear our Growth Markets President Anna Di Silverio and guest speakers share their experiences as a woman navigating the IT industry – some of which I could relate with now, and some of which I’m sure are golden nuggets of advice that I would learn immensely from in a few years’ time.

For any interested ladies out there, don’t hesitate and please join us at the next Girl Geek Day! It’s an opportunity to get to know more about Avanade as a company as well as a sneak peek of our culture and people. It’s also a great chance to meet like-minded people and leave feeling inspired.

Joanne Leong

Very heartwarming article to read! Thank you for sharing your experience with us and it’s been absolutely lovely interacting and working with you Joanne! Keep up the excellent work and your signature bright smile! :) 

June 21, 2019

Karuna Mah

This is awesome recount of the Girl Geek Day. Inspiring too. Am glad you benefited from it and even got to volunteer for it in the following year. That's the spirit! 

June 20, 2019

Omer Khan

Joanne, what a great and inspiring blog! Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and great to have you on the team!

June 20, 2019

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