Amazon stands out head and shoulders above most companies in the minds of our students. This belief was only magnified when we walked in the building and discovered one of the best job perks ever – Amazon is dog friendly! Any nerves or anxiety about being at such an amazing company seemed to be diffused almost immediately as attention was temporarily placed on employees and their pets.
We were greeted with enthusiasm by the front desk staff and our Amazon leaders for the day. After receiving our guest badges and being ushered through the security point, we embarked on the quest to learn what goes on at Amazon. We met many amazing women from a variety of backgrounds as well as countries! These strong women spoke to empower our students to advocate for themselves and their positions.
We divided up into groups and toured the just opened Amazon Spheres, which are adjacent to the main building. This unique concept offers employees a relaxing place to work in a natural environment. The 4-story spheres are humid and full of greenery. The plants offer a clean environment and the fresh coffee smell offers comfort. Many employees were working either by themselves or in small groups in the “nest” or other interesting furniture settings. The trickling waterfall background added to the contentment of the space.
While we could have stayed in the Spheres all day, we returned to the main building and got to hear about AWS: Amazon Web Services. We heard from Sarah Miller, Mary Beth Miller, Justina Fisher, Jeevita Aruchamy, Lindsey Ogen, Saakshi Gangwal, Val Maximova, and Lesly Curtis. They shared their stories as well as their role at Amazon. It was great to watch the faces of our students light up when they connected with something that was said. They also rose to the challenge of an activity where they addressed a customer need to make online shopping friendlier. We had time to visit over a great lunch. We would like to extend our gratitude for the time these women spent with us.
Some feedback from our students included
“I enjoyed hearing the different job descriptions that they offered, and I enjoyed seeing the work environment especially the spheres! This helped me realize that seriously, ANYTHING is possible, especially in a work environment where you work backwards.”
"Visiting the Amazon spheres was truly amazing, also meeting the wonderful people who work there. Also getting more insight on STEM related careers and companies."
"The experience was absolutely amazing! The women that were there helped me understand business in a new way."
"The panel showed the enthusiasm from the workers and seeing the work space of the employees inspired me to look into the company and the type of degrees you need to work there.
"The highlight was the Panel and diversity."
“I enjoyed the information and the activities, walking around makes me like the company more. Great lunch, great dogs!”
“One word…DOGS. I liked how connected the employees seem to be, and made it so interesting and not boring.”
Additionally, we would like to thank Cornelia Robinson for setting up this opportunity. We are very appreciative of the opportunity to bring our students to companies like Amazon.
Kelly Woyak, Career Specialist
Graham-Kapowsin High School
Robin Hodges, Career Specialist
Bethel High School