Q: What branch did you serve in the military and how long?
A: After graduating from the US Naval Academy with a degree in Computer Science, I initially started off in Naval Flight School before switching careers. I had the amazing opportunity to attend Naval Nuclear Power Training and join the Submarine community onboard a Fast Attack Nuclear Submarine. I served a total of six years in the Navy post-graduation.
Q: What is your current role at Amazon and what do you do?
A: I’m a senior program manager in PrimeNow on the Launch Execution team, responsible for supporting the launch of products that delight and thrill our customers both in the US and internationally. I joined Amazon in January of this year supporting PrimeNow third-party grocer launches, and recently joined the Treasure Truck team.
Q: How do you think your military experience helps you in your current role at Amazon?
A: In the military I learned to deal with ambiguity, dive deep, and deliver results. Although there were standards and checklists that we depended upon, a lot of times a judgement call was required that would have an impact on other teams and end-users. The same is true in my role launching products for Amazon - we follow detailed playbooks, processes, and checklists, but there is still a need at times to make decisions while lacking all of the needed intel and still guide the team to successfully accomplish the mission.
Q: What is one thing you wish you knew before transitioning?
A: I wish I had known how much I would miss the camaraderie shared with my fellow warriors. When in uniform you take it for granted as just “normal”, but it really hits you when you get your first position in the corporate world that things are different when outside of that military environment. Luckily, there are many veterans that work at Amazon so I've been able to tap into that network and either renew friendships with many former classmates that are Amazonians or build great new connections.
Q: Were you able to use Amazon in a peculiar way in the military?
A: At the time I was in the military (1999-2005) Amazon was just starting to expand its offering beyond books so I think that’s all I used it for back then. I just bought books for my kids. But it allowed me the ability to stay connected with them while deployed.
Q: Do you have any advice for transitioning service members?
A: I recommend getting a goals-based financial planner and educate yourself on personal financial literacy. I’ve seen many families struggle to make that transition, and I think every transitioning service member should have financial goals and a defined actionable plan to achieve them.