I immigrated to the United States from the Philippines to join my husband in 2014. I’d decided to put my previous career in marketing on hold to focus on raising my seven-month-old son. After having my second child a year later, I knew that it was time to rejoin the workforce to help financially support my family. I was really motivated to prove that I could have both a career and a family at the same time.
An image of a woman dressed in a yellow work vest working at an Amazon facility.
I learned through a recruiter that Amazon was hiring and decided to take a chance and apply. I started my career as a workplace health and safety (WHS) specialist in 2020 where I led projects to promote safety for our employees at our sites.
I learned about Career Choice as a way to grow my skills after being out on maternity leave. I was very excited about the opportunities Career Choice offered to prepare for the role I wanted, but I’d also been dealing with some of the most difficult news of my life: thyroid cancer.
Being diagnosed with thyroid cancer during my fourth pregnancy tested my strength, but I was determined to show my children that you can do anything you commit to. This was my comeback year.
Through Career Choice, I enrolled in the Environmental Field Skills program through Natural Resources Training Group. After 10 weeks, I completed the program and was able to leverage my new technical skills to transition into the newly created multi-site environmental manager (MSEM) role.
An image of a woman and man dressed in yellow work vests.
As a MSEM, I work with our operations leadership teams to promote environmental and safety standards for nine sites throughout California. I travel to different sites and complete inspections and audits to make sure that we are in compliance with federal and state regulations. This role is new so it gives MSEMs like myself an amazing opportunity to set the standard.
Here are a few things I’ve learned throughout my journey:

1. Take advantage of upskilling programs like Career Choice

Career Choice changed my life. I was able to take advantage of the prepaid tuition program to enroll in the 10-week online Environmental Field Skills course that prepared me with the skills I needed to apply for my new role. Whether you want to learn new skills for your current role or make a career change like me, the education and skills-training programs offered through Career Choice can help you.
An image of a woman dressed in a yellow work vest holding a clipboard.

2. Be open to taking on new projects to grow your skills

I worked very closely with the environmental team when I was a WHS specialist and learned that new environmental roles would be opening soon. I took every opportunity to participate in new projects outside of my current role and take courses to make sure that I was prepared to apply when the opportunity came.
Speak to your manager or HR representatives to find out what opportunities are available to help you reach your goals. Career Choice also offers free career coaching to help you explore different career paths and programs if you’re not sure of your next steps.

3. Step outside of your comfort zone

Don’t be afraid to try new things. I was nervous about restarting my career in the United States as an immigrant, but I knew to become a better version of myself I needed to make myself uncomfortable and rise up to my challenges. By stepping outside of my comfort zone, I’m now able to manage nine different Amazon sites and work with so many different people in operations and leadership to make sure that our workplaces are the best that they can be.
An image of Marie, a multi-site environmental manager at Amazon, with her family.

4. Use resources to find a work-life balance

As a wife and mother, I was working full-time with four children while also taking classes, so I knew that I needed to balance and manage my time wisely. Take advantage of the many ways Amazon supports employees who want to continue their education with options such as online courses and schedule accommodations.
When I look back at everything I’ve gone through to get to where I am today, I know that my life wouldn’t be the same without Amazon and Career Choice. I went from believing that I wouldn’t be able to have a fulfilling career again to creating a brand new path for myself that my family is proud of.
Learn more about Career Choice and how the program provides unique opportunities for employees like myself to create their own career paths at Amazon and beyond.