When I was a child, my family moved around a lot. And by a lot, I mean I averaged 2 schools a year by 3rd grade. When I was in 2nd grade, at yet another new school, the music teacher came to teach us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ I was over the moon – even though I was new, I knew this song well. It was something familiar, and to me, that was rare and exciting. I sang my little heart out and was proud I could participate so comfortably. At the end of the song, the teacher looked at me and said, “little girl in the back – please stop singing so loudly!” My heart sank.
At dinner that night, I told my parents what had happened in music class. My dad set down his utensils, looked right at me, and said, “little girl in the back, keep singing as loudly as you can.” His advice has stuck with me for a long time.
Fast forward a few years and today, here at Amazon, I lead recruiting for Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS is growing rapidly. So far this year, we’ve hired thousands of people. And, I can assure you, we do not recruit or hire people because they “blend in,” something my old music teacher would’ve preferred. We hire people at Amazon because they “sing loudly” – in fact, our hires are often the loudest singers in the room.
One of the most important things I can do as a parent is to encourage my own children to “sing loudly and passionately.” Maybe you’ve tried to do the same thing with your children. And at our first ever “Bring Your Parents to Work Day,” we hope you got to see how your children are expanding their inventive spirits, expressing their creative ideas, and embracing their unique personalities.
We were delighted to welcome you to our Seattle Headquarters. I was lucky enough to spend the day with my parents and two of my children, whom I am proud to report, also work for Amazon.