On today’s first ever National Hire a Veteran Day, I’d like to share why I’ve loved being a reservist at Amazon.
I joined Amazon Lab126 six years ago and have risen to be a Principal Product Manager, leading a team of engineers investigating and incubating some of Amazon’s newest breakthrough products. I’m also an officer in the Navy Reserve. My path to military service is a little different from most of my fellow veterans at Amazon. I accepted a commission after joining the company, a decision that was based in part on the support and benefits Amazon provides employees who are serving. A fact of life for any reservist is the call to active duty– something that happened several weeks ago.
As a leader of a team, I wanted to ensure I left everyone setup for success. So my manager and I met to create a solid coverage plan for my absence. Amazon’s military leave ambassador talked me through all the details to make sure I wouldn’t have to worry about anything. I would continue to receive my benefits and salary while on leave for a month.
I also leaned on the vast Warriors@Amazon network, our community of thousands of veterans, reservists and military family members. They shared their experiences and offered recommendations for making my time serving as seamless as possible.
I came to Amazon because the work was exciting and there’s a strong culture of ownership. The company’s Leadership Principles which underpin the culture are similar to the expectations and values I have found in the Navy. When you serve in the military, you are the member of a team and focused on a shared mission. Having Amazon support me in my ongoing work on behalf of the country – as a reservist – only reaffirmed why I’ve stayed at Amazon for six years.
As transitioning military members and veterans weigh their options on National Hire a Veteran Day, I encourage you to look for places that support your sense of duty, enable you to build meaningful careers and empower you to do what you love.