Many working parents face difficult challenges in balancing their careers with the responsibilities of raising their children. So when it comes to career growth, the financial, emotional, and physical toll of pursuing additional education can often feel too demanding. Amazon is committed to supporting these working parents with empowering opportunities, including a flexible work environment and access to upskilling programs that help them acquire new and in-demand skills.
We’d like to shine the spotlight on one of those parents, Christine Steller, who has excelled in Amazon’s Career Choice program. Steller had been searching for a job that provided great pay but with the work-life balance that would allow her to spend time with her husband and five children, all under the age of 11. In November of 2021, she landed a position at an Amazon delivery station in Colfax, North Carolina. After only a few months on the job, Steller enrolled in Amazon’s Career Choice program, an education benefit designed to help hourly employees grow their skills. The program provides a variety of benefits, including prepaid tuition and fees, and new career pathways.
With her family at home and a new position at Amazon, Steller was hesitant to embark on this new journey. But she knew that hard work in the short term would eventually pay off.
“I weighed my options and felt like I should delay enrolling in the program and wait until things were a bit more stable,” said Steller. “I finally realized I could push myself toward my goals now or I could look back in a year and think, ‘Wow, why didn’t I start back then?’ I’m so happy with my choice.”
Steller had always wanted to attend college. But her mother passed away during her senior year in high school, and Steller became a caretaker for her two younger siblings. She developed a solid 10-year career in the event industry but felt limited in her career trajectory. After taking time off when her twins were born, she was energized by the potential career growth and support that Amazon offered.
“Amazon has changed my life. It’s provided this internal gratification I’ve really needed,” said Steller. “I love doing things to help others.”
Steller enrolled in an online college program in January that perfectly fit her schedule and allows her to spend quality time with her children. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering. She is a prime example of Amazon employees being able to enroll in Career Choice just 90 days after starting with the company.
A woman wears a yellow safety vest and glasses and moves a box to a shelf in an Amazon fulfillment center.
Steller is hopeful that she will quickly reach the next step in her career with the knowledge she is gaining through Career Choice. She said she is already 20% through the program because she is able to “go at her own pace without being bogged down by the financial burden.”
While Career Choice has made a huge impact on her work, Steller hopes it will have an even bigger impact on her children.
“Career Choice has presented me with the opportunity to show my children it is never too late to reach for your goals and dreams,” said Steller. “I can be an example by proving to them there are no limits on what you can achieve.”