Blandine is a Territory Manager, based in Switzerland, Zurich.
HereatAWS: Tell us about your career journey. What brought you to your current role at AWS?
Blandine: I'm originally from France, but I was living and working Ireland for four years. When my partner had an offer to relocate to Zurich, I began researching roles and companies in the city. It was great timing as I was looking for a “start-up” atmosphere in a global ecosystem in Zurich, and the AWS team was just getting started.
HereatAWS: Can you explain in simple terms: your role, who your customers are, and how you help them?
Blandine: I am a Territory Manager for SMB (Small-Medium-Business) customers. My role is to support local companies to digitalise their business with cloud computing infrastructure, empowering them to innovate better and faster. In SMB we work with all industries; some companies are really pushing innovation based on blockchain and AI/ML technology for instance. I help my customers by understanding their needs, and offering AWS services that could support them. Close collaboration between the customer and the technical team, or partners of AWS, is key to making the customer transformation a success.
HereatAWS: What technical and/or soft skills do you need to succeed in your role?
Blandine: Meeting customers is really important in Switzerland. The country culture is based on trust, and earning trust with customers is one of my first priorities. Being curious enabled me to understand many unique challenges of various industries, and ask relevant questions to understand the customer’s needs better.
HereatAWS: Have you had to learn any specific new skills (technical or soft) for your role?
Blandine: I graduated with a Master Business degree, however, I needed to develop further technical skills to better support my customers. With AWS, I passed my Cloud Practitioner Certification and I am currently preparing my Solution Architect Associate Certification.
HereatAWS: How does your work with customers help to make a positive impact on society?
Blandine: I have been working in technology companies since my graduation six years ago, and I have always observed a lack of women in this industry. Overall, women have made up less than 25% of the hires in tech over the past 20 years. To continue and accelerate this change I recently decided to join Girls in Tech Switzerland. This association is building a diverse and inclusive tech workforce through many initiatives such as bootcamps, jobs boards, events and code classes.
HereatAWS: What’s the most exciting part of your job?
Blandine: Helping my customers and engaging with C-level executives to move projects faster. I feel a lot of personal satisfaction when I see my work has a positive impact on both my customers’ projects and their overall business success.
HereatAWS: What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Blandine: When I joined AWS, I was the first Territory Manager to manage the full SMB and Start-up customers in Switzerland. My manager also joined AWS at the same time so we had to learn everything together from scratch. After six months, we grew the team to six Territory Managers and we have plans to hire more. It was a really exciting challenge to manage the scale of the customers, whilst simultaneously sharing knowledge with new Territory Managers, who also adapted really quickly.
HereatAWS: What advice would you give people joining AWS?
Blandine: AWS has a really unique culture, where most decisions are made using the Leadership Principles reading and understanding how they align with your personal and professional principles is a very good start!
HereatAWS: What three words would you use to describe workdays at AWS?
Blandine: Learning, customer-obsession, action.
HereatAWS: Do you have any needs or commitment that require flexibility in your role?
Blandine: I am currently five months pregnant and being able to have the flexibility to work from home was really appreciated especially during the difficult first trimester.
HereatAWS: What do you love to do outside work?
Blandine: On the side I am an aerial silks teacher and performer. I am also a student because we always find a mentor to train, and aerial silks is a constant learning discipline. I train myself mostly in the evening but sometimes I need to take time off when I am performing abroad. Last September (2019), I performed from a 55m crane in Ireland for Culture Night with the Aerial Cirque Company for the “Elevate Show”. 15,000 people were watching the show from the main street of Dublin.
You can watch the video here to understand more about this unusual hobby. My manager gave me the flexibility to work for a few days from AWS Ireland. This enabled me to be on site and ready to rehearse and perform. I really appreciated to be able to work remotely for few days to combine my passion with my work life.