Imane is a Sr. Technical Account Manager based in Paris. She joined AWS in November 2019.
HereAtAWS: Tell us about your career journey. What brought you to your current role?
Imane: I was born in a small town in the heights of central Morocco, and I am the youngest of 10 siblings. Throughout the course of my academic studies, I always treasured the learning process and daydreamed about working with the latest technological breakthroughs.
This led me to achieve an engineering degree in IT as part of an exchange program in France.
Moving to Europe was stunning but also unsettling at first, as I was exposed overnight to not only my first professional experience, but also a rich cultural environment people from exceptionally diverse origin and social backgrounds which I had never encountered before.
I went on to work as a Consulting Engineer on Core Network for some of the most renowned French and European Telecom Service Providers, and later moved to a pre-sales role where I got my initial exposure to cloud technologies.
That’s when I decided this was exactly the kind of disruptive change that I wanted to be part of.
Joining AWS as a Senior Technical Account Manager has exposed me to a broad vision of our customers’ business and technical challenges, allowing me to lead our support teams towards the optimal outcomes for some of the biggest enterprise customers with the loftiest ambitions.
HereAtAWS: Can you explain in simple terms: your role, who your customers are, and how you help them?
Imane: As a senior Technical Account Manager, I lead the support organization and work closely with our customers to ease their cloud adoption journey.
HereAtAWS: Have you had to learn any specific new skills (technical or soft) for your role?
Imane: When joining AWS, I came with an expertise from a pre-cloud era where I had strong knowledge on how the IT world was operating on-premises. This means I had to learn basically everything again at AWS!
The work environment and the resources available to you are astonishing, but most of all I learn every single day from wonderful and very talented colleagues always willing to explain the intricacies of this whole new realm.
Working at AWS you can be certain that day in and day out you’ll go to sleep having learnt new things.
HereAtAWS: How does your work with customers help to make a positive impact on society?
Imane: Working with customers from different fields and with different challenges, it always comes down to how you can help them innovate. At AWS, we are sitting in a position with the great privilege of watching innovations pave the way to real everyday use cases. And you get to see how this impact businesses, and citizens around the globe.
HereAtAWS: At work, are you involved in any activities outside of your role?
Imane: One of the things I am really excited about is the work I am able to do with junior colleagues and new joiners, to help them succeed in their roles and challenges. This is particularly gratifying at AWS, since the pace of growth allows for meaningful opportunities across the board, and you get to be a facilitator of people’s career developments.
HereAtAWS: What’s the most exciting part of your job?
Imane: I think the most exciting part is the level of impact I can have on customers’ business. Whether through the financial benefits or the pace of innovation I can present, or the array of possibilities, it is absolutely thrilling to then sit back and watch how different customers use that technology in the most unusual ways.
HereAtAWS: What advice would you give people joining AWS?
Imane: Listen, learn and talk to people. I think the single most valuable resource at AWS is its people. If you’re joining this amazing team, you’ve earned it! And you probably have your own views and experiences that you will be more than welcome to share.
So, my advice is to have strong views held loosely so if presented with evidence for a better approach, a better way, you can investigate them and adapt to whatever best suits your case. This also means feeling free to disagree when you think you actually know better.
This is one of our Leadership principles at Amazon, and people really do disagree all the time, so when all views are considered and a decision is reached, everybody is comfortable committing to it.
HereAtAWS: What three words would you use to describe workdays at AWS?
Imane: Dynamic, sparkling and rewarding.
HereAtAWS: Do you have any needs or commitment that require flexibility in your role?
Imane: I consider my first and main job the one I am doing as a mother, which remains the most challenging job in the world to me. Having the AWS work culture focused on outcomes as opposed to working hours is an important paradigm shift.
This was essential to me for example during the confinement period of the covid-19 pandemic as I was able to continue work remotely, adapt my work schedule and take care of my daughter.
HereAtAWS: What do you love to do outside work?
Imane: I love oil painting and I always have an ongoing project that I comeback to whenever I can spare the time. Some paintings take me weeks, others years, but most importantly I feel am in a different planet when painting.
HereAtAWS: Is there anything else you would like to add about your personal journey?
Imane: A few years ago, I was like many young graduates, getting into the workforce with a lot of dreams, anxieties and a lot of expectations for the future. I would have never imagined my journey to be the way it is today.
You’ve probably heard a gazillion time people telling you to “follow your dreams”. I believe rather in the “follow your plan” motto. This means you need to own your career, own your decisions, and work actively to achieve the goals you set up for yourself.
Whether that is opening your start-up, getting your dream job, or winning an Olympic medal you need to have a long-term plan and follow that to the best of your abilities, day after day.
The plan can, and will of course fail at some point. I myself was rejected from my first AWS interviews, got my application to a French work permit rejected and failed my driver licence exams! Failure simply makes you better at making plans and even more focused on the prize!