Irina is an Electrical Field Engineer based in Stockholm, Sweden.
HereAtAWS: Tell us about your career journey. What brought you to your current role at AWS?
Irina: I graduated university in 2009 (as a valedictorian) with a BSc degree in Electrical Engineering. I was one of the only three women registered to the Electrical Engineering program. After graduation, I started working as an intern at Romania’s Nuclear Power Plant. In 2011, I graduated the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Romania with an MSc degree in Advanced Electrical Systems. I was again, one of the three women registered to the Advanced Electrical Systems program.
I worked for two years at a company in Romania and in November 2011, I moved to Cambridge, UK as a Lead Electrical and Instrumentation Engineer for an Engineering/Consultancy company. I delivered FEED (front-end engineering design) and detail design projects for the nuclear, power and energy industry, for various clients.
After a couple of years in Cambridge, I moved to “sunny” Manchester as a Senior Electrical Engineer for another engineering company. In Manchester, I led FEED and detail design projects, construction phases and commissioning within the R&D, nuclear, oil&gas, petrochemical and pharma industry for many clients in various countries from across EMEA.
After seven years in the U.K. I decided to apply for the job I currently hold at AWS, in Sweden. After two phone screens and few on-site interviews, I decided to accept the AWS offer and moved to Sweden in November 2018. My husband, Michael, our cat Piaf and dog Flynn joined me in March 2019.
HereAtAWS: Can you explain in simple terms: your role, who your customers are, and how you help them?
Irina: As an Electrical Field Engineer, I am responsible for data centers in the Sweden region and I provide support for various data centers across EMEA.
I am responsible for the design and operation of critical industry leading Data Center facilities throughout the world. I lead global and local design projects. I drive continuous innovation in the areas of space utilisation, energy efficiency and cost effectiveness. I am on the forefront of creating and delivering the most innovative products to our customers. My customers are various; from the operations team to technical project managers to design engineering to my colleagues in field engineering.
HereAtAWS: What technical and/or soft skills do you need to succeed in your role?
Irina: Technical skills would be electrical systems, control systems, technical support, technology, project management (which is critical for all technical projects).
From a soft skills side; ambition, focus, common sense, confidence, time management, curiosity, voice, autonomy, mindfulness, communication and leadership.
HereAtAWS: Have you had to learn any specific new skills (technical or soft) for your role?
Irina: Every day I learn something new about myself and my customers. I actively demonstrate willingness and capacity to improve and to learn new skills, like mechanical systems. I identify opportunities to improve and participate in training sessions and courses, and study related literature.
HereAtAWS: How does your work with customers help to make a positive impact on society?
Irina: By driving continuous innovation in our data centers, I ensure that AWS provides the digital infrastructure for the cities of tomorrow. I ensure that our cloud will also be transformative for companies, as data analytics, artificial intelligence and other capabilities become available as services.
Outside of work, I am involved in community volunteering and mentoring. In the UK, I was involved in STEM activities around schools in Manchester.
HereAtAWS: What’s the most exciting part of your job?
Irina: The most exciting part of my job is always tomorrow, and the challenges it will bring. Every day is Day One. Every day is a continuous search on improving the processes and myself.
HereAtAWS: What three words would you use to describe workdays at AWS?
Irina: Enthralling, gratifying and peculiar.
HereAtAWS: What do you love to do outside work?
Irina: I love to spend time with my husband, travel around the world, bake and cook, read books, play the PS, volunteer and decorate our home.
HereAtAWS: Is there anything else you would like to add about your personal journey?
Irina: Always believe in yourself, never give up, be true to your vision and follow it until the end. These are the first steps for success. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and others, or to make mistakes.