HereAtAWS: What did you do in the military?/What was your last role in the Military?
Mark: I commissioned into The RIFLES Regiment in 2010 and went on to deploy to Afghanistan in 2011 as a Platoon Commander with 1 RIFLES Battle Group, part of the 3 Commando Brigade on Op HERRICK 14. In 2012, I was attached to the Australian Army’s 51st Far North Queensland Regiment (51 FNQR), conducting surveillance and reconnaissance throughout the northern tip of Australia. Upon returning, I was posted to the Infantry Training Centre Catterick as an instructor in 2013, responsible for training infantry recruits and coordinated a rigorous 40 week training cycle.
In 2015, I moved to 3 RIFLES in Edinburgh as Battalion project lead for the Light Mechanised Infantry integration; part of Army 2020. In this role I was responsible for analysing, planning and coordinating the project initiation. Concurrently, establishing project governance, infrastructure requirements and training plan in preparation for vehicle arrival and Battalion readiness.
HereAtAWS: What has been the biggest difference between military experience and AWS/civilian career?
Mark: Joining AWS was a significant contrast to my immediate experience of civilian employment. There is a significant amount invested in all ‘new Amazonians’ ensuring they have the correct level of support and structure to enable them to be fully embed themselves into the organisation. For service leavers this is paramount, allowing a ‘can do’ attitude to flourish.
The greatest difference between my military experience and AWS is the speed at which large complex projects and ideas are turned into reality to meet (and exceed) the needs of its customers. AWS is a very dynamic business and continues to grow at a tremendous rate. This provides a fantastic career opportunity to work hard, have fun and make history.
HereAtAWS: What transferrable skills from the military has helped you in your role with AWS?
Mark: The soft skills. What we learn in the military is invaluable and some skillsets are easily transferable. I have found that skills such as communication, dependability, leadership and problem-solving have been critical to adapting to my new role at AWS.
HereAtAWS: How did you find the recruitment process? Any advice for candidates?
Mark: It is a unique, peculiar, short, sharp, arduous process. My advice for anyone entering into the recruitment process is to utilise your military network to understand the role and the culture at Amazon. Often service leavers will go to considerable length to support and advise you in preparing for the interviews.
Finally, prepare for the interview. You are asked a lot of behavioural questions tied to a particular business problem during the process. You need to have rehearsed and planned how to answer each question in the STAR format; ensuring that you are able align specific examples of performance to one (or more) of Amazons Leadership Principles. The recruitment process is not shrouded in secrecy; it is relatively well documented online.
HereAtAWS: How CTP helped your journey?
Mark: Having attended a CTP career transition workshop I was advised how to civilianise my CV, discussed various employment perspectives and schedule my transition. Throughout my resettlement, CPT offered guidance in utilising my enhanced learning credits to undertake training and qualifications to maximise my employability. The most valuable support CTP offered me was an introduction to the array of organisations and resources available during resettlement period. They helped me recognise the value I could offer to employers outside the military and ensured that I had a clear perspective for future employment.