Nataliya is a Technical Account Manager based in Dublin, Ireland. She joined AWS in October 2016.
HereAtAWS: Tell us about your career journey. What brought you to your current role at AWS?
Nataliya: I joined the Enterprise Support team in Dublin back in 2016 after having worked for about six years in a few other technology organizations in both Ukraine and Ireland. Throughout my career, I worked across multiple domains such as Software Testing, Technical Support and Project Management, and at AWS I started focusing on account management & governance, as well as cost management & optimization. In my previous team, we worked closely with Technical Account Managers (TAMs). The way I saw TAMs – they always were at the centre of the most exciting events, be it a new launch or customer success story, while being exposed to all our latest technology on a daily basis. I’ve decided that it was the job I wanted to do. So, long story short – I joined the AWS ‘TAMily’ in October 2019!
HereAtAWS: Can you explain in simple terms: your role, who your customers are, and how you help them?
Nataliya: Each Enterprise Support customer has a TAM, who is their trusted advisor and acts as their voice internally at AWS. We build our products based on the feedback we get from customers, so TAMs vigorously advocate on their behalf. We help customers excel operationally and overcome complex technical challenges, while constantly increasing their confidence and satisfaction with AWS Support. There is no such thing as a “typical day in a life of TAM” as our customers are so different, with unique objectives, and we customise our approach based on individual needs.
HereAtAWS: What technical and/or soft skills do you need to succeed in your role?
Nataliya: TAM is a hybrid role, where you need to have in-depth knowledge of certain technology area(s) that you specialise in, as well as a broad understanding of multiple other technological domains. You also need to be comfortable mapping those technical competencies to the business requirements of your customers. Soft skills play a big role in our daily interactions with customers and internal teams. Enterprise Support is an organisation of talent with diverse background, and the TAM role suits someone who has expertise in one or more technical areas such as compute, storage, networking, databases, analytics, app development... and the list goes on... and would like to help our customers succeed on their AWS journey.
HereAtAWS: Have you had to learn any specific new skills for your role?
Nataliya: I had the technical background and a relevant degree prior to joining AWS. However, I was new to Cloud Computing, so this was quite a learning journey. While preparing for the TAM role I was catching up with the knowledge of AWS services and best practices of building in the cloud. Additionally, I wanted to learn more how technical solutions could solve business problems, so I decided to take up the MSc Management in Information Systems program in Trinity College Dublin, which eventually equipped me with the knowledge and resources to succeed in this role.
HereAtAWS: How does your work with customers help to make a positive impact on society?
Nataliya: All our customers are different; they have their own customers and plans. By helping our customers reach their goals through technology and cloud transformation, we help them innovate and grow. It's rewarding to know that the job you do positively impacts people across the world, - be it via streaming of favourite movies, advancing science and medical research, or ensuring that you can order your essential products directly to your home (and much more!)
HereAtAWS: At work, are you involved in any activities outside of your role?
Nataliya: I actively participate in a few technical field communities that consist of professionals from multiple roles and departments across the organisation, who specialise in specific areas and offer their expertise to broader community. One of the areas I’m focusing on is cost management and optimisation. This topic is becoming increasingly popular over time, as companies are looking to be more effective in the ways they approach their cloud usage and costs. We want customers to be effective in the cloud, understand how to optimise and architect for cost, and eventually pay for what they truly need rather than just paying for what they use.
HereAtAWS: What’s the most exciting part of your job?
Nataliya: For me personally, the best part of this role is the flexibility around how I’m supposed to do this job. I’ve always been a kind of a “rebel” that never “followed the rules”. I like to be creative, find ways to improve existing processes, innovate, do things differently, or how my friends & family call it “not like normal people”. This makes me a good fit for AWS, being able to innovate on behalf of my customers. The goal is to make customers happy and help them succeed on their cloud journey. It’s completely up to me which mechanisms I choose to reach this goal.
HereAtAWS: What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Nataliya: Ironically, the flexibility can be challenging, too. While there is a lot of independence around the way I do my everyday tasks, I often face uncertainty. We say that it’s always Day One at AWS. It certainly is for TAMs. Even in such a large organization, working with professionals from across multiple industries and parts of the globe, every day we get questions and face situations nobody else dealt with before. It’s both one of the best and one of the most challenging parts of the job.
HereAtAWS: What advice would you give people joining AWS?
Nataliya: Know what you don’t know and get comfortable with being uncomfortable! We’re growing so fast that it’s just physically not possible to know it all. AWS is the best place to be if you want to learn and grow and are willing to share your knowledge with others. Everyone I work with is passionate about what they do, hungry for new knowledge and most helpful in sharing their experiences with one another. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – you’ll be surprised how many people are eager to help you succeed on this journey.
HereAtAWS: What three words would you use to describe workdays at AWS?
Nataliya: Creative. Different. Collaborative.
HereAtAWS: Do you have any needs or commitment that require flexibility in your role?
Nataliya: This year made us all re-think our work vs life balance and adapt to a new reality. Both my husband’s parents and my parents live in other countries, and we normally try to visit them at least once a year. While we all stay healthy and safe at home, it’s going to be three years since I’ve seen my parents in person, unfortunately. I want to be available for them any time to call me and talk, which means I might at times need to change my work schedule. This wouldn’t be possible if I didn’t have the flexibility to manage my time and tasks the way it works best for me.
HereAtAWS: What do you love to do outside work?
Nataliya: Music and video games! I’ve played violin since I was six years old, and I’ve been playing with a few orchestras in Ireland since I moved here. I look forward to December concerts the most, as we usually get to play some of the most festive pieces from both modern and classical music. However, I currently spend most of my time at home, so we collaborate with friends and colleagues and record some fun covers of popular songs (many songs sounds so much better with a violin!). As for video games – isn’t now the best time to fulfil your childhood dreams and dedicate a few hours to your favourite games, while being a responsible adult and staying home?
HereAtAWS: Is there anything else you would like to add about your personal journey?
Nataliya: Hard work always pays off, be patient and never listen to people who tell you that something is not possible. When I was growing up (and even in my adulthood), I was often told that I should do things in a certain way because “that’s how it should be”, or that I should want certain things which were not important to me. While there always were people I looked up to, I never wanted to “be like someone else”. Moreover, I never believed that being competitive or ambitious was a “wrong” quality for a girl, which I’ve been often told. It’s important to ask for guidance and advice, but no one should ever doubt themselves just because they have a different vision.