Nisha is a Technical Account Manager based in London, UK. She joined AWS in September 2019.
HereAtAWS: Tell us about your career journey. What brought you to your current role at AWS?
Nisha: After graduating as an Electronics Engineer, I started my IT career in one of the largest multi-national companies in India, as a Linux System Admin. I moved from India to the UK in 2008, and worked as a third line support engineer in a company providing IPTV and digital signage to customers around the world. This role helped me enhance my Linux troubleshooting skills. Relocating to a different town due to personal reasons, forced me to leave my job. I decided to take a break for two years in my career and devoted that time to my kids. After my younger one turned two, I started exploring more job opportunities. My priority was to find a job, which is not too far from my home, and would allow me to be there for my kids if needed.
I came across a role of Technical Account Manager (TAM) in a company which provided mobile internet connectivity and applications platform for public transport. The role looked challenging, as it was highly customer focused – an area where I did not have prior experience. I progressed rapidly in that role and was promoted to Senior Technical Account Manager within two years. As my children grew older and more independent, I felt it was time to focus more on my career growth and try a new challenge. I had no previous experience of cloud computing before joining AWS. The AWS TAM role looked the perfect opportunity, which would allow me to learn cloud computing along with using my TAM skills to help customers on-board latest technology.
HereAtAWS: Can you explain in simple terms: your role, who your customers are, and how you help them?
Nisha: As a Technical Account Manager, I am my customer’s representative within AWS. My customers belong to start-ups and enterprise sector. Some of my primary objectives include optimizing customer’s AWS spend, guiding them through best practices of AWS services they use, coordinating access to subject matter experts, updating them on latest features & enhancements of AWS services, helping reduce their operational pain by case and event management, and proactively working on optimising their workloads.
HereAtAWS: What technical and/or soft skills do you need to succeed in your role?
Nisha: From a technical skills perspective, it is important to understand at least the basic core AWS services, also knowing how the on-premises technology translates to cloud terminology is critical. At AWS, we innovate at a rapid speed; keeping up with all the services and latest features/announcements is next to impossible, so building internal networks is one of the key soft skills required. It is also important to relate to your customer’s sentiments when they have an operational issue; this helps relay sentiment to internal product teams, being our customer’s advocate and helping them in whichever way possible.
HereAtAWS: Have you had to learn any specific new skills (technical or soft) for your role?
Nisha: It has been a steep learning curve since I joined as a TAM in AWS! I have had to learn various AWS services, in varying depths, depending on the technologies my customers use. I also had to adopt to the culture and fast pace at which everything evolves here. Being an introvert by nature, I learned to open my mental barriers and express my opinions and views to a larger audience. This learning would not have been possible without the support I have had from the amazing ‘TAMily’! My co-workers and mentors are always available to provide guidance and help me grow not only technically, but as a person as well.
HereAtAWS: What’s the most exciting part of your job?
Nisha: Not a single day goes by here without learning something new! Though sometimes it can be challenging, it does make the role very interesting and allows me to grow beyond by comfort zone in various ways. Helping customers optimise the performance and costs of their workloads provides a great sense of satisfaction.
HereAtAWS: What advice would you give people joining AWS?
Nisha: We breathe and live our Leadership Principles every day. It is these principles, which make us Amazonians stand out of the crowd. If you are customer-obsessed, not afraid to take ownership, always curious and eager to learn, AWS is the right place for you!
HereAtAWS: What three words would you use to describe workdays at AWS?
Nisha: Exciting, Challenging, Busy.
HereAtAWS: Do you have any needs or commitment that require flexibility in your role?
Nisha: I have two young kids (currently age six and nine) and my husband works full time as well. Having time-flexibility and remote working allows me to maintain work-life harmony. I can deliver positive results by helping my customers whilst undertaking parenting responsibilities on daily basis.
HereAtAWS: What do you love to do outside work?
Nisha: I love arts and cooking! Most of my weekends involve experimenting with food, and doing small art projects with my daughter.
HereAtAWS: Is there anything else you would like to add about your personal journey?
Nisha: I grew up in a very conservative society back in India, where it is assumed that men are always the key earner in the house and women should be housewives and focus primarily on the upbringing of kids. I was the first girl in my family to study electronic engineering and leave my hometown for a job opportunity. This was only possible because of my supportive parents and elder brother. They went against the opinions of my extended family without knowing how far I could go!
I am fortunate enough to have a supportive husband as well, who understands the importance of career growth and the financial independence it provides. I do not say that it is easy being a mother and working full time. Some days are hard and stressful - but having an understanding family, flexibility at work and supportive colleagues - certainly provides the much needed strength to get through those hard days. I feel fortunate to be a part of AWS where I can participate in programs such as AWS Educate, GetIT, reStart - and encourage more girls and mums (like me) to grow their career in one of the latest and rapidly growing technologies - Cloud Computing!