HereAtAWS: What did you do in the military?/What was your last role in the Military?
Sarah: I was in the British Army for 8 years and ended my tour of Duty as a Captain in the Royal Signals. I completed 2 tours of Afghanistan, one as part of Joint Force Support in Helmand Province and then latterly as part of the Joint Force Communications and Information Systems (JFCIS) based in the capital city of Kabul.
HereAtAWS: What has been the biggest difference between military experience and AWS/civilian career?
Sarah: With the exception of no-one actually shooting at me, it has been the ability to question and investigate a decision made by a more senior employee. No one has the monopoly on good ideas at AWS, it is collaborative thought that delivers the very best outcomes for both internal stakeholders and our end customers.
HereAtAWS: What transferrable skills from the military has helped you in your role with AWS?
Sarah: The ability to make a decision under pressure. Sometimes you need to make a decision without having all the facts to show Bias for Action. This is a skill all members of the military possess, even if they do not recognise it immediately. It has made me truly successful in AWS where our hyper growth means that speed matters.
HereAtAWS: How did you find the recruitment process? Any advice for candidates?
Sarah: The recruitment process is long, especially if you are from the military where you don’t conduct sit down interviews very often. Many military candidates have been in roles for 10 years or more, so the prospect of sitting down for 5-6hrs with competency questions being asked of you is very daunting! My advice to any candidates attempting to be hired with AWS is to be authentic and use data to describe what you have done. For example, how long was your tour? What was your role? How many tickets did you resolve on the helpdesk? How many convoys did you run? How far was the journey? How many vehicles were in the convoy? Did your actions, save time, improve quality, positively impact more people? Tell the story, but tell it using data.