Sinead is an Infrastructure Partner Manager based in Dublin, Ireland.
HereAtAWS: Tell us about your career journey. What brought you to your current role at AWS?
Sinead: I got my first PC when I was 11 from my stepdad Richard, along with a big book on C programming. He figured it would keep me occupied. That sparked my interest in technology, and I have been working in the technology sector for over 20 years now.
I started as technical sales support in a Systems Integrator in Dublin. My roles have been vendor and partner management focused. My role before I moved to AWS was Operations Director for a global ISV company who enable 5G services in telco operators.
HereAtAWS: Can you explain in simple terms: your role, who your customers are, and how you help them?
Sinead: My role is to manage the partnership and performance of AWS Data Center partners across Europe, Middle East and Africa. My customers are AWS Infrastructure Operations, Security and Safety teams who are the Data Center operational teams on the ground. But my ultimate customers are the businesses that run on AWS in the cloud, that many of us rely on. I help my customers by working to ensure our Data Centers perform to provide availability and resiliency, alongside safety and security.
HereAtAWS: What technical and/or soft skills do you need to succeed in your role?
Sinead: Soft skills are very important in this role. The most important skills in this role are communication and negotiation, and having the ability to find a path through sometimes challenging situations. At AWS, we are constantly raising the bar for our customers. It is always Day One. Ensuring our partners are on that journey with us takes constant vigilance. A good understanding of Data Center topology and operations is also important for the role.
HereAtAWS: Have you had to learn any specific new skills (technical or soft) for your role?
Sinead: I have learned a huge amount about data centers but there is still so much more to learn as we constantly evolve and innovate for our customers.
HereAtAWS: How does your work with customers help to make a positive impact on society?
Sinead: I have never been so aware of the importance of AWS more so than during the pandemic. When everyone was at home all we had to interface with the world was via online services. Many of the critical services that people rely on are online in the cloud on AWS. Also, that show that your children watched while you were trying to work from home during lockdown was probably running on AWS, and that’s a small example of a non-business critical, but a life critical service that helps people in their everyday life.
HereAtAWS: At work, are you involved in any activities outside of your role?
Sinead: I am working to become a Class Chats volunteer. Class Chats provide Amazonians an opportunity to encourage the next generation of student leaders to pursue careers in the tech industry!
HereAtAWS: What’s the most exciting part of your job?
Sinead: Essentially seeing how AWS enables innovation for our end customers and being customer-obsessed are the most important and exciting parts of my job. A personal example of this was when my son was joining an online global gaming event that was being run on AWS, which lots of children around the world were very excited about. Seeing that event successfully launch was extremely rewarding. I had great fun with my son that day. Also, telling my children that AWS are helping NASA discover life on Mars is also very exciting.
HereAtAWS: What advice would you give people joining AWS?
Sinead: Live and breathe the Leadership Principles. They are your north star to guide you in your day to day.
HereAtAWS: What three words would you use to describe workdays at AWS?
Sinead: Challenging, exciting and fun.
HereAtAWS: Do you have any needs or commitment that require flexibility in your role?
Sinead: I am a mother of two children. The flexibility that AWS provide to parents especially during the pandemic was outstanding.
HereAtAWS: What do you love to do outside work?
Sinead: I am passionate about technology and space exploration, but my biggest passion is my family and keeping them happy is what I love to do outside work.
HereAtAWS: Is there anything else you would like to add about your personal journey?
Sinead: When I started at AWS I had a fear of flying. My role with AWS has taken me to the most beautify cities in the world and I have truly left that fear behind. Now one of my happy places is in the sky on an aeroplane.