Westley is a Data Center Security Manager based in Zurich. He joined AWS in March, 2021.
HereAtAWS: Tell us about your career journey. What brought you to your current role at AWS?
Westley: My journey to arrive at AWS is one which some would classify as being in the right place at the right time, the planets aligning or divine intervention (I lean towards the latter).
I moved to Switzerland from the beautiful twin island state in the Caribbean (Trinidad and Tobago) in August 2020, during the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic to be with my wife. While this may sound like as nothing special, trust me it gets better.
You see my wife was seven months pregnant when on the morning of 4th August 2020 she contacted me scared saying that she thinks she is in labor and needs to go to the hospital. This call was at midnight in my time zone.
As everyone is well aware COVID-19 brought the world to a new reality where families were separated. Where borders were closed. Where travel was disrupted on a scale never before seen.
This new reality of course brought to naught all our plans to travel back and forth to see each other, and for me to be there to support her during the pregnancy. As the world started to shut down, my wife was left pregnant in Switzerland alone.
After receiving that fateful call, I had to drop everything and rush out of the country in a matter of days. I had to resign from my job, say goodbye to my friends and family and figure out a way to get to Switzerland.
With the assistance of my wife’s employer, I arrived in Switzerland on the morning of the 8th August 2020 and rushed to the hospital. Where I was reunited with my wife who I saw for the first time in person since she became pregnant. I literally walked into the room during her labor. Fast forward, my son was born healthy and is now keeping us busy on a daily basis.
I first saw the ad for the DSM position on Boxing Day (26th December 2020) at around 11pm while up performing daddy duties. The job was suggested via LinkedIn. I saved it and the next morning I reviewed and said to myself “This is something I could do!”, as I met the criteria almost 100%. So, I brushed up my resume and applied. From the moment I saw the ad to my initial communication and final loop of interviews I always had a feeling deep down that this job meant for me.
I assumed the role of Data Center Security Manager in March this year. From that date I have enjoyed every single “Day One” as I joined a team of professionals who all possess their unique superpowers.
HereAtAWS: Can you explain in simple terms: your role, who your customers are, and how you help them?
Westley: My role is to manage the physical security posture of one of the data centers in the regional cluster. My customers are all the people who need access to the DC, as well as our external customers who use our various services web services.
HereAtAWS: What technical and/or soft skills do you need to succeed in your role?
Westley: Technical skills: general knowledge of MS office applications. Knowledge of physical security, surveillance and access control systems.
Soft skills: The ability to lead, motivate and listen. General management skills and project management skills.
HereAtAWS: What’s the most exciting part of your job?
Westley: New challenges everyday (the Day One effect!)
HereAtAWS: What advice would you give people joining AWS?
Westley: Come join us only if you want a challenge and you’re ready to change the world! It’s not all a bed of roses, but it’s fun and your contribution makes a positive difference!
HereAtAWS: What three words would you use to describe workdays at AWS?
Westley: Busy, enjoyable and challenging.
HereAtAWS: Do you have any needs or commitment that require flexibility in your role?
Westley: My commitments outside of work (as one would expect from my story above) is my baby. At times I would have to drop and or pick up from day care. Also, there are the days where he has to be at home so between his mother and myself, we manage around our schedules.
HereAtAWS: What do you love to do outside work?
Westley: Watch movies, spend time with my family, try and workout when I get the time.
HereAtAWS: Is there anything else you would like to add about your personal journey?
Westley: There are many twists and turns along this journey in life. Never in my lifetime did I ever think I would leave my home country to live somewhere else. And here I am in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I never dreamt about working for one of the largest companies in the world and here I am today. Take a chance try something new and always be prepared because you never know what opportunities may come your way.