Amazon’s commitment to the veteran community meant Kathleen landed her dream job with the company and is now helping other veterans find careers


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Veteran and military spouse Kathleen has a career at Amazon

At Amazon, thousands of veterans and military spouses are driving innovation and raising the bar on customer experience. On a daily basis, those with military backgrounds are able to apply their knowledge, skills, and leadership abilities in a wide variety of careers – influencing change across the globe. 


Kathleen’s career path in the military

Kathleen joined the Marine Corps in her early 20s because she wanted to make a difference to her country.

Kathleen views her experience in the military as life changing, not only because she met her husband Chris, who was also a Marine. But life in the military and as a military spouse wasn't always easy. She said, “In our first two years of marriage, Chris and I spent 54 days together. The dual-military life we cared out wasn't easy – but it was ours. Between multiple deployments, we had three kids.”

Moving on from the military and finding a new career with Amazon

After serving their country for a decade, Kathleen and Chris decided to transition from active duty as it made sense for the family. It wasn't an easy decision. She said: “The Marines had given my life so much meaning. While networking for opportunities, I found a job that excited me – starting up a veteran recruiting initiative at Amazon. A future colleague reached out to help me prepare for the interviews. I’ll never forget her generosity of time which was critical for my transition."

Helping veterans and military spouses find work at Amazon

When she left the Marine Corps, Kathleen felt daunted about the transition from active duty. A role at Amazon has meant she now has a meaningful second career.

Kathleen’s work at Amazon serves as a resource to veteran and military spouse applicants who are going through similar issues that she went through on leaving their military careers. Kathleen commented, “We want them to know Amazon values their leadership and experiences. I’m proud that, since 2011, we’ve hired more than 10,000 US veterans. Our teams know that having a strong internal network for veterans and military families will make the transition easier – so we’ve formed an affinity group called Amazon Warriors. Through Amazon Warriors we’ve created mentorship programmes and organise volunteer opportunities, like sending care packages to troops.”

Military Talent Initiatives

Amazon has made a serious commitment to the military – in May 2016 it pledged to hire 25,000 veterans and military spouses by 2021 and to train 10,000 more in cloud computing skills through AWS Educate. In November 2017, the number of veterans and military spouses employed at Amazon across the United States was 17,500. Amazon’s Military Talent initiative promotes veteran hiring and engagement across multiple Amazon business units and locations including the US, Canada, Japan, China, India and the EU. In January 2017 Amazon launched the Amazon Veterans Apprenticeship Program where transitioning members and veterans can work directly with Amazon to complete a technical training programme over 16 weeks and participate in a paid apprenticeship with Amazon for 12 months.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said, “We actively seek leaders who can invent, think big, have a bias for action and deliver results on behalf of our customers. These principles look very familiar to men and women who have served our country in the armed forces, and we find that their experience leading people is invaluable in our fast-paced work environment.”

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If you're a veteran or military spouse, Amazon could help you find your next career move. Or search and apply for other opportunities at Amazon to see where your career might take you next. 

 

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