Hackney Apprentices Meet Amazon

Think big

There are 14 Amazon principles for success, and Think big is one of them.

In December, I attended a digital skills workshop at Amazon Web Service HQ in Shoreditch. It was a great experience. The day consisted of a tour of the amazing 600,000-foot building full of equipment to encourage an agile work environment, from indoor tents to booth-like meeting spaces.

We had a great session with multiple individuals who represented AWS and other organisations: Julia, Scott, Josh, Kat and more. All talking about their unique and inspiring journeys of how they got to where they are now, as well as sharing valuable life lessons. Hearing journeys and setbacks from different perspectives showed me that nothing stops us from achieving apart from ourselves. Julia led her part of the session by speaking about how her journey started, what she studied and the personal setbacks she had. To hear how resilient Julia was through the tough times in her life really inspired me. You can see Julia’s achievements so far on LinkedIn.

Meeting user needs

Customer obsession is one of Amazon’s other principles and all us apprentices were set a group task: create an innovative service but start with the customers and work backward.

Amazon obviously wants its customers’ trust and to meet their needs. I saw a link between Amazon and the way we work at Hackney. We’re similar in the sense that all the work we do is for this borough, and our customers are the local residents. The products we create benefit the residents, and to do that well we need to meet their needs.

Be curious

It’s okay to be curious. To find or understand an answer, you should ask why and ask it multiple times. This was one of the most relatable points for me as I hesitate to ask ‘why’ in case it seems I lack knowledge. I questioned myself as to how I would gain knowledge if I didn’t ask? This really encouraged me and gave me the confidence to ask ‘why’ and be curious.

My main takeaway from the event was that you shouldn’t shy away from opportunities. Who knows where they’ll take us, and that’s the beauty of them. On the way, you’ll experience things you haven’t before, you’ll achieve new things and you’ll learn and gain knowledge.

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