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Kseniya’s Story: Returning to Cloud Services at AWS


Kseniya, Development Manager, AWS (4 year career break)

I started out my career in Telecom in Texas and obtained a diverse experience ranging from being a wireline Account Manager for Verizon Business, to managing 20+ rural wireless operators across the United States, to leading and wining a first of its kind Managed Services contract for cloud content management for a local Dallas start-up, to building a partner program in North America from ground up.

After having my child, I took a career break and followed my husband’s career aspirations on his international journey through Europe. During my 4 year career break I embarked on obtaining a Business Sustainability Management Certificate from the University of Cambridge and took Sustainability Development and Social Innovation courses at the University of Luxembourg. I was passionate about Amazon’s technology innovation (among many amazing technological advances, Polly and Rekognition are my favourites), core values of customer obsession that are lived by example every day and company’s sustainability efforts. So, I was excited to be offered a Partner Development Manager position in Stockholm, Sweden as part of the AWS Returners Program and joined AWS in February 2020.

One of the best things about the Amazon Returners Program has been the support provided with the periodic coaching meetings with Women Returners. By addressing my concerns and doubts, my coach empowered me to go through the adaptation process smoothly and confidently.

I am now an AWS Partner Development Manager for Sweden with the responsibility to grow our partners’ expertise. I consider my customers to be both my partners and their customers. My partners range widely in size and so do their/our customers – from local start-ups to multi-million dollar companies. Workdays at AWS are fast-paced and customer obsessed, with visible outcomes.

I’ve found having certifications in cloud practitioner skills are useful, but so are other soft skills including building trust, open communication, having a growth mind-set and adaptability. Since joining AWS I’ve enhanced multiple skills including cloud technology, emotional intelligence and the ability to motivate people remotely. Given the current landscape I have continued to develop my relationship with colleagues and partners in a virtual environment. Virtual emotional intelligence and ability to motivate people without having an ability to “stand by their desk” or thank them with real cookies have been new soft skills that I had to quickly start enhancing.

If you’re applying for the AWS Returners Program my advice would be to enjoy being yourself. I have worked in some great companies, but AWS is definitely one of the most diverse places I have worked for. Diversity comes in many forms here at AWS. Most importantly the established culture, values and processes enable individuals to be valued for the work that they have done versus what they look like, how they speak or what background they have.