Meet the Amazonians finding inspiration in their new Munich offices
The three-storey space is designed to create an environment where Amazonians can build, invent and bring different perspectives to work – for the benefit of our diverse global customer base. We spoke to some AWS employees about what the new offices mean to them.
GABRIELE: Manager, Enterprise Accounts
There’s no such thing as a typical day at AWS. I’ve been here almost five years and every day is Day One. I love that our style of working is reflected in the new offices. There are a lot of casual meeting spaces, but also quiet spaces if you need to concentrate. There are terraces to get some fresh air, or enjoy a team barbecue. In many rooms, on the wall is one of our 14 Leadership Principles. So when I walk through the building I’ll be inspired to ‘Dive Deep’ or ‘Learn and Be Curious’.
At Amazon the customer is always at the centre of what we do. Our new office is the perfect place for making that happen. We have a Digital Builders Showroom, where customers can come to us with the beginnings of ideas of what they can achieve with the cloud. After working with us, they leave with a concrete action plan in order to achieve their goals.
I love working at Amazon because I like the fact that I’m never the smartest person in the room. You have so many talented people around you. If you come with the right mindset you have a lot of opportunity for growth. There’s a lot of collaboration with international colleagues, which is supported by technology. When we’re hiring new people, we focus on hiring well, rather than just hiring quickly. One way we ensure this is through our Bar Raiser programme. Bar Raisers are trained Amazon interviewers who take part in the hiring process as an objective third party, not associated with the hiring team. Their role is to be a steward of our Leadership Principles. I’m a Bar Raiser, and I feel honoured to be part of that global community.
MARIN: Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Segment Manager
I feel as though I’m rediscovering the office every time I come here. It’s so creative. Each of the conference and meeting rooms has its own identity. We have a lot of interactive places where we can hang out, have discussions and meetings.
My favourite area is a small balcony that very few people know about. (Or at least they didn’t, until now!) I head there to make calls, have one-to-one meetings or do more focused work. It's where I can go to hide in plain sight.
I’m from Croatia, so I’m part of an Affinity Group of Croatian-speaking people. I’m in regular contact with Croatians working for Amazon in the Netherlands, the UK, US, the Middle East. We communicate and express ideas. There are Affinity Groups at Amazon for women, LGBT+, football lovers, cooks, parents – the list is long. Whatever your interest, or community, there’s probably an Affinity Group somewhere at Amazon for it. And if there isn’t – you can start one!
RUTH: Talent Acquisition Program Manager
I love how stylishly decorated our new offices are - they’ve got quite a Nordic feel. Plus, we have great carpets. I have a thing for carpets! I live ten minutes from the office and I cycle though the English Garden to get here, so it’s a really beautiful ride. It’s a super-flexible space.
My usual desk is on the fifth floor, but today I’m spending the day at a different desk and exploring a different floor. It’s great for building networks and getting to know the team here in Munich.
I’m from Spain and I relocated to Munich with my husband after I got a call from Amazon. I’d always wanted to live in Germany, and I am loving it. The project I led that I am most proud of here at AWS is the Returners Program. It’s about attracting individuals who’ve been out of the workforce for more than two years, providing them with support on their onboarding to smoothly bring their skills up to speed. We hire them as permanent employees, because we have faith in their talent and commit long term, and that makes a real difference.
Seeing all the changes we’re driving at AWS makes me really excited. There’s such an entrepreneurial culture at Amazon, everyone has the opportunity to make an impact in their role.