Five years ago, when Kiran Javid was working as a packer at Amazon's fulfilment centre in Tilbury, she would never have imagined she could be a Human Resources (HR) Assistant.

She knew she wanted to take her career to the next level, but she wasn’t sure what her options were or how to pursue them.

That was until her site manager told her about the Career Choice certification programmes.

Hinckley-based Sohil Ambelal Patel recognized as the 100,000th participant in Amazon’s Career Choice programme, as he embarks on a new journey to become an HGV driver.

Career Choice is an education benefit that empowers eligible employees to learn new skills for career success at Amazon or elsewhere. It offers to pre-pay around 95% of tuition and reimburse employees for books and fees for nationally recognised courses.

Courses available include accountancy, HGV driving and software development, and are designed to help employees build careers at Amazon or elsewhere. It means that eligible employees are given the opportunity to gain the skills and qualifications needed to follow their career aspirations.

From packer to HR assistant thanks to prepaid tuition.

“I didn’t know anything about HR whatsoever,” Kiran admitted. “My manager explained Career Choice was a great opportunity for me to learn more skills, so I was like, ok, let’s have a look.”

It was then that she realised there was an accessible path for her ambitions. With help from Career Choice, she discovered schools in her area offering in-demand fields of study. Within a couple of weeks, she was enrolled in a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) HR programme.

“Studying CIPD HR was an amazing experience. It boosted my confidence,” Kiran said, reflecting on her time as a Career Choice student.

In Kiran’s case, this meant that in just a few months she had a certificate in HR Practice in her hands and was in a position to apply to be a full-time HR assistant.

“Career Choice is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself and my career,” Kiran, who now works in the HR team at Amazon in Tilbury, said. “I can finally say this is where I belong,” she added, looking back at her professional journey. “I am home.”

How to become an Amazon Data Analyst in less than 6 months

Amazon Career Choice | Meet Lee

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Thanks to Career Choice, Lee Redmond from Flitwick has also found the space and support to expand his skill sets, enhance his resume, and power his job searches.

After watching the football coaching business he’d founded in 2019 come to a halt during the COVID-19 pandemic, Lee wanted to pursue a new career to re-establish his financial stability. So, he joined Amazon temporarily as an entry-level picker to find his footing. At Tilbury, Lee met many different people who recognised his talent and encouraged his growth. His manager in particular motivated him to push toward getting promoted to higher roles. However, it wasn’t until he learned about Career Choice that Lee knew he had the resources to make his career goals a reality.

With the help of Career Choice, Lee enrolled in a Data Analyst programme offered by Correlation One. Over the course of five months, he learned how to use multiple systems to analyse data effectively. Upon completion, Lee was equipped with new in-demand skills and a restored sense of confidence, which together enabled him to stand out among other job candidates. He then applied to become a Process Control Specialist at Amazon in Tilbury and began the rewarding work of improving his site’s operations and paving its growth.

Now a Microsoft Excel and SQL subject-matter expert, Lee explained, “I’m able to use different metrics and statistics to determine where our volume goes and how many people we put in each area. I handle the data that helps run a whole site.”

Lee credits Career Choice for completely changing his professional outlook and giving him back the confidence he needed to pivot from being a business owner. “Career Choice gave me a new perspective and enabled me to develop my career to get to where I want to be in the future,” he said. “I would encourage anyone to just have a goal in mind and go for it.”

On Sunday mornings, Lee is still coaching football on a voluntary basis. “I am coaching 3-6 year olds currently just to help children discover the joy of football," he added. "It is a great catalyst for bringing communities together and helping the kids make friends and build a healthy lifestyle.”

Getting a dream job in IT with Amazon's support

Amazon Career Choice | Meet Subham

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After years of working a cycle of short-term jobs exacerbated by the pandemic, Subham Limbu also felt ready for a career change. Passionate about computer since childhood and tired of going from one temporary position to another, he decided to join Amazon as a stower, stacking mobile shelves moved by robots with inventory. Much like Lee, Subham found himself motivated by his workplace’s friendly atmosphere and began evaluating his options for professional advancement and promotion. “I wanted to go to the next level in my career,” he recalled.

Like Kiran, Subham had learned about Career Choice through his manager, who encouraged him to sign up for the benefit; yet it was a chance visit to the Amazon IT office in his building that really made his professional goals click. Impressed by all the equipment and the efficiency with which the staff troubleshooted his machine, Subham felt he’d finally found his calling. “I knew I wanted to work in IT. I knew that’s where I wanted to be,” he said.

Through Career Choice, he then enrolled in an IT Support Fundamentals course. The programme prepared him to perform day-to-day technical support tasks, including wireless networking, programme installation, and end-to-end customer service. From identifying system problems to troubleshooting and debugging, Subham gained the skills required to transition from part-time work to a full-time career in IT.

He also developed the professional confidence necessary to pursue his dreams and succeed. “I can see myself working in AWS, coding and programming and all this fun stuff,” Subham said, looking ahead to his next steps.

“Just trust yourself and you’ll get there,” he added with a smile.