Manuel told us in his own words about his experience of working at Amazon:
Why does a pilot like me work in an Amazon fulfillment center? – That’s a question I hear often. My answer: Because I really like my job at Amazon, my colleagues, the teams, and the whole working atmosphere. I can be who I’ve always wanted to be. I can achieve everything I want to achieve. I currently work as a Workforce Staffing Manager at Amazon and am responsible for the hiring processes in Sülzetal near Magdeburg. In addition to my pilot's license, I also have a Bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Diversity at Amazon: About Glamazon, Pride, LGBTQIA+ and the rainbow
Last year, I started the Glamazon chapter at the fulfillment center in Sülzetal. Currently, I’m founding the Glamazon project at all our fulfillment sites in Germany. Glamazon stands for gay and lesbian as well as for all our LGBTQIA+ colleagues (Note: LGBTQIA+ is the abbreviation for: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual/transgender, queer, intersexual and asexual) at Amazon and those who advocate for a colorful and diverse society. And there are so many of them. Worldwide, we have more than 60 active Glamazon groups that offer advice, tips and support from mentors. Pride Month is our first major event in Sülzetal: At the moment, the walking paths in the fulfillment center are covered in rainbow colors. But we are also educating our colleagues in all shift meetings about the background of LGBTQIA+ and Pride events. By doing this, we hope to counter prejudice and raise awareness.
Since my first job interview I noticed that Amazon as a company was different. I was dressed in a white shirt and had my hair freshly styled by the hairdresser, as you would do for any typical job interview. The manager for the department to which I applied was dressed in a simple t-shirt. Another Amazon colleague was wearing a sweater. The conversation was relaxed, everyone was very friendly and interested. Your cultural background and your sexual orientation didn‘t matter: the important thing was what you do and how you do it.
My job and my experience at Amazon
On my first day, I was welcomed really nicely by everyone. The fact that I’m gay wasn‘t relevant at any time. At most, the reaction was, “Oh, you have a boyfriend? Cool!” It feels incredibly liberating that I can be myself here. Nowhere else have I been able to develop as much as I have at Amazon. Let's be honest: Not being heterosexual is still strange for many people.
During my youth I struggled a lot with this. I grew up in a little town in Bavaria. There, tradition is very important. I hid the fact that I liked boys. I didn’t want to be faced with all the prejudices, not for myself or for my family, who would have had to live with that too. My studies in Magdeburg were the beginning of a new chapter in my life: I didn't want to pretend anymore, and that was a good thing. No one reacted badly. That showed me that many fears only take place in our heads. My family was also very understanding.
After graduating university, my dream of becoming a pilot came up again. I decided to start training for my pilot’s license. Pilot school didn’t just mean investing a lot of time. It also meant a big financial investment for me. In 2019, I had my pilot’s license but also the debt of it. As it turned out, no one needed pilots. Airlines were struggling with the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Good employer: Career and advancement at Amazon
I wrote countless job applications and received countless refusals. There was little demand for business economists like me with a focus on human resources. The fact that an international company like Amazon opened a site near Magdeburg and was looking for HR specialists was like fate calling. I am very grateful for the opportunities I have been given here. I have a secure job, which has also helped me a lot financially.
I received a great salary and great career advancements. I was supported, promoted and advanced from specialist to manager in a short time. And when things really take off and Amazon asks me: “Manu, will you fly for us?” – I certainly won't say no! At Amazon, anything is possible.
At Amazon, we foster diversity and inclusion globally. Read more about it here.