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10 Ways To Get Noticed By Amazon: Why This Recruiter Believes That Connection Is Key

The post-Covid jobscape is a whole new frontier for candidates of color looking to break into the new market. This is especially true for those hoping to join highly competitive companies. Though finding a job at larger companies seems daunting, it’s not impossible. Theo Burton, a talent manager and Diversity Ambassador at Amazon, has a solid piece of advice for candidates: “Life is short. Nowadays you can’t be afraid to rub with people the wrong way. Just get out there, handle yourself in a professional manner and keep it moving.” Theo is the real deal when it comes to talent acquisition. The recruiting veteran has over a decade of leadership and talent recruitment experience. His experience has taken him to recruiting roles at Robert Half International, and he was an early adopter employee at LinkedIn before landing at Amazon five years ago. Since his tenure began, he’s moved from consumer talent recruitment into a head HR recruiter role. So, he’s on the team that recruits the...

Jun 17, 2021

Black in Tech: Meet Two Amazon Employees Blazing Trails in the South

When we think of the latest news in the tech scene, we often train our gaze out west, keeping an eye on Silicon Valley for the latest tech innovations and IPO sound bytes. But in doing so, many of us miss out on the expertise and insights of brilliant minds in the emergent tech scene in the South. Hubs like Jackson, Mississippi, Austin, and of course, Atlanta are serving up a goldmine of tech innovation. So why don’t we know more about them? We caught up with two Atlanta-based changemakers to learn more about the tech hub in the southern states. Nashlie Sephus and Ivan Walker are longtime friends and tech founders who’ve been paving the way for the Black tech community in recent years. The Georgia Tech grad school grads form a critical part of Amazon’s AWS team while maintaining strong ties with outreach initiatives in the community. Nashlie and Ivan are co-founders of The Bean Path , a nonprofit organization based in their hometown of Jackson. It creates strong tech foundations in...

Jun 2, 2021

Black Men In Tech: How Seven Men Are Finding Equity While Bringing Their Own Seat To The Table At Amazon

With hands in everything from online shopping to web services, online retail giant Amazon counts on the people behind the scenes to get the job done on a daily basis. Much of the company’s success is due, in part, to its ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Through its #BlackHistoryMakers series, Amazon celebrated Black creatives inside and outside of the company. In fact, we recently got real with a few Black women leading the way at Amazon. Now AfroTech is speaking with seven men creating change and impact for those around them. They share their professional journeys, offer encouragement for aspiring Black professionals and discuss how they’re changing the game at Amazon. The Black Men Making Waves at Amazon Mark Hatcher, Global Sales Account Manager As an industry leader and professional, this Detroit native found success through progressive responsibility at companies like Cintas, Coca-Cola, Harley-Davidson Motor Company and the Seattle Seahawks. Since joining...

May 5, 2021

6 Ways Small Minority Businesses Are Getting a Lift from Partnering with Amazon

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased demand for online goods and services. Many businesses are moving to the web as a result. However, some owners need help navigating the digital retail space. Amazon has become their haven. More than 50% of products purchased on Amazon come from third parties. And those sellers are primarily small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). SMBs are growing like never before thanks to the online marketplace, which is ideal for small, minority-owned businesses. They are one of the fastest-growing categories of small business. As a result, they are substantial contributors to many U.S. communities’ economies. One of SMBs’ biggest hurdles is getting their products and services to their target audiences. So Amazon stepped in. Since 2000, it has helped SMBs reach more than 300 million customers. Between 2019 and 2020, Amazon invested over $30 billion in fostering SMB growth and brand awareness. In 2020, it launched more than 250 tools and services to help...

Apr 15, 2021

Celebrating Women’s History Month with Amazon Alexa Startups and The Alexa Fund: Get to Know Five Finalists from the “Women Founders Represent” Pitch Competition

From corporate boardrooms to launching new businesses, in addition to being the most educated group in America, women are making history 52 weeks, 365 days a year. So each March, the least we can do is highlight those doing it their way during Women’s History Month. With women facing additional hurdles in the venture capital world, Amazon Alexa Startups and the Alexa Fund , which provides up to $200 million in venture capital funding to fuel Artificial Intelligence (AI) and voice technology innovation, kicked off dedicated efforts to address such inequalities through capital and non-capital support for women entrepreneurs. In this spirit, in 2020, Alexa Startups and the Alexa Fund collaborated with All Raise — a nonprofit organization that works to empower women entrepreneurs and venture capital investors – to create an innovative pitch competition called Women Founders Represent (WFR). In celebration of Women’s History Month, meet five women who made their voices heard at WFR, and...

Mar 31, 2021

Black Women Leading the Way: Insight From the Women of Amazon 

Black History Month may be over, but the impact of Amazon’s innovative #BlackHistoryMakers series will be long-lasting for the Black creatives who were given a platform to share their stories. The series was all part of the leading online retailer’s ongoing efforts to highlight and empower Black employees, especially those making an impact at Amazon and within their communities. Now to celebrate Women’s History Month, Amazon is amplifying women-owned small businesses. It’s also using this month to focus on a new set of voices by sharing insights from Black women making an impact of their own at Amazon. AfroTech recently spoke with Tiffany Johnson, Dr. Tiffany Bowden, Jillian Blackwell and Karie Harris about their paths into tech, tips for other professionals and more. Black Women Leading the Way at Amazon Since moving to the United States at age 14, Tiffany Johnson has been determined to find her way. Despite a rough start that included becoming an emancipated minor, living...

Mar 22, 2021

Careers in Tech: Samara Moore Shares Why She Bet on Herself in Technology

Sometimes you can’t just trust the process; you have to trust yourself as well. It’s something Samara Moore has learned during her career in technology. As a Security Assurance Senior Manager and Global Energy Specialist, she’s made her mark since joining Amazon Web Services (AWS) by leading the security and compliance program for regulated industries and public sector throughout North and South America. It’s a role that found her unexpectedly while she was still with another company. She says this shift happened while “I was going along my merry way with a company that I really enjoyed, and I got wind of an opportunity at AWS and someone said ‘Hey would you consider this?’” Less than two months later, Moore found herself implementing and sustaining integral programs that effectively managed cyber risks and aligned security measures with business and IT strategies. In many ways, it’s a role Moore was simply made for, thanks in part to experience that draws on over a decade with the...

Mar 12, 2021

Creative Careers in Tech: Sr. Practice Manager Michelle Bozeman Finds Joy In Building Professionals at Amazon

After nearly two decades at Microsoft, Michelle Bozeman has proven that she gets things done. Since joining Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2019, she’s done just that in her role as a Senior Practice Manager. Officially embracing a new phase of her career, Michelle’s found a role that both challenges and inspires her as she develops consultants at Amazon. “My position today is in professional services. I manage a team of consultants that are early in their careers. I manage a program that is meant to grow them into more senior consultants, and I started doing that with college hires. That led me to a passion that I have mentoring and growing people, which led me to AWS,” Michelle says. Understanding that there’s room for everyone to win, since joining AWS, Michelle says her greatest achievement has been “seeing people grow.” As a manager and mentor, Michelle has been instrumental in developing a new generation of tech professionals . “Watching them come in so unsure of the position,...

Mar 5, 2021

Paving the Way for Black Excellence: How Amazon Is Opening Doors for the Next Generation of Black Trailblazers

Throughout this year’s Black History Month, it was remarkable to see how the Black community recognized and uplifted each other. #BlackExcellence is everywhere. This year, Amazon celebrated by turning the spotlight on the Black creators, innovators and entrepreneurs doing big things and creating history in real time. From artists to makers to tech professionals and more, there’s no shortage of #BlackHistoryMakers leaving a mark. “All of the contributions that Black people have made […] can’t be contained to just one month,” declares Latasha Gillespie, the Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Amazon Studios, Prime Video and IMDB. Amazon strives to create a space where Black employees feel empowered to grow their careers and continue to step up into leadership positions. This year, Amazon kicked off its BHM celebration by highlighting its innovative employees and partners who are creating real and long-lasting change within the community. The BEN Scholarship Amazon’s Black...

Mar 3, 2021

How 8 Black-Owned Startups Made Their Voices Heard at AfroTech World Founders Showcase with Amazon Alexa Startups and The Alexa Fund

2020 has truly been the year of flexibility. When it comes to our AfroTech family, it’s meant learning to pivot to ensure the show indeed goes on. Each year, the Oakland-based event provides the opportunity for founders and employees at some of the nation’s fastest-growing tech startups to officially debut their companies and present their digital strategies for success. This year’s AfroTech conference culminated in a virtual avatar experience called AfroTech World and featured a two-day initiative called the AfroTech World Founders Showcase presented by the Amazon Alexa Fund. Designed as a means for seed-stage startups to pitch to and network with notable venture capitalists, incubators and angel investors — including Y Combinator, Founder Gym, Precursor Ventures and MaC Venture Capital among others — dialed in all week long at AfroTech World to scope out emerging change-makers. It’s an opportunity not often given to Black and Latinx startups, who received less than 3% of available...

Jan 26, 2021

Careers In Tech: Amazon Web Services Engineer, Makho Ngazimbi  Shares How To Secure A Job in Tech 

There are many paths to success in tech, but the most notorious is software development and engineering.  We want to introduce you to Makho Ngazimbi, a software development manager with Amazon Web Services. Amazon Web Services helps businesses scale and grow by offering secure cloud services on its platform along with database storage and more. Makho’s team of engineers is responsible for making sure that the operating system is distributing to all the data centers. Makho spoke with Will Lucas at AfroTech about his journey into tech and what he wants other Black professionals to know when venturing into the field. One of the proudest responsibilities that Makho has is in recruiting Black engineers into tech. Resources like Amazon’s Black Employee Network have allowed him to be hands-on in recruiting, retaining, and even advancing Black talent in engineering. “There’s a lot of programs that I am really proud of and [recruiting] is actually a huge passion of mine,” said Makho. If...

Nov 5, 2020