Retraining as an engineer with Amazon made my career dreams a reality
Amazon has created 1,000 new full-time apprenticeship roles in 2021 across a diverse range of skillsets and aspirations – from automation engineering and broadcast production to robotics and health and safety.
Apprenticeships with Amazon provide more than just a job. From associate positions, through to management, it’s the beginning of a career that could truly change your life.
Whatever background, qualifications, or aspirations you might have, Amazon offers opportunities – we put you in prime position to train and gain new skills, and you get paid while you learn.
Today we’re sharing the apprenticeship journey of Camila Rey Da Rosa, one of our Mechatronics Engineering Apprentices based in Hemel Hempstead.
A bold career move
Camila originally trained as a nurse in Brazil from the age of 21 and specialised in occupational health and safety. When she went to work in a private hospital, she had the idea to become an occupational health and safety nurse for an engineering team – and then decided she had to pursue engineering as a career.
“Switching careers in your thirties can be challenging, at the time I had recently moved from Brazil to England and although I speak Spanish and Portuguese, I had never previously learned more than basic English. I also discovered that none of my qualifications I worked for in Brazil were valid here, so I needed to go back to school if I was going to achieve my dreams.
“At the age of 33, I took a course of English lessons, sat my Maths and English GCSEs and completed my BTEC level 3 engineering at West Herts College.
“While at college, I applied for more than fifty engineering apprenticeships. The only company to respond was Amazon. When they got in touch and offered me a fully funded apprenticeship, I immediately accepted!”
Working at Amazon
Camila has been with Amazon for nearly two years now and is a Mechatronics Apprentice Level 3. Along with her apprenticeship, she’s completing a degree in Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering, which can open even more pathways in her career, and she has taken a handful of internal training courses at Amazon.
“My life has changed for the better since I started at Amazon, I really enjoy my job because every day is different. There’s a great atmosphere and I love how the Leadership Principles like ‘Invent and Simplify’ or ‘Learn and Be Curious’ describe and define our unique culture.
“I find my apprenticeship is helping me with my degree a lot too, I can see my academic work improving as my practical experience grows. For me, I can learn new skills and concepts best when I do the tasks with my hands.
“Sometimes when you’re working on a project, you might have to improvise. For example, you might need to work with tools at different angles. In college, you might have a whole day to fix a problem – but at work you’re on a schedule with greater responsibility for those around you, so there are different skills to learn. My apprenticeship gives me an opportunity to test my knowledge and theory in the real world, and both my studies and job benefit!”
A bright future ahead
“Because my apprenticeship is based around shift work, I can study on my days off. And my degree will unlock even more doors for roles like Senior Technician, or joining a project team working on mechanical, electrical or automated systems – both are things I really want to do.
“Before I graduate, my aim is to start applying for a more senior position in Amazon. I love the culture here where we have freedom to put our ideas forward, people around you listen with respect and take action, so you feel free to innovate with new ideas.
“It’s also important that I can make an impact on the industry as a woman, in fact driving gender equality and equity in the tech sector is part of my career plan. I already serve as Vice Chair of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), a global organisation raising awareness of women in engineering. The WES Apprentices Podcast featured me recently and I was able to use that platform to talk about changing career and getting into engineering later in your career.
“I hope I can make older women more confident that they can change career and inspire young people to study more maths and science related topics at school or college.”
Camila’s bravery and curiosity are infectious, and she is on course to inspire many women to follow their career dreams – at any age, no matter their background or start in life.
“I have an engineering mindset, so there are no problems, only solutions,” she adds.
Apprenticeships at Amazon
Once qualified, our apprentices have the potential to work across Amazon’s UK sites including fulfilment centres, delivery stations, sorting centres, our UK head offices in London and Manchester, and three development centres in Edinburgh, Cambridge and London.
Lasting between 14 months and four years, apprenticeship roles pay minimum £10.00 per hour depending on location, up to £32,000 a year for degree-level apprenticeships.
Find out more about Apprenticeships with Amazon.