Buckinghamshire engineering director offers career tips during Learning at Work Week 2024

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A director of engineering planning and analytics from Buckinghamshire is sharing her career story during Learning at Work Week 2024 (13th-19th May) to celebrate the career progress she’s made thanks to the lifelong learning programmes at Amazon.

Learning at Work Week is an annual programme run by the charity Campaign for Learning. The charity works with organisations around the UK to create activities and fun challenges in the workplace to help employees learn and grow.

This year’s theme, Learning power, explores how lifelong and continual learning gives people power to change, grow and achieve individual, team and organisational goals.

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Paulina Wuczke, who works on Amazon’s global engineering services team, has used Amazon’s development and training opportunities to shape her professional career.

Paulina WuczkePaulina Wuczke
Paulina Wuczke

Paulina has shared her career story to encourage others to take their career to the next level using the lifelong learning opportunities available to them.

Paulina, from Buckinghamshire, is a director of engineering planning and analytics at Amazon. Since joining the company 17 years ago, she’s risen through the ranks from her first role as a temporary employee in the packing department at the Amazon fulfilment centre in Milton Keynes, to her role overseeing Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in the company’s global engineering services.

Paulina joined Amazon in 2006 after college, and has made steady progress in her career since then. Her first big success was being made permanent at the Milton Keynes fulfilment centre in 2007, before she moved to a learning and development role at the site in 2008.

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Using her skills as a learning and development trainer to boost her progression, Paulina soon joined the team at a newly launched Amazon fulfilment centre in Doncaster. It was here that she was promoted to area manager, and her career started to take a new direction.

In 2012, Paulina relocated to London to play a key role in the launch of a new fulfilment centre. Two years later, following the site’s successful launch, she transitioned to a strategic role as a program manager on a team of eight people who were responsible for launching new Amazon buildings in the UK and across Europe.

Paulina’s language skills and local country knowledge enabled her to play a key role in the launch of Amazon buildings in Poland, which gave her a taste of working in a more global role.

Paulina’s success at Amazon continued from there. From 2015 to 2019, she was promoted multiple times to senior managerial roles and was a key driver in the launch of over a dozen Amazon buildings in multiple European countries.

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In 2022, Paulina’s role changed again. She moved internally from the engineering launch team to leader of EMEA engineering planning and analytics. From once being a temporary employee, Paulina now found herself leading a team of 70 people and expanding her expertise to countries outside of Europe.

As of April this year, Paulina is the director of engineering planning and analytics for Amazon’s global engineering services in EMEA.

What advice does Paulina give colleagues who are hoping to progress in their careers? Get a mentor and own your professional development.

“I often reference Sir Isaac Newton when speaking of the positive impact that mentoring had on my career,” Paulina said.

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“He said, ‘if I have seen further [than other scientists of the time], it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” And that’s what I’ve done by engaging with mentoring at Amazon and by being professionally coached through Amazon’s partnership with Coach Hub.

“Engaging with mentoring and coaching played a part in me owning my development. I utilised tools that are readily available at Amazon, including internal learning portals, getting feedback from my peers and managers, reading books and listening to podcasts. These, combined with a lot of self-reflection, have helped me get to where I am today.”

Speaking on her recent promotion, Paulina said: “I’m honoured and humbled to have been promoted to director of a department that I have found huge personal and professional satisfaction in. I couldn’t be more thankful for my journey over the last 17 years at Amazon, and I continue to be amazed by the opportunities our company gives to its employees.

“The ability to learn and be curious enables our growth, which is priceless. I want to thank everyone that I’ve met on my path for the valuable lessons they’ve taught me. I’m excited to continue the journey alongside an amazing team.”

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And what’s the most important thing Paulina’s learned in her career journey so far? “No dream is too big – so dream big!”

Alongside helping employees to improve existing skills or learn new ones through internal career progression opportunities such as apprenticeships, transferring to a different department and promotion to a managerial role, Amazon team members can take part in Amazon Career Choice.

The programme, which has been running at Amazon for the past decade, pre-pays up to 95% of tuition and fees for courses in high-demand fields, up to £8,000 over four years, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon.

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.

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Amazon employees receive competitive pay and comprehensive benefits. Pay starts at a minimum of £12.30 or £13.00 per hour depending on location and employees are offered a comprehensive benefits package, including private medical insurance, life assurance, income protection and an employee discount as well as a company pension plan.

Amazon has been named as a ‘Top Employer UK 2024’ by the Top Employer Institute, one of the world’s most prestigious certifications in the field of human resources management. This award recognises Amazon’s commitment to the development and well-being of its employees. In addition to the UK accolade, Amazon has also been certified as one of the Top Employers in Europe for a second consecutive year.

In 2023, Amazon ranked in second place on LinkedIn’s Top Companies list — an annual list that identifies the most sought-after places to work and grow your career in the UK. Using data from LinkedIn’s 900 million members, LinkedIn’s Top Companies list is designed to help professionals identify the best companies to grow their careers.

To find out more about a career with Amazon, visit Amazon Jobs.