One way to learn what it is like to work at Amazon is through the people at Amazon. This is the first in a series of employee profiles, sharing a short Q&A with Marina Gufeld, EU Program Manager in our Munich office.
How would you describe yourself in 2-4 sentences?
I am passionate about life and living it to the fullest. If I can positively influence at least one person in my day, then I can go to sleep happy.
When did you join Amazon, what’s your current position and how would you describe your role?
I joined Amazon almost 5 years ago and started right away on the Amazon Pay team as a part-time Account Manager here in Munich. My current position is EU Program Manager. My role focuses on growing product features and ensuring their adoption in the EU region. I have a lot of flexibility and latitude in the way I tackle topics and accomplish my goals. Our team manager makes every effort to match individual talents with everyone’s roles and projects.
What does a typical day look like for you?
There is no such thing! Every day is uniquely shaped for an Amazonian. One day I might be giving an EU-wide training, the next day I could be at a workshop pitching our product features to customers, and later that week I could be diving deep into data to understand a customer’s issue. In any case, I can always expect the following from my great colleagues:
- A warm, smiley morning greeting.
- Emails, calls and meetings with colleagues from around the world - Seattle, UK, Luxembourg and Bangalore.
- A welcome email for a new colleague in our organization -- we are constantly growing and looking for fresh talent.
What do you enjoy about the Amazon culture? Or what’s one thing you’ve learned since your time at Amazon?
I love the fact that Amazon has very flat hierarchies where your manager’s doors are always open. At Amazon, you are always surrounded not only by talented and ambitious personalities, but people who you enjoy being around during your personal time. There is a culture of “every idea is welcome” so no one ever needs to feel embarrassed or shy about proposing grand ideas. Amazon encourages a very family friendly work environment.
What is your favorite leadership principle and why?
From the day I started at Amazon, it was and always has been customer obsession. I believe the best ideas originate when we work back from the customer, or interact directly with a customer to get insights.
What is one of the reasons you enjoy working at Amazon Pay?
The team, or rather family spirit is quite unique at Amazon Pay, where everyone treats each other like a friend rather than an ordinary colleague.
How does Amazon support your career goals?
There are endless opportunities to develop my career and experiment in new areas. Managers have been very open to changing the scope of my role in the interest of personal growth and development.
What's the best thing about coming to work each day? Is there a "perk" to your job that might surprise people?
The fact that every day is so unique at Amazon, you never know what to expect and what results you will have at the end of the day. One perk of my job is the flexibility of my schedule. Twice a week I work longer days, twice a week I leave work around 3.30PM and on Wednesdays I am completely off. I have the luxury of coordinating my work time to match my private life. Another perk is the 7-minute work-outs I do with my colleagues in meeting rooms -- we eat Russian Plombir Ice cream afterwards.
What are some of your passions outside of work? What are you most excited about outside of work?
Spending time with my little family, travelling the world, hiking/skiing in the Alps, and jumping around in Zumba classes.
If you had a personal motto, what would it be?
The only things you regret in life are the things you didn’t do. Take chances!
Learn more about working at Amazon Pay through our career site.