This winter, 200 students in the College of Arts & Sciences participated in the second annual Amazon Mentors program. The quarter long program kicked off with two class sessions challenging students to reflect on professionalism and develop networking and informational interviewing skills. For the remainder of the quarter, student groups met with mentors on the Amazon campus to discuss a variety of topics ranging from career exploration to identifying skills and strengths to understanding workplace culture.
We asked one participant, Arjun Lalwani, to reflect on his experience with the Amazon Mentors program:
I decided to enroll in the Amazon Mentorship Program as I wanted to best prepare myself for life in the tech industry after University. My five sessions with my mentor, Carter Hirtle, did exactly that! Carter was a great mentor who covered the key aspects that will help us make a successful transition from University to industry. We had productive discussions about networking, interviewing, work-life balance, leadership at workplace, and the importance of culture in a company. Carter also introduced us to different professionals at Amazon who worked in different positions, such as Software Engineer, Product Manager, User Experience Designer, and Finance Analysts. Learning from these professionals gave us a closer look into how companies build product to suit their customers’ needs.
The most important thing I learned from Carter was his ability to keep learning. Being an industry switcher, Carter got into marketing by self-learning the skills, and he constantly practices this skill along with leadership to lead teams at Amazon. His advice on building and maintaining a network is invaluable and has already benefited me in many ways.
I’m excited to apply everything I’ve learned and I’m confident that this will help me in making my transition into industry a lot less intimidating.
Building on his experience in the Amazon Mentors program, Arjun launched a registered student organization called Husky Tech focused on helping students from all majors gain insight and guidance in the tech industry. This student group will pilot their own mentorship program in the spring and students can learn more at mentorship.uwhuskytech.com.
For more information about the Amazon Mentors Program, visit the Center for 21st Century Learning (C21) website.