Bolton Area Manager Encourages Others to Fulfil Their Potential

18 May 2022 04:08
Published by: Scott Callan

A local area temporary area manager who started her career as an entry level associate is hoping her story will inspire others to engage in lifelong learning during Learning at Work Week 2022 (16th - 22nd May).

Agnieszka from Bolton works at the Amazon fulfilment centre in Bolton having risen through the ranks from her first role at Amazon as an entry level associate in the inbound team.

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

The theme of Learning at Work Week 2022 is Learning Uncovered, and will focus on deepening society's understanding, knowledge and engagement in lifelong and continual learning.

Agnieszka, who has worked for Amazon for four years, has used the company's development and training opportunities to progress and now works as temporary area manager.

Agnieszka, originally from Poland, has been living in England for 14 years and joined Amazon in August 2018 following a 10-year career in the hospitality industry. Agnieszka had reached the point in her previous role where no further progression opportunities were available, and she decided it was time to try something new.

As a mother of two young children, Agnieszka appreciates the great work-life balance Amazon offers her. Career development and the chance to be more present for her children were the motivating factors behind her initial application to the company.

Today, Agnieszka is proud to say that she has worked across multiple departments and in various roles during her time with Amazon, starting out as an entry level associate in the inbound team before working her way up to her current role of acting area manager at the fulfilment centre in Bolton. Agnieszka has used the Amazon Career Choice programme to aid her career progression.

Speaking on Amazon's Career Choice programme, Agnieszka said: "The opportunities are endless. I have recently completed CIPD Level 3 and Level 5 in HR, with 95% of the fees covered by Amazon. I couldn't have completed these courses without this support."

Agnieszka cites the growth opportunities, Amazon's people-first approach, and the support she's received as other key factors in her professional development.

When it comes to the favourite part of her current role, Agnieszka praises her teammates at Amazon in Bolton. "The best thing about working at Amazon is our team" she said. "I have amazing examples of leaders around me; every day is a different day, and every day we learn something new. We've got such a diverse environment, which makes me feel at home and feel like I belong here. Everyone has time for others."

Agnieszka is currently studying a three-year Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship with Amazon and Manchester Metropolitan University, which she started in January, with the long-term goal of becoming a permanent area manager. She hopes to remain at the fulfilment centre in Bolton, a town in which she feels her family is now thriving thanks to Amazon.

Also based at Amazon's fulfilment centre in Bolton is area manager, Kostas Dimitropoulos, who has worked for Amazon for six years and in that time has risen through the ranks from his first role working in stow.

After achieving a degree in graphic design, Kostas, who is from Greece, spent some time travelling around Europe to experience a range of cities and cultures. He found himself in the UK as his sister lives here and decided to stay, joining Amazon in 2016.

During a trip to Manchester, Kostas spotted Amazon's fulfilment centre in the city, located beside the airport, on his way to catch a flight. He immediately felt curious about a career with the company and started doing some research. After liking what he discovered, he applied for a role with Amazon and has been with the company ever since.

Almost six years later, Kostas is proud to say that after starting at Amazon as an IB associate in stow, he has taken advantage of many learning and development opportunities to secure several promotions to his current role of area manager.

Part of Kostas' development at Amazon saw him move to Australia to support the operations team on a project basis. After a few successful months launching the first Amazon Robotics site in Australia, Kostas received an offer to join the Australian team on a permanent basis. However, he made the decision to return to Bolton as he enjoys life in the UK so much.

When it comes to the favourite part of his role, Kostas says: "I love talking to people and helping them develop."

Kostas says this is the main factor in the decision he made earlier in life to opt against pursuing a career in his degree field of graphic design. He felt that a career based behind a desk wasn't suited to him. He enjoys guiding a team and engaging with colleagues, which makes Amazon the perfect fit for him. "I really believe that Amazon in Bolton is the best place for me because I have great support from my leaders and mentors," he added.

Speaking on the future, Kostas has hopes of one day becoming an operations manager. He has spent some time temporarily covering this role and thoroughly enjoyed it, whetting his appetite to pursue the role as he advances his career at Amazon.

Amazon Bolton General Manager, John Strydom, added: "We are extremely proud of Kostas and Agnieszka for how they have risen through the ranks since joining Amazon. They are both valued members of the team here at Amazon in Bolton and we hope that their stories will inspire others to enrich their own careers through the wide variety of development programmes available to them. Kostas and Agnieszka model the benefits of committing to lifelong learning and we are excited to see them progress even further with us."

Amazon employees receive competitive pay and comprehensive benefits. Pay starts at £10 or £11.10 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 - which combined are worth more than £700 annually - as well as a company pension plan.

Amazon offers employees Career Choice, an innovative programme which pre-pays 95% of tuition 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.

Amazon also provides opportunities to improve existing skills or learn new ones through internal career progression opportunities such as cross-training, transferring to a different department and promotion into a managerial role.

Amazon is investing £10 million over three years in training up to 5,000 employees in new skills to meet the UK's future employment needs outside of Amazon. Amazon is also partnering with the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and local businesses on the programme to identify regional skills shortages and focus training on local demand.

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

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