Alumni Stories
Kenzie Academy Student Samantha Yanas Headshot

Samantha Yanas

From Amazon Employee to Quality Assurance Engineer

Amazon Career Choice '21
  • Job Title
    Manual Quality Assurance Engineer
  • Employer After Graduation
Samantha's Story

Samantha is ambitious and had goals to move up in her career, but it seemed like she was always overlooked. It was her manager who inspired her to pursue Amazon’s Career Choice web development program, which led her to an amazing new job that she thought would never be possible for her.

“After working for Amazon for nearly 5 years, I had applied for multiple internal positions for a promotion, to no avail. My group manager recommended that I look into Career Choice, so I decided to take my group manager’s advice.”

Samantha enrolled in the Kenzie Academy’s Web Development program and jumped in with both feet, scared to fail and questioning if investing the time and energy would be worth it.

“The first week of school I was like, OK, this isn’t bad. I can handle it. But I started to worry if any of this could make sense. I went from being so excited to learn to fear failing again. I’m so thankful I didn’t give up. I didn’t quit even when I was tempted too.”

A month before graduation, Samantha started applying to jobs. She received rejection email and after rejection email — some she even had to say no to because she wasn’t able to relocate. But things quickly turned around at graduation.

“When we graduated, I can’t even explain the happiness in my heart. Two days after graduation, a yes came to my email. I landed my first interview. Three days later, I had my second interview. Two days later, I received an offer! When I received my first paycheck I teared up. I received what would have taken me 60 hours of work with Amazon in less than 40 hours with my new company. I’m allowed to make my own schedule. I work from home.

Yes, I’m still scared. Yes, I’m still learning, but it only took one yes. Now I look at all the rejection emails and the ones that keep coming in and I get satisfaction. I don’t think I could have done it without the Placement team.”

“I'm so thankful I didn't give up. I didn't quit even when I was tempted to.”
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