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The best science career advice we heard in 2021

What's it like to be a scientist at Amazon? What drew you to science? What advice do you have? We asked those questions a lot in 2021 — these are some of the best answers.

  1. "Think a lot, and think big."
    Minghui He is a research scientist who transformed an internship into a full-time role. Her advice to other interns who want to follow her path is to discuss your ideas and goals with your manager — and to "think big."
    Courtesy of Minghui He

    Minghui He is a research scientist on a team comprising mostly ethnographers. She says one of the benefits of her role is interacting with user researchers, product managers, and designers. Learn how she turned an internship at Amazon into a full-time job.

  2. "I had many different types of mentors."
    When Sneha Rajana started at Amazon, she worked as a software development engineer. Now she is an applied scientist whose previous SDE role has aided her approach to her current job.
    Courtesy of Sneha Rajana

    When Sneha Rajana started at Amazon, she worked as a software development engineer. Today she is an applied scientist. Learn how she made the switch — and how she was able to do it without a PhD.

  3. "I'm leading the fastest growing technology for the fastest moving market segment at the largest cloud provider in the world. There's no better job."
    Allie Miller is the global head of machine learning business development for startups and venture capital for Amazon Web Services. Miller consults AWS customers on everything from distributed model training to strategies on hiring a more diverse engineering team.
    Courtesy of Allie Miller

    Allie Miller is the global head of machine learning business development for startups and venture capital for Amazon Web Services. Learn why she wants to help others understand artificial intelligence.

  4. "If you know how to apply data science, you can work in any industry."
    Daliana Liu, a senior data scientist in Amazon’s Machine Learning Solutions Lab, uses her experience to help young data scientists decide where they fit. 
    Courtesy of Daliana Liu

    Daliana Liu, a senior data scientist in Amazon’s Machine Learning Solutions Lab, offers daily career advice on her LinkedIn page and has a newsletter for early career data scientists. Many of her followers have the same question. Find out what she tells people when they ask: "What kind of data scientist should I be?".

  5. "There is a huge amount of innovation in machine learning at Amazon."
    Andrew Borthwick, an Amazon principal scientist, shares his insights related to helping organize a company-wide challenge for one of the company's internal science events, and on how, despite the company's decentralized approach to science and engineering, the company still fosters collaboration and a sense of community among scientists.
    Credit: Andrew Borthwick

    Andrew Borthwick, an Amazon principal scientist, shares his insights related to helping organize a company-wide challenge for one of the company's internal science events, and on how, despite the decentralized approach, the company still fosters collaboration and a sense of community among scientists.

  6. "I knew there was something in robotics that I really wanted to get my hands and feet into."
    Erica Aduh, a research scientist at Amazon Robotics, was drawn to robotics after taking an Intro to Robotics course during her sophomore year at the University of Pennsylvania.
    Courtesy of Erica Aduh

    Today Erica Aduh is a research scientist working on significant challenges for Amazon Robotics, but it was a college class that proved fateful. Learn about the class that sparked her passion for robotics, and why she says mentors are so important.

  7. "Take advantage of the opportunity and do as many and as diverse internships as [you] can."
    Cristiana Lara, a research scientist, has done groundbreaking work on network timing that is helping Amazon better formulate how to transport packages more efficiently.

    Cristiana Lara, a research scientist, has done groundbreaking work on network timing that is helping Amazon better formulate how to transport packages more efficiently. Learn about her journey from a curious student to a full-time research scientist.

  8. "The experiences and opportunities I’ve had have far exceeded my initial expectations"
    Nanneh Chehras is a senior economist at Amazon. She is known as someone who advocates for her colleagues, mentors the next generation, and invests in women across a space where there are few.

    Nanneh Chehras is a senior economist at Amazon. She knows what it means to pursue a career path like hers, and she’s determined to help others along the way. Learn why she says she is committed to being a mentor.

  9. "With Amazon, you have the opportunity to reach hundreds of millions of people with your work."
    Theodore Vaslioudis, a former intern and full-time Amazon scientist since February 2020, uses his experiences to help customers gain the greatest value from AWS resources, and his colleagues make the most of working remotely.

    Theodore Vaslioudis, a former intern who is now full-time Amazon scientist, uses his experiences to help customers gain the greatest value from AWS resources, and his colleagues make the most of working remotely. Find out how he made the journey from an intern to a full-time scientist.

  10. "Great scientists are those who constantly try to find the simplest and most efficient solution."
    Alex Guazzelli, director of machine learning in Amazon’s Customer Trust and Partner Support unit, says great scientists are "invention machines, they find innovative ways to tackle challenges."
    Courtesy of Alex Guazzelli

    Alex Guazzelli is a director of machine learning in Amazon’s Customer Trust and Partner Support unit. Read his thoughts about the essential qualities of a great scientist.

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