Amazon Web Services Women in Cloud program helps Brazilian on path to solutions architect role

by Inaiah Anchite | on

I joined Amazon Web Services (Amazon Web Services) as a Solutions Architect in September 2022, a few months after participating in Amazon Web Services Women in Cloud (WiC), a workforce development initiative designed to inspire, motivate, and connect female learners to Amazon Web Services training and cloud-related job opportunities. As I approach my one-year “Amaversary,” as we Amazonians like to call it, I’m moved to share my journey with the hopes it inspires even one woman to see her future in my story.

Since I was young, I dreamed of working for a big tech company, but this dream always seemed far from attainable. You see, I was born and raised in a city of 140,000 inhabitants in the interior of Rio de Janerio State in Brazil. Growing up in such a small and remote part of Brazil presented me with few opportunities for professional growth, especially when it came to tech.

Education as my first step

Determined not to let geography stand in the way of my dreams, I began studying information systems at UniFOA in 2013. There, I found great inspiration in one of my professors who taught the last class on Friday nights. He worked at a big tech company for years, and even though the class was late and he was tired, he still had a sparkle in his eyes every time he talked about his professional journey. He, too, came from a small town in Brazil and I was inspired by his story, which showed me that my dream was feasible to achieve.

Thanks to this inspiration and my hard work, I secured a Systems Analyst role when I graduated in 2016. Though I entered the tech workforce, I was still living in my small hometown and my opportunities for growth felt limited. Over the next three years, I planned and dreamed for what was to come next.

Making a big move

In 2019, I decided to move to Brazil’s largest city, São Paulo, where a single neighborhood has a population that exceeded that of my entire hometown. At first, everything felt daunting.. I had never been away from home and the move required a lot of courage and determination. But I eventually found a job as a developer at a consultancy firm, where I continued to sharpen my tech skills.

I’ve always loved and had a strong affinity for the field of data and enjoyed helping people solve their problems. So, when I was offered a new position as a Data Engineer at a financial services company in 2020, I immediately accepted. Though I had heard of Amazon Web Services (Amazon Web Services), I had little prior knowledge of cloud computing and had never worked in the Amazon Web Services Cloud.

My fascination with Amazon Web Services’s data services quickly grew and I decided to pursue the Amazon Web Services Certified Cloud Practitioner certification so I could further specialize in cloud computing and add more value to my work as a Data Engineer. While taking courses at Paulista Faculty of Informatics and Administration I studied for the certification exam through Amazon Web Services Academy, which provides higher education institutions around the world with a free, ready-to-teach Amazon Web Services Cloud computing curriculum.

Empowered by stories from Women in Cloud

Not one to sit still, I next set a goal to become a Solutions Architect. Though this goal seemed like a stretch at the time, my history taught me that I could do anything I set my mind to. And, lucky for me, my Amazon Web Services Academy professor had invited me to participate in the WiC event, held at the Amazon Web Services Brazil office. Without hesitation, I accepted the invitation, as my dream was closer than ever: I was going to step into the Amazon Web Services Brazil office for the first time!

The all-day event included hands-on activities to practice my cloud skills, innovation workshops, and opportunities to hear from women who have excelled in their IT careers. Employers with available positions attended the event hoping to meet cloud-skilled candidates to fill these open roles. Leaving the event, I was deeply impacted, motivated, determined, and empowered. I completed the Amazon Web Services Academy course, obtained my first Amazon Web Services Certification, and began applying for Solutions Architect positions.

Dreams become a reality

WiC aims to build a bridge to employment by connecting cloud-skilled female job seekers with employers looking to hire for in-demand, open roles. And, about three months later, I was called to participate in the selection process for a Solutions Architect role at Amazon Web Services. My heart almost leaped out of joy.

I went through the process, and a few days later, I received the long-awaited email saying, “Congratulations, Inaiah. You have been approved for the Solutions Architect position at Amazon Web Services!” After all my hard work, my dream of becoming a Solutions Architect was finally coming true, thanks to the “Women in Cloud” event that allowed me to connect with other women in tech who I now get to call my colleagues.

This year I attended the third edition of WiC in Brazil and had the privilege of sharing my story on stage. As I looked out into the audience of hundreds of women who were just like me a short time ago, one thing became clear: while I look forward to continuing to grow professionally, my passion is to impact and motivate other women with my experience.  We are all capable of reaching our goals!

About Women in Cloud

Amazon Web Services Women in Cloud (WiC) is a workforce development initiative to inspire, motivate, and connect female learners to Amazon Web Services training and cloud-related job opportunities, promoting and growing women empowerment in IT. WIC has conducted three events in Brazil since June 2022, impacting over 1,000 women through networking, mentorship, training learners in Amazon Web Services Academy Cloud Foundations, and connecting cloud-skilled talent with entry-level employment opportunities.

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