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Richa Vijay2 richa vijay

Relauncher of the Month

August 2022

After earning an MBA in Finance and Marketing from India, I started my professional journey as Financial Advisor and later progressed into the roles of Wealth Manager and Credit Manager. I worked for more than six years in India’s leading private and public sector banking institutions before moving to USA in 2014 with my husband. Initially after relocation, I could not continue professional work due to visa status, and later I gave birth to my daughter. I decided to devote my whole time to her being a full-time mother and a caregiver. When my daughter grew and became more independent, I felt like I was ready to resume my career. At the same time, I realized a lack of confidence in myself to return to work. I felt challenged - as I had nine years of career gap, my skillsets were not updated, and I felt lost thinking from where to start.

After lots of brainstorming, I figured out that analytics and problem solving were parts of my job role which I enjoyed doing a lot. I started searching for Data Analytics Programs, and I came across the Data Analytics Certification program of CareerFoundry. In this eight-month certification program, I expanded my data analysis skills and worked on different projects using latest technologies. This was a great confidence booster for me. Once I earned my certification, I started my job preparation and networking. I was motivated and started applying for jobs, but the response received to my job applications was not what I expected. I was not hearing back for any of my applications. This shook my confidence, and the career gap started dominating my mind again.

Then one fine day, over LinkedIn, I came across the iRelaunch page - and that was the game changer for me. I came to know about return to work programs and gained insights about how I could prepare myself for applying to these programs. I always felt motivated listening to the "3,2,1 iRelaunch" podcast episodes. Finally, I came across the Amazon Returnship program for which I applied. I was given a chance to get interviewed, and I got the offer. I felt so great about the Amazon Returnship recruitment process because the process was seamless and specially structured for the people who are coming in with a career gap. My favorite part of working at Amazon is the kind, brilliant and inclusive people. I really appreciate that my hiring manager and teammates are invested in the success of my Returnship journey. Amazon Returnship opportunity offered me the time and support I needed to get back to work.

Click here to view the one-page profile we compiled to highlight Richa's career path!

We caught up with Richa to dive a little deeper into her relaunch story and the advice she has for other relaunchers...

What was different (and beneficial) about returning to work through a career-reentry program? 

When I started my relaunch journey, I applied to regular job openings, and I did not hear back about any of my applications because all those job roles required recent work experience. Later when I learned about return to work programs, I found out that these programs are structured and designed specifically for people who have gap in their career. Amazon’s Returnship program offered me the time and support I needed to get back to work. This program was not focused on current work experience – it was instead focused on the learning and curiosity demonstrated by relauncher, for e.g., pursuing some course or certification, volunteer work etc. and how they can add most value to the company. 

How did you determine that data analytics and problem solving were the functions of your career that you wanted to pursue? Do you feel that relaunchers should explore which job functions they are most interested in as part of their relaunch journey? 

I worked in Banking and Financial services in my prior professional experience where financial data analysis and problem solving were the core skills I was using in my day-to-day work. I thoroughly enjoyed analyzing trends in financial data and making decisions based on the insights. When I was putting my thoughts together to relaunch my career, I realized that if I can upskill my core analytical skillset and interest as per the current job market, that will definitely help me in heading towards the right direction. I strongly believe that relaunchers should explore the job functions they are most interested in as part of their relaunch journey because we thrive when we pursue something we really enjoy doing. 

Why did you look to Amazon and iRelaunch to support you in your career journey in 2022? Did anything in particular stand out to you about Amazon? 

The answer is simple. Amazon’s Returnship was the perfect opportunity for me to apply my skills in a meaningful way. Here’s an overview of the program: Variety of Opportunities: Amazon offers a variety of Returnship job opportunities both non-technical and technical, which allows for a variety of professionals to restart their careers. Recruitment and hiring: Amazon recruiters help candidates refresh their interviewing skills and translate their competencies into Amazon’s leadership principles, the hiring team interviews assess candidates based on their potential rather than on their resume. Ensuring a smooth transition through mentorship: Once hired, each returner is paired with a dedicated mentor who, in addition to their manager and onboarding buddy that provide coaching and feedback to get familiar with Amazon’s peculiar culture. From recruit to full time: At the end of the 16 weeks, those who excel and ‘raise the hiring bar’ are eligible for an offer for full-time employment and relocation assistance to a hiring location.

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