“You will feel inspired in every engagement you undertake with the students. My only advice would be to make sure the students get to have a voice, and that you ask open questions. Giving the students a voice, and allowing for their feedback, will help you learn as well.”
- Name: Ricky Cibardo
- Job title: Enterprise Account Manager (Welfare & the Economy)
- Organisation: Amazon Web Services
Can you tell us a little bit about your role? (e.g. What is a typical day like, what do you enjoy most about your job, and what is the most challenging part?)
Working within the Central Government team and more specifically Welfare & the Economy, I have a subset of AWS customers.
The customers I work with are all at varying stages of cloud maturity so in some cases I help them as they start their AWS journey. This usually includes bringing in an experienced AWS team that typically include a range of roles such as Solutions Architects, Professional Services, Technical Account Managers, and Specialists.
I love everything about my job. I get to invent and simplify what we do for our customers, and I am actively encouraged to bring bold ideas to the table. I can do all of this and still get to mentor new members of AWS, as well as working with organisations such as Inspiring the Future to help future generations develop a career in cloud technology.
The challenge is usually fitting everything into a busy schedule!
How did you get to where you are today?
Prior to joining AWS, I worked for 21 years as a Customer Manager within the Cyber Security industry.
To join AWS, was a goal of mine for a number of years. Cloud computing is transforming organisations and the way they operate. It was this, coupled with the Amazon Day 1 culture – which means maintaining a long-term focus, obsessing over customers, and bold innovation – which made me feel so strongly about joining the company.
What did you want to be when you were in school?
A chef! I studied Catering and Hospitality and had my own catering business for a couple of years after leaving college.
Who or what inspires you, and why?
My dad – he inspires me as at nearly 80 years’ old, he still works hard and never has a day off. From Sicily, he came to England at 27 years’ old without being able to speak a word of English. He worked three jobs every day for many years to provide for his family. He proved to me at an early age that hard work, drive, and determination are three key attributes that will get you a long way in life.
When did you begin volunteering with Inspiring the Future, and why did you decide to start?
I started to volunteer with Inspiring the Future as soon as I was able to, and have been volunteering for over a year. I wanted to train and mentor students outside of, and inside of, my organisation for a while, and it was great to have the opportunity to do this alongside my day job.
What Inspiring the Future activities have you participated in so far? (How have you found them? Were there any stand out moments?)
I have participated in a plethora of different activities ranging from conducting mock interviews for Year 10 students, helping them to create a LinkedIn account, and showing how to use this in a business context.
I am so happy that we are able to carry out these engagements in person, and have been inspired myself at how enthusiastic the students have been, and how receptive they are to learning new skills.
The stand out moment for me so far was on mock interview day where I was an interviewer. After I conducted the first five interviews, the sixth candidate had the foresight to speak to the previous five interviewees to ask what type of interviewer I was, the questions I asked, and what the structure of the interview was. I thought this showed maturity beyond the candidate’s years. I took great pride helping this student grow her confidence by acknowledging the fantastic work that she had done already, and assisting in helping with new questions and preparation techniques that would help in future interviews
How have you benefited from volunteering with Inspiring the Future? (e.g. skills gained, personal development)
I have gained and improved my presenting skills, and it’s pushed me to move forward with training to achieve my goal of presenting a TED talk in the future.
What would you say to those thinking of joining our volunteer community? Do you have any tips/ advice?
Do it! You will feel inspired in every engagement you undertake with the students. My only advice would be to make sure the students get to have a voice, and that you ask open questions. Giving the students a voice, and allowing for their feedback, will help you learn as well.
If you could give one piece of advice to a young person, what would it be?
You are unique, and bring your own set of skills and experience to a job role and organisation. With drive and determination you can achieve anything you want to, so never give up!
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