Careers at Amazon

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On February 26th, Longhill had the privilege of hosting Oli Wheatley, a remarkable individual who has successfully transitioned from a four-year apprenticeship with Amazon to the role of a software development engineer at the e-commerce powerhouse. His visit provided an invaluable opportunity for our students to gain insights into the dynamic world of software engineering and the pathways leading to such a career.

During his engaging session, Oli shared his personal journey to becoming a software engineer, offering a candid look at the challenges and triumphs along the way. He elaborated on the critical decisions faced after high school, ranging from pursuing A Levels, T Levels, BTECs, to embarking on an apprenticeship. Furthermore, Oli provided a comparative analysis of university education versus apprenticeships, highlighting the unique benefits and considerations of each path.

Emphasizing the competitive nature of securing apprenticeships within leading corporations, Oli advised our students on the importance of cultivating a comprehensive portfolio that extends beyond academic achievements. He underscored the necessity of demonstrating practical skills and a proactive approach to personal and professional development.

A highlight of his visit was the demonstration of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other student-accessible tools that serve as a foundation for building and developing applications. Oli led the students through a hands-on exercise, utilizing code to execute a calculation, and encouraged them to take the lead in the development process. This interactive session not only demystified aspects of software engineering but also ignited a passion for innovation among the students.

The floor was then opened for questions, allowing students to delve deeper into topics of interest, such as the programming languages Oli uses, the structure of his salary, and his work arrangements. This open dialogue provided students with a clearer understanding of the day-to-day realities of a career in software development and the potential opportunities it offers.

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