On the South Coast of Wales within the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan and the ancient Welsh commote of Gŵyr, lies Swansea; home to Amazon fulfilment centre, CWL1. Named after the nearest airport, Cardiff, the fulfilment centre specialises in storing and shipping shoes and clothing.
Catherine Wintle has been working at the site since it opened in 2008. Having started as a learning and development staff member, three years later she decided to become an assistant buyer and two years after that she progressed to buyer. Now, Catherine is responsible for the procurement of all items required in the fulfilment centre in Swansea, from shelving to stationery.
“I have worked for Amazon for 10 years now and never once have I been bored or not engaged, every day brings a new challenge as the company evolves,” said Catherine.
As part of a programme called ‘I Found the Right Place’ Amazon invited employees from fulfilment centres across the UK to explain what they like best about working at Amazon and why it is the right place for them. More than 800 employees from across the UK and dozens from each site put pen to paper.
“From an employee's point of view if you put in the effort, the rewards are there for you, with Career Choice to help you on your way in Amazon or take a different path if you choose to do so, the opportunities are endless,” wrote Catherine in her entry.
All of the entries were anonymised and the best entry from each fulfilment centre was chosen. The chosen employees were invited on an all-expenses-paid trip to Seattle, U.S., to explore the Amazon head office and see where it all started.
“When I found out I was going to Seattle I was nearly in tears, I couldn’t believe it!” said Catherine.
During the five-day trip to Seattle, Catherine and Amazon colleagues from sites across the UK were shown around the city and enjoyed a trip up the Space Needle. They also went on a tour of the Amazon campus and the robotics fulfilment centre in Kent, Washington, where they met Amazon’s chief scientist.
Catherine’s favourite part of the trip was the day at the Head Office and the Amazon Spheres, she said, “It’s such an innovative place and I feel very privileged to have been there. It fills me with a lot of confidence when I get to speak to senior people and know they are there supporting me.”
Sharing some advice for future Amazonians, Catherine said: “Amazon is a great place to work with nice, knowledgeable people and the benefits are fantastic. I would encourage anyone with drive and ambition who is considering a career at Amazon to go for it.”