Dunstable, a market town 30 miles north of London, is home to the first Amazon fulfilment centre in the UK where robots help workers prepare customer orders. Named LTN4 after the nearby Luton airport, the fulfilment centre is the size of approximately four and a half football pitches.
Katya Karklisiyska, joined the LTN4 team in 2015 when the building first opened and is responsible for receiving items, scanning them into the building and sending them off to be stowed into shelves, ready for customers to order.
“I enjoy working at Amazon because every day here is a new experience, where a varied group of people work together to solve new challenges and achieve a common goal,” said Katya.
Everywhere we go my son tells people that his mummy works for Amazon, he is so enthusiastic and proud of me
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.
"When Amazon launched its robotics site, I was inspired and started my MBA-Digital Technology Management course at the University of Bedfordshire with the clear idea that later I will be able to apply all this knowledge to help me with my work in Amazon. They have been very accommodating so that I can concentrate on my studies," wrote Katya 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.
“I had never been to the States before so when I found out I was going to Seattle it was like a dream come true!” said Katya.
During the five-day trip to Seattle, Katya 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.
“I loved visiting the Amazon Spheres and getting a chance to explore Seattle,” said Katya.
In a note to potential Amazon candidates, Katya said “I am happy and proud to tell my friends that I work for Amazon. Everywhere we go my son tells people that his Mummy works for Amazon, he is so enthusiastic and proud of me, maybe one day he will follow in my footsteps.”