A few weeks into her Amazon career, Meghan spotted a chance to challenge herself and stepped up. During a marketing brainstorm, her team had an idea to redesign the Video Games store on Amazon.com, to improve the shopping experience for customers. Meghan volunteered to take the project. "At that time, I knew nothing about websites other than how to interact with them as a consumer, and user experience and visual design were fairly foreign concepts to me,” she says. But she knew how to manage a project, and she had faith that she could reach out to the right people, learn as she went, and get the job done. That's what she did.
In the course of the three-month project, she learned a lot about her new workplace. ”Amazon is a culture that encourages people to raise their hands and take ownership, even if it goes beyond what they’ve done before. I saw early on that the sky was the limit for me at Amazon, as long as I was willing to put in the effort. I’d worked in a variety of professional environments prior to joining Amazon, from small private companies to Fortune 500s, and nothing compares. This place moves fast, and is all about taking calculated risks. It’s also full of intelligent and engaging people who are just a coffee meeting away. I’ve found it to be a fascinatingly open and accessible environment, with amazing opportunities to learn and grow.”
In early 2015, as she was approaching her three-year anniversary at Amazon, Meghan's leadership team gave her the chance to take the reins of a project that would become Prime Day, a first-of-its-kind global event for Prime members “We had a relatively short window of time to bring an undefined concept to life – in nine countries! It made that first project at Amazon seem so small, and so simple. But it was that first small project and those incrementally bigger projects that followed that put me in a position to succeed.”
The challenges leading up to Prime Day sometimes left her wondering if what had always worked for her – reaching out to the right people, learning as she went, and relying on her project-management expertise – would work this time. In the end, it did work, and she came away inspired and awestruck. "It was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time, sometimes leaving me thoroughly worn down, but we were able to do it thanks to the incredible sense of ownership from each person who got involved. I learned in a very intimate way what we're capable of doing at Amazon, and my belief in Amazon’s commitment to its customers and Prime members was only strengthened through this experience.”
Not every day can be as intense as the Prime Day project. "You also have to know how to set your own boundaries if you're going to love it here," Meghan says. She's found that "there's actually a ton of flexibility in the environment, and I’m able to ‘make Amazon work for me,’ as corny as that sounds. There’s also lots of support – the leadership team that pushed me to work so hard to launch Prime Day is also the leadership team that said the day it was over, 'Go, take a vacation. Get out of here. Don't look at your email, and don’t think about Amazon. Take a well-deserved break.'" And, she did.
Looking back over what she's been able to do in less than four years, Meghan says, "I'm blown away by what I have had the opportunity to accomplish at Amazon. I don’t have the sexiest of pedigrees for a forward thinking tech company – I’m a liberal arts major, a law school dropout, and I don't have an MBA – but I’ve been promoted multiple times already. There's very much a level playing field here. Your hard work gets noticed. That’s what makes me love it here—the endless opportunity. And to top it off, I feel like I'm just one of many people having an awesome experience at this company."