Serving up success at Amazon: Q&A with veteran Derek Bossie
Q: In what capacity did you serve in the U.S. military?
A: I served in the U.S. Army on active duty for six years as a 19D Cavalry Scout. In that time, I held various duty positions including 240B Machine Gunner, .50 CAL Gunner, Dismount Team Leader, Scout Squad Leader, Master Fitness Instructor, and Stryker Vehicle Commander. I have continued my service in the Colorado National Guard, and I now lead a Squad as a 13F Forward Observer.
Q: When did you join Amazon? What is your current position in the company?
A: I initially joined Amazon in January 2018 as a corporate fellow with the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program. I conducted my fellowship at BFI3 (a fulfillment center in DuPont, Washington), and I graduated in April 2018. It was an amazing experience and a great opportunity to learn and test-drive the military transition. My successful completion of this program led to a full-time job offer in May 2018, after completion of active duty. I’ve had the privilege to lead as an OB Pick Area Manager at DEN2 (a fulfillment center in Aurora, Colorado) since May, and I love the team culture, pace, and challenge!
Q: How has your military background helped prepare you for your current job?
A: My military background has prepared me for my current career with Amazon in a variety of ways. I’ve leveraged my skills honed in the military to develop and lead a safe, happy team to success, with productivity reaching over 100%. The same tenacity, dedication, selfless service, and values used in the Army have also enabled me to be a better leader for my team.
As a Scout in the Army, I would spend most of my time in the field, training at a very fast pace, with a variety of stresses and obstacles—which required personal drive, organizational discipline, shared vision, and combined team efforts in order to precisely and safely accomplish our missions. Our missions were completed in small teams where only the most elite, trained, and cohesive squads would be able to get the job done. It has been no different with Amazon—it requires teamwork and proper training!
My skills and mindset from the Army have recently served as a “secret weapon” when overcoming challenges within the fulfilment centers, helping me to develop my associates and insist on the highest standards for my team.
Q: How does Amazon support your career goals?
A: Amazon supports my goals every day, while also allowing me to accomplish my team’s goals! My career goal is to be a humble leader who constantly improves, develops, inspires, empowers, and empathizes with my associates daily. My personal goals and desires are to be challenged differently and intensely every day. Amazon has presented me with the desired challenges I was seeking after my military career, but it has also provided me the necessary support to grow and overcome obstacles. It’s rewarding knowing that I am able to achieve my personal and team goals, while also supporting Amazon’s goals and mission.
Q: What's the best thing about coming to work each day? Is there a "perk" to your job that might surprise people?
A: I love the fast-paced environment and knowing that there are always more opportunities to develop and learn at Amazon! Every day requires me to be at my best for both my associates and customers, and I take pride and ownership in that.
The overall best thing about coming to work at Amazon is knowing that the positive influence I have over my associates can directly impact their lives. There is nothing more gratifying than investing time and energy in my team and individual associates, only to see their overall performance and attitude improve! Each day at Amazon is a new opportunity to make a difference in our associates’ world and to “make history” in our customers’ world!