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Didn’t make it to the 2019 re:Invent Conference in Las Vegas? Shantavia Craigg, DMSB’21, took over our Instagram account to give us an inside look at her co-op experience at Amazon Web Services, including highlights from her work organizing parts of this conference. Follow along: @damoremckim!

Q: What year are you and when are you graduating?

I’m a fourth-year junior graduating in 2021.

Q: What did you major in at D’Amore-McKim and why?

I’m a business administration major with concentrations in marketing and supply chain and a minor in global fashion studies. I originally chose these options because I was determined to become a retail buyer, and to succeed in this role I knew I would need to develop my skills in forecasting, sales, negotiation, and product positioning.

Q: What are you involved with at Northeastern?

Throughout my time at Northeastern I have been involved in: SOAL Step Team, Legacy Mentoring, The Fashion Society, Students for Education Reform, Hall Council, Northeastern University Marketing Association, Gates Millennium Scholars, and more.

I’ve also held several leadership positions in these roles like Co-Captain of SOAL Step Team and Social Media Manager for Students for Education Reform. I decided to join most of these clubs to find like-minded people and to learn from upperclassmen. One of the organizations I really enjoyed and that is still close to my heart is SOAL Step Team. During my experience with the team, I was able to meet some of my closest friends outside of my roommates. I also learned so much about my professional capabilities through the autonomy and leadership I had on the team.

Q: Where have you held co-op? What have those experiences been like?

My first co-op was at Wayfair as a category management co-op on the Joss & Main buying team. This job was instrumental in learning what I don’t particularly like, as well as adopting technical skills, like Structured Query Language, needed to be competitive in my field.

Q: Where are you currently on co-op now and what do you do?

I’m currently on my second co-op as a Marketing Specialist at Amazon in Seattle, WA. I work in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) marketing department. In this role I’ve been developing resources to scale our AWS Community Days events. I’m tasked with growing our departmental grant for AWS Community Leaders to attend our annual re:Invent Conference. I also support our Developer Lounge at some conferences around North America. My projects with AWS Community Days and the re:Invent Grant have mainly focused on this conference. However, I’ve also worked booths at the AWS Summit in Toronto and AWS Community Days in California to spread awareness about what we do and how people can get involved.

Q: What was the co-op application experience like? Do you have any tips for fellow undergrads?

The co-op application experience can be sort of stressful, especially when it comes to knowing what offer to take. I recommend connecting with past co-ops in the position(s) you’re interested in to learn more about when to apply and interview.

Q: Have you had any global experiences and what have those been like?

I went on a photography dialogue in Cuba right before I started my co-op this summer. I’m so thankful to have been able to experience this opportunity before group travel to Cuba ended. It was an amazing chance to view the country through the eyes of a local. 

On my photography dialogue in Cuba I mainly learned how to use a professional camera. I knew previously that photography is a very transferable technical skill that I’ll need throughout my career in marketing, but I only had experience with my iPhone. I’m very grateful to have developed this skill in one of the most photogenic countries and at a time that I could dedicate all my focus on improving my craft.

I spent most of my time in Cuba exploring and documenting the diversity of the locals for my final project on hair. In this process, I was able to genuinely interact with locals my age and race which is an experience that most tourists and students abroad do not get to have. I never thought I would say this, but that dialogue really changed my perception about the world.

Q: What will you be sharing during your takeover?

During my takeover I will be sharing the culmination of my projects this fall at our annual re:Invent conference. This is a week-long technical conference hosted by AWS in Las Vegas. The conference is a mix of product releases, sessions, workshops, networking opportunities, and fun “field day” events. I’m most excited to be a part of planning something this massive.

While at re:Invent, I’ll spend most of my time advocating in our expo hall booth, attending networking and field day events. My role is more focused on the experiential marketing aspect of the conference rather than knowledge sharing. Most marketing employees aren’t able to fully attend sessions and keynotes they’re not directly involved in, but I’ll be able to pop in and capture a sneak peak of some of these things for my takeover!

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