How Amazon’s Career Choice program helped a mother of 5 take the next step in her career

Many working parents face difficult challenges balancing their careers with the responsibilities of raising their children. So when it comes to career growth, the financial, emotional, and physical cost of pursuing additional education can often seem too demanding. Amazon is committed to supporting these working parents with empowerment opportunities, including a flexible work environment and access to upskilling programs that help them learn new, in-demand skills.

We’d like to shine the spotlight on one such parent, Christine Steller, who excelled in Amazon’s Career Choice program. Steller was looking for a job that paid well but had a work-life balance that would allow her to spend time with her husband and five children, all under the age of 11. In November 2021, she landed a position at an Amazon delivery station in Colfax, North Carolina. After just a few months on the job, Steller signed up for Amazon’s Career Choice program, an educational benefit designed to help hourly employees develop their skills. The program offers a variety of benefits, including tuition and prepaid feesand new career paths.

With his family at home and a new job at Amazon, Steller was hesitant to embark on this new journey. But she knew that hard work in the short term would eventually pay off.

“I weighed my options and felt I had to delay enrolling in the program and wait until things stabilized a bit,” Steller said. “I finally realized that I could push myself towards my goals now or I could look back a year from now and think, ‘Wow, why didn’t I start back then?’ I’m so happy with my choice.

Steller had always wanted to go to college. But her mother died during her senior year in high school, and Steller became the guardian of her two younger siblings. She developed a strong 10-year career in the events industry but felt limited in her career trajectory. After taking time off when her twins were born, she was energized by the potential career growth and support Amazon has to offer.

“Amazon has changed my life. It gave me that internal gratification that I really needed,” Steller said. “I like to do things to help others.”

Steller signed up for an online college program in January that fit her schedule perfectly and allowed her to spend quality time with her children. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering. She is a prime example of the ability for Amazon employees to enroll in Career Choice just 90 days after joining the company.

Steller hopes she will quickly reach the next step in her career with the knowledge she is gaining through Career Choice. She said she’s already 20% through the program because she’s able to “go at her own pace without being bogged down by the financial burden.”

While Career Choice has had a huge impact on her work, Steller hopes it will have an even bigger impact on her children.

“Career Choice gave me the opportunity to show my kids that it’s never too late to achieve your goals and dreams,” Steller said. “I can be an example by proving to them that there are no limits to what you can accomplish.”

Learn more about Amazon Career Choices Program and hear from more employees who have also succeeded through the program.

Ryan H. Bowman