Ileana Florez – Amazon: On Being Curious

Where do you work and your role title?
Amazon – User Experience Designer

Get To Know Me
Favourite ice-cream flavour: Chocolate and Pistachio…I couldn’t pick one!

Wrap up in the shortest sentence possible what your role means.

I design the experience someone will have with technology at Amazon!

What is the interesting / challenging part of your work?

Understanding people’s needs is definitely the best part of my work. Diving deep into the challenges people face every day and findings new ways of solving those problems using technology is what motivates me to get up every morning.

What attracted you to choose a STEM field?

I didn’t come from a tech background and changing my career path to tech has been a big learning curve, but also an amazing journey. I always knew I wanted to be a designer but I wasn’t really sure of what type of designer.

My job is to create bridges and make technology usable and accessible to all kinds of people

I came to work in technology almost by luck as I was exploring different career paths. I soon realised that what I enjoyed the most was understanding people’s behaviours and their needs and solving them through technology.

How do you find navigating your career path as a woman in tech?

The biggest challenges for me, as a woman in tech, has been to find my own voice, being assertive and make sure that my ideas are being heard and respected as much as my male colleague’s opinions.

What is your biggest achievement that you are most proud of? How do you track and express your achievements in the workplace and beyond?

More than a specific moment in my career I am most proud of my path. From studying literature to being an editor and now working in tech, I have always worked in challenging environments and I am proud of how I’ve adapted and learned from every single person I’ve come across on my journey.

Who are your mentors or role models that helped you either directly or indirectly?

My role models are those women I’ve found on my career that have taught me that being a strong leader doesn’t mean you can’t be kind to those around you.

I’ve also been pretty lucky to have had bosses and colleagues that have shown me the way forward and believed in me by giving me challenging opportunities.

How do you think women can be game-changers in time of crisis?

Woman are naturally empathetic. In times of crisis being able to put yourself in the shoes of those affected by the crisis is one of the most powerful things you can do to solve their problems in the best way possible.

What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader? Are there any technology resources that you would recommend?

I always find new things to learn. I read a lot of tech blogs and books as well as follow the people that I admire the most.

Top Tip:
But most importantly – I let my curiosity take me to new places, new writers and discover new passions! πŸ™Œ

It’s your day off. What do you do to relax?

Either read or paint! πŸ“šπŸŽ¨

What advice would you give to your 21 year old self?

Follow your intuition, you know better than anyone else what is best for you. πŸ’―

What makes you RARE?

What makes me RARE is my ability to make sense of complex human problems and find solutions in unexpected ways.

Want to know more about Ileana? Connect with her on LinkedIn

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