Aviation for Women

MAR-APR 2018

Aviation for Women is the flagship member publication of Women in Aviation International. Articles feature women who have made aviation history, professional development ideas, and current-topic articles.

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M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 8 AviationforWomen 69 education. This additional effort enhanced my skills well enough to qualify for high- ly competitive jet training. By the time I reached intermediate and advanced jet training, I felt I was on a more equal play- ing f ield wit h my peers who had prior flight experience. When and how did you end up work- ing for Amazon following your career in the Navy? As I considered career options post active- duty naval service (approximately one year prior to my transition to the Naval Reserve), I knew the civilian profession I sought had to satisfy three things: the opportunity to work with large teams of talented people as I did in the Navy, be dynamic (I was not looking for a static role), and welcome dai- ly positive challenges. Prior to the start of my application process in 2010, I had an op- portunity to tour an Amazon Fulfillment Center and was most impressed with the or- ganization, speed, agility, and attention to detail I observed. I was able to identify many of the qualities I valued and appreciated in the Navy and how they translated with- in the Amazon environment. I knew a ca- reer with Amazon was most likely to satisfy the three criteria I was seeking and where I felt I could add value as a leader based on my previous military experience. Even to- day, after over six years with Amazon, I can say that all three of my career requisites are achieved on a daily basis. What skills—aviation or otherwise— did you develop during your time in the Navy that you've been able to transfer to work at Amazon? My experience in the Navy—as an offi- cer and pilot—developed my ability to op- erate in a fast-paced, high-performing or- ganization, reinforced the requirement to make sound decisions in a sometimes am- biguous environment, lead by example, and deliver results with little margin for error. I had the privilege of serving with some truly inspirational, selfless leaders who embodied fortitude, grit, resilience, courage, and integrity. As director for aviation operations at Amazon Air, what is your role in developing Amazon's expanding air- cargo operations? I really enjoy my role at Amazon, one that allows me to combine two of my favor- ite passions: Amazon operations and avia- tion. My growing team and I are respon- sible for partnering with our carriers to execute a daily, on-time Amazon Air net- work flight schedule. Do you have any advice for women interested in pursuing aviation ca- reers in the military or otherwise? Set specific goals, taking one day at a time yet having a long-term vision and plan. Hold yourself to high standards, collabo- rate, and support others. Benchmark your performance against the best of the best and strive for excellence without arrogance. Build and grow your networks, and lean into a mentor who can offer un- biased perspective. Know that not everything will be a success and when it isn't, handle setbacks with grace and resilience—keep going. When you do succeed, be humble, teach others, and share your passion for aviation—it will be contagious! ✈ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kse nia Weisz, WA I 52530, is a cor porate communications professional living in New York. She hold s a Ger man private pilot lic e n se a nd a fore ig n- based American private pilot certificate. Sarah Rhoads As director of aviation operations at Amazon Air, Sarah is responsible for the operational execution of the company's expanding air-haul net- work. Raised in Butte, Montana, Sarah attended the U.S. Naval Acad- emy, graduating in May 1999 with a bachelor of science degree in me- chanical engineering. Among her many accomplishments during her U.S. Navy career, Sarah flew the F/A- 18F Super Hornet, the F/A-18F air- craft with the world famous Black Aces of the VFA-41 squadron, and flew 37 combat missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Her service awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Merito- rious Service Medal, Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medals, and Navy Achievement Medals, among others. Following her military service, Sarah transitioned to a civilian job with Amazon, where she has worked in a various roles of increasing re- sponsibility allowing her to use her extensive leadership, operations, and aviation experience. She began her career at Amazon as an opera- tions manager in Lexington, Ken- tucky, and was quickly promoted to senior operations manager, a role in which she oversaw the fulfillment of millions of customer orders, among other responsibilities. She has also worked internationally for Amazon in Swansea, Wales, where she was responsible for the fulfillment of millions of customer orders through- out the U.K., EU, and beyond, as well as in London, as a regional director of fulfillment centers throughout northwest England and Wales. Most recently, in April 2017, Sar- ah pursued an opportunity to com- bine her passions for aviation and operations and relocated to Seattle, Washington, to assume the role of director of aviation operations. ✈

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