Lauren Hamilton ’22 didn’t need Amazon's virtual voice assistant Alexa to help her find an internship this summer. An Amazon university sourcing recruiter reached out to her on LinkedIn. Now, Hamilton is spending her summer at a New Jersey Amazon facility working as a workplace health and safety intern, ensuring that employees are using equipment properly and observing COVID-19 regulations, while keeping an eye on the e-commerce site’s working conditions in general.
Before officially starting her position, she and other interns completed a company orientation where they became acquainted with various aspects of life at an Amazon site. “They had us do each job that the associates do,” Hamilton said, “which I really liked … that first week was just about understanding the company as a whole.” Part of this, she added, was learning the many acronyms used around the warehouse. “We got a packet with maybe four pages of them,” she recalled.
Hometown: Long Valley, N.J.
High School: West Morris Central High School
Hamilton’s particular facility, she said, “gets the packages from vendors and then sends them to other Amazon facilities … so luckily our day-to-day is a little less hectic.” In addition to day-to-day assignments, she and the other interns are each assigned a project that will result in a 15-page paper. Her topic is operational efficiency and the safety of employees. The goal is to focus on the improvement of a specific facility process. Once Hamilton finishes her paper, she will present it to the senior management of her site for discussion.
A sociology major, Hamilton described how her academic background has helped with the Amazon internship, in terms of “understanding what it’s like to work with people and not make any assumptions about them.” Everyone at the site “comes from different backgrounds and different cultures,” she said, “so you really don’t know anything about someone unless you talk to them — which luckily I’ve been able to do.”
Looking forward, Hamilton is thinking of pursuing a career in the human resources field. Two of her previous internships were with smaller companies, where health and safety and HR were combined. Now at a much larger company, she has been able to get a sense of how the two departments operate independently, an opportunity for which she is very grateful.