AWS Training and Certification Blog

AWS re/Start graduate series: “AWS Cloud? I got this!”

Guest author, AWS re/Start graduate from Amsterdam, Vanity B.

AWS re/Start trains a diverse set of learners in 14 cities across six countries for entry-level cloud positions and connects graduates with local employers. Each AWS re/Start cohort is 12-weeks and focuses on building AWS Cloud skills for unemployed, underemployed, and transitioning populations to support a pipeline of diverse talent for local employers. This series features stories from our AWS re/Start graduates about their experience with the program and their career thereafter. Today’s story is from an Amsterdam AWS re/Start graduate, Vanity B.


Before joining the AWS re/Start program in Amsterdam, I had a side job as a brand ambassador. I promoted different products in busy areas like town squares, supermarkets, and train stations. My opportunities for further self-development were very limited and I couldn’t help but feel like I had to move on to find something more personally fulfilling.

Fortunately, I heard through the grapevine about this new technology initiative in Amsterdam facilitated by TechGrounds. Anyone could join the program, regardless of their career or educational background. This sparked my interest and I decided to join the information event. That’s when I first heard about Amazon Web Services (AWS). Most people have heard of Amazon, but I was shocked to learn about the AWS Cloud, which seemed even more interesting, yet somewhat unknown to the general public.

The longer I listened to the speakers, the more my confidence grew; I knew I could do this. The AWS re/Start program, facilitated by TechGrounds, would take three months, prepare me to earn my AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification, and help me land a cloud-related job upon completion.

All these factors convinced me to give it a chance. I signed up, and a couple of weeks later I was in a class participating in a coding week. That’s where I was introduced to HTML and CSS programming. Not long after, I received an email and phone call notifying me that I was officially in the AWS re/Start program.

My three months started and I learned the very basics of information technology (IT), networking, security, programming, Linux, databases, and AWS Cloud fundamentals. This learning experience was completely new to me; I was allowed to learn at my own pace, regardless of the pace of my fellow students. Moreover, we were getting soft-skill lessons to prepare us for future interviews with recruiters.

The most engaging part of this learning experience had to be the enthusiasm of our instructor. He helped me absorb and process all the technical and professional skills knowledge. TechGrounds also introduced us to companies working in the cloud. I was lucky enough to find a company where I could see myself working in the future.

When the day of the final certification exam arrived, I was very nervous. Would my brain be able to recall all the different things I had learned about the AWS Cloud? At the end of the exam, the message on my screen read, “Congratulations…” and I was completely over the moon! I pulled it off, and from that moment on, I was officially an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner!

A couple of weeks later, I was invited to interview at the company I had had my eye on, and later, I got a phone call saying I was hired! I am currently working for Randstad as a Junior IT Specialist where I focus on operational tasks and security within the team. The most wonderful thing about my role is that I am not stuck in one particular area. I am given plenty of time, space, and resources to grow my skills.

I learned so many important skills in the AWS re/Start program and it allowed me to transition careers!  As for my future, I see myself getting more AWS Certifications and moving into cybersecurity. Who would have guessed that a free, three-month course could have led me to such a bright future? At first I would have answered, “Not me. I’ll pass, thank you,” but now I say, “Go for it. You got this!”

AWS re/Start cohort in Amsterdam with their instructor

AWS re/Start cohorts are full-time, 12-week, classroom-based (virtual, at the moment) development and training programs that prepare learners for entry-level cloud positions in operations, site reliability, and infrastructure support. Through real-world-scenario-based exercises, labs, and coursework, students learn how to build Linux, Python, networking, security, and relational database skills. In addition to cloud concepts, students learn interview and career skills to help successfully launch their cloud careers. If you are looking for entry-level cloud talent, we encourage you to check out AWS re/Start. Fill out an employer interest form on our website or contact us