Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges: My Journey from Political Science to Tech Giant

Sarah Zalata

Sarah Zalata

Rabbit's Head of Logistics

Where it started, the AUC Employment Fair

I remember vividly the day I stepped into the AUC employment fair, armed with a bold vision and an unconventional goal. My aim was clear: to challenge the status quo and become Amazon’s first female, non-engineering Graduate Area Manager. The air was thick with skepticism; questions and doubts echoed around me. “Why?” they asked. “How?” they probed. “Are you sure, as a woman, you want this?” Despite the undercurrent of disbelief, I remained steadfast. Undeterred, I strategically reached out to every Amazon contact on LinkedIn, setting the stage for what was to come.

The Defining Interview at Amazon

The journey to the interview room felt like a battle in itself. I stood alone, not just as the only woman, but as the sole non-engineer in a sea of technical expertise. The moment of truth came with a complex mathematical problem – a challenge I solved correctly, much to everyone’s surprise, including the male engineers. This triumph was not just a personal victory; it marked my groundbreaking entry into Amazon Egypt as the first female Graduate Area Manager.

A Year of Unprecedented Achievements

Fast forward one year, and the landscape had transformed dramatically. I was not only thriving but was recognized among the top 1% of talents on site. My journey didn’t stop there. In 2023, I embraced a new chapter with Rabbit, where I donned various hats: Business-Operations Advisor, Strategist, SQL-pro, part-time business architect, and even dabbled in back-end development.

My identity morphed from a political science major with zero engineering background to a tech enthusiast. This transformation was underpinned by unwavering support from my parents, who believed in me every step of the way.

Addressing the Inevitable Question: Why This Path?

It’s a question I encounter often: Why pivot from political science to a tech-centric path? My answer is rooted in my passion. I’ve always been fascinated by history, politics, psychology, and economics. But beyond academic interests, I yearned for an active, dynamic role where I could make tangible impacts. Desk jobs were never my calling. Instead, I chose to carve out my unique path, driven by a desire to effect change and innovate.

My Detailed Blueprint for Success

Planning with Precision

My journey began with meticulous planning and extensive research. I explored numerous fields, attended every job fair available, networked with professionals from diverse sectors, and documented every goal and progress. This phase was about understanding the landscape and identifying where I could fit in and stand out.

Applying Relentlessly

I adopted a mantra of relentless application, throwing my hat in the ring for every opportunity that came my way. Each application was a lesson, each rejection a stepping stone. I learned to embrace failure as a part of the growth process, using each experience to refine my approach and strategy.

Connecting Strategically

I leveraged LinkedIn not just as a social platform but as a strategic tool for networking. I connected with industry leaders, sought mentorship, and absorbed every piece of advice. These connections were not just about building a network; they were about understanding the industry’s pulse and carving a niche for myself.

Embracing Continuous Learning

When I joined Amazon, I was candid about my lack of engineering skills. My manager, recognizing my potential, took me under his wing, transforming theoretical knowledge into practical skills on the operations floor. I committed myself to learning, enrolling in online courses, mastering new tools, and grappling with complex equations. This journey from novice to expert was a testament to the power of adaptability and perseverance.


Stepping Beyond Comfort Zones

Joining Rabbit was more than a career move; it was a leap into a world of unknowns. Here, I encountered a plethora of learning opportunities, from SQL coding to engaging in technical architecture discussions. I even ventured into the realm of development, a field I had never imagined exploring.

The Ongoing Quest for Knowledge

This journey has been as humbling as it has been enlightening. It taught me the importance of remaining open to learning and the value of every interaction. Each person I’ve met has offered a unique perspective or a nugget of wisdom, contributing to my growth and understanding.

Reflecting on a Journey Unfinished

As I continue to navigate this ever-evolving path, I constantly remind myself of the importance of humility and curiosity. Looking back at my journey, I encourage you to consider your own learning experiences. What have you gleaned from those around you? If you find gaps, perhaps it’s time to ignite those conversations.