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Tech Talent Tuesday - Olga Shoraka

Elana Hershman Dec 19, 2023

Olga Shoraka's journey traverses continents, diverse industries, and cutting-edge technological revolutions, ultimately converging in her pivotal role as a Senior Customer Solutions Manager at Amazon Web Services (AWS) Aerospace and Satellite division, pioneering innovation across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

Olga's fascination with the cosmos was sparked during her childhood, nurtured through captivating conversations with her father about the wonders of the universe. Hailing from two prominent spacefaring nations, the allure of space exploration remained a constant backdrop in her life.

However, despite her keen interest in space exploration, Olga began her career on Wall Street, armed with a degree in economics: "Initially, I spent 8 years on Wall Street covering the tech-media-telecom lifecycle as an institutional equity research salesperson and trader. Later, during and after my MBA at London Business School, I worked directly in start-ups, scale-ups, and big tech. I enjoy working in fast-paced, high-growth environments and building things from scratch."

Though Olga admits that she didn’t expect to be working in the space field, during her MBA, her career began to take an exciting turn when Amazon came to her campus to give a presentation on its post-MBA leadership rotation programme, “MBA Launch”. MBA Launch is a three-year programme that aims to build versatile and adaptable talents across various corporate businesses in Europe. Olga was thrilled: "I'd been following Amazon for many years on the equity research side and admiring its innovative approach to business and the positive impact it's had…it was a no-brainer to apply."

Unsurprisingly, Olga was accepted into the programme, embarking on a journey through Amazon’s diverse landscape. She began in advertising, where she ran European Union-wide sponsorships for Amazon’s biggest events. She then ran sales strategy and operations for the AWS Start-ups business operations in EMEA. Eventually, her journey took her to the nascent Aerospace and Satellite division. 

Her move to the Aerospace and Satellite division was facilitated by Amazon's internal Connect programme, a networking platform fostering cross-company interactions through informal coffee chats with fun conversation prompts. Through these conversations, Olga became enthralled by the allure of "Think Big" opportunities in revolutionising space technology. Ultimately, she found her calling in empowering space companies to reimagine the design, launch, and operation of space systems using cloud technologies: "I instantly knew that's where I wanted to be. I wanted to be a part of the ultimate Think Big…Virtually all humanity’s endeavours on the planet—be it newsgathering, weather prediction, high speed internet, in-flight connectivity, vessels-tracking, agricultural technology, automotive, supply chain, etc—are based in or supported by space-based platforms. The opportunity to make an outsized impact on human lives and economies around the world inspires me every day."

At AWS, Olga's mission aligns with customers daring to push the boundaries of what's feasible, propelling innovations extending beyond Earth's horizons. Collaborating with entities like Eutelsat OneWeb, she spearheads projects aiming to provide global broadband satellite communications while upskilling talent on AWS technologies through innovative training programmes.

Beyond her professional endeavours, Olga is committed to nurturing young talent and inspiring future leaders. She actively shares her insights at events hosted by AWS, London Business School, and start-up accelerators. Her mentorship initiatives span diverse programmes such as Amazon Future Engineer, where she guides scholars towards future careers in computer science. Her dedication to education and mentorship shines through roles such as a Google Campus Ambassador. As Ambassador, she organises events for female entrepreneurs and leads impactful workshops benefiting homeless youth at The New York Junior League. These varied engagements highlight Olga's passion for mentoring and empowering individuals at different stages of their academic and professional journeys.

Olga Shoraka’s passion for exploration and adaptability have fuelled her trajectory from Wall Street to the stars. As she continues to pioneer innovations at AWS, Olga's journey showcases the limitless possibilities that can occur when curiosity and technology converge.

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