Photo: Tierra Jennings Hill

STEM Pros:

Tierra Jennings-Hill: People Transformation Lead

Amazon Web Services

Please provide a summary of your job or research. What is an average day like? What are some duties performed?

In my role, I help my customers understand what they need to do in order to transform their workforce and accelerate their change adoption rate while moving to a cloud provider. I am usually speaking with senior executives about sponsorship, creating communication and learning plans, or surveying team members for whatever customer I’m engaged with on a day to day basis. It’s fun and definitely keeps me busy.

What is your educational background and what prompted you to go this direction?

I have a BS in Computer Information Sciences and a Global MBA

I decided to go in my career direction after working in IT for several years. I really wanted a change from just working in one corporate culture, and decided to become a consultant. I fell into people transformation by accident really, but seeing the value that I could bring made me stay in it.

What have you struggled with or overcome in your educational path or life path to get to this point?

There have been some struggles, but I’d say the most significant are that my scholarship was cut off in college and I had to work to pay for my education and I attained my MBA while going through chemotherapy for Hodgkins Lymphoma. Those were difficult times, but definitely made me mentally stronger.

What is the best part of your job/research?

The best part of my job is seeing the value I bring to an organization after executing a particularly large scale migration or when my customer executive sponsor finally understands why engaging their people is so important to the success of an implementation.

What is the worst part? 

The most challenging part of my role is being able to convince executive sponsors of the necessity of their role in a large scale migration. In almost every instance, most executive sponsors think they can speak to their employees maybe three times (beginning, middle, end) of a technical transformation and that is enough to move the needle, but so much more time and commitment and visibility is needed ; it is very difficult to convince them of that.

What’s the most exciting part of your job?

This question not answered. It will be a blank spot on the page, if you leave it blank.

What has changed about your profession in the past ten years?

The importance of organization change management and people transformation, has risen in the business sectors eyes in the last ten years. What I do is in high demand right now as more and more companies are realize that the technical implementation is far easier than getting their people to embrace the change.

What do you think will change in the next ten?

I’m not really sure. My hope is that the importance of what I do continues to grow, but I really think that eventually people transformation will just be a steady state department within every company and not thought of as an optional add on, or a safety raft after the fact.