Tinkerbell is my spirit animal. I’ve always loved to tinker with things. So, when I heard about Amazon’s Mechatronics program, I immediately knew it was for me. And—spoiler alert—in 2022 I took a leap and went for it. That eventual career jump led me to the small screen, where my career path was featured in a national Amazon commercial.
Kathy Colbenson, an Amazon employee, goes behind the scenes of her commercial.
Here’s a look back at my career path, how it landed me in an Amazon ad, and a behind-the-scenes look at what it was like to shoot the commercial.

My start at Amazon

I’m a mother of five and we live just outside Appling, GA. When COVID hit in 2020, I needed to quit my job so I could homeschool my kids. But once they were able to go back to school in September 2021, I was ready to get back to work—so I looked into opportunities at Amazon since they had just opened a fulfillment center in Appling.
Kathy Colbenson, an Amazon employee, goes behind the scenes of her commercial.
I started out as a picker, where I’d pull items that customers ordered to be packed and shipped. There are a lot of machines and robotics that help move things along, and I always loved hearing about how they worked when the technicians would stop by to make sure they were running properly. A month into my job, I learned about the Mechatronics and Robotics Apprenticeship program, for which Amazon pays you to learn with 12 weeks of training to earn your certification with lots of hands-on work. Given my life-long love for “tinkering” referenced above, I was very intrigued by this opportunity.

Getting my dream job at Amazon

I went for it. After having completed the training program in April 2022, I officially became a mechatronics junior technician. I doubled my income and began doing work that is truly meaningful and gratifying for me.
Kathy Colbenson, an Amazon employee, goes behind the scenes of her commercial.
I never thought my entry-level role at Amazon would become an opportunity to launch a whole new career for myself in robotics. I’m tinkering to my heart’s content, doing preventive maintenance, and repairing the robotic drives that ferry orders through different stages of the fulfillment process.
I made that leap in 2022 into my dream job and haven’t looked back since. But it turns out, I’m not the only hourly Amazon employee who took advantage of the free skills training offered from day one to make such an incredible transition. In fact, stories like mine are one of the many things Amazon is known for.
To highlight this part of the company’s culture, Amazon decided to make a national commercial featuring one of the many hourly employees who were able to grow their career and double their salary. And that lucky employee was me.

My Amazon commercial

In February 2024 I got a call from Amazon’s marketing team asking if I’d be interested in sharing my story for a national ad they were making about all the ways Amazon empowers hourly employees to grow their careers. I was honored to have been invited to participate and share my story for anyone else looking to do the same.
Kathy Colbenson, an Amazon employee, goes behind the scenes of her commercial.
I had such a great time shooting the commercial. I was amazed to see how many people are involved in the process and how much goes into it. It was fun to be the center of attention during the two-day shoot, but at the same time, it was hard to stand by while everyone was working around me. (As a mom of five, this concept is so foreign to me!) I really enjoyed being pampered, while getting to share my story. Everyone was so friendly and encouraging.
I love working for Amazon because there’s such a variety of jobs available. If you’re not happy in your current role, it’s not hard to move into other positions, or even into higher-paying roles. With free, on-the-job skills training programs like Mechatronics, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.
Learn more about Amazon's skills training programs for employees.