April Thompson

Personal Development Enthusiast and Technical Training and Enablement Leader at Amazon Web Services

Technology

Education: BS Computer Engineering, Mercer University - MS Electrical Engineering, Michigan State University
Atlanta, GA, USA

Biography

April Thompson is an informative and inspirational speaker, coach, trainer, and STEM advocate passionate about sharing personal stories and tools to help individuals and teams embrace non-conformity and lean into their unique strengths and values to do life, career, and business differently. She has had the privilege of delivering workshops, trainings, and talks to global audiences of up to 7,000 technologists, human resource professionals, marketers, students, career transitioners, and travel enthusiasts both virtually and in person. Her talk topics have ranged from lessons learned on her multi-year career break to building scalable architectures in the cloud.

In her over 16-year career, April has led teams and impactful projects across multiple functions in the tech industry including marketing, sales, consulting, program management, and training making pivots based on her values and what sparked her curiosity. In many cases, she navigated these experiences as the F.O.D. (first, only, or different) and heavily relied on the fact that knowing who you are gives you permission to do, be, and try new things without seeking validation.

Today April manages a portfolio career that includes training and enablement leadership at Amazon Web Services, independent career consulting services for career transitioners, and speaking. She earned a BS in Computer Engineering with a minor in Mathematics from Mercer University and MS in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University. In 2018 she completed her Life Coaching Certification from the Life Purpose Institute and recently completed training in Human Design.

Her top 5 CliftonStrengths are relator, futuristic, ideation, maximizer, and intellection. She is a 3 / 5 sacral generator (Human Design) and INTP (Myers Briggs), and her core values are freedom, novelty, growth, and fun.

Passion

Life and Career Design
Life's too short to spend the majority of your days miserable. I enjoy helping individuals find joy in their work and lives today while creating a path to work toward their ideal work and life scenario, starting with mindset.

STEM Advocacy
As a Black woman and engineer by training who has spent over a decade across multiple functions in tech, I'm a huge proponent of providing access and exposure to STEM education and careers, especially to women/girls and other underrepresented communities.

Leadership, Development, and the Future of Work
As a long-time, career mentor/coach and people manager, I am passionate about human behavior and interactions between people in the workplace and the impact and effectiveness of leadership and development programs and enablement. Though not a trained organizational psychologist, the future of work, remote work, great resignation, burnout, work-life balance, wellness, stress management, and related topics inform the way I lead, show up, and work.

Human Design
Leveraging human design as a tool for individuals and teams to step into their work and lives as their truest selves and to their highest potential. Similar to Enneagram or Myers Briggs personality assessments, human design is a system that reveals your energetic blueprint and how you are uniquely wired to thrive. It is not about changing who you are; it’s about giving you full permission to be who you’ve always been.

Travel and Cultural Exchange
Through the years, I've traveled to over 25+ countries for a mix of work and leisure. I've lived in the Philippines and Ghana, studied abroad in South Africa, and even hosted group tours in Jamaica. Traveling, in many cases as a solo woman has and continues to provide life lessons on appreciating differences, patience, spontaneity, and gratitude to name a few.

I am willing to travel

More than 100 miles

When it comes to payments

I sometimes get paid for speaking

Topics

human design women in tech women in technology personal development black women in tech enablement future of work burnout professional development career transition identity cloud computing change management leadership amazon web services training it and technical training inspirational travel travel and tourism stem lifestyle design mentor coaching atlanta workshops career break ibm aws career change career reentry learning and development early career diversity in technology diversity in tech mentors career coaching career alignment professional training management self discovery personality curiosity pivot travel panelist strengths remote work webinar virtual values digital nomad work from home quiet quitting leave of absence sabbatical career career development spirituality

Best Story

“Thank you for the offer of admission, Linda, but I have decided not to matriculate at Columbia Business School.”

I couldn’t believe those words were coming out of my mouth. For the last two years, this is what I had worked for. Even though I had already earned a master’s degree in engineering, I was sure a spot in a top business school was the answer to all my problems, my savior from the stress, boredom, mental torture of work, and general uncertainty in life. But after countless cross-country school visits, too many informational sessions to count, 8 applications, 7 interviews, 6 acceptances, and one hefty tuition deposit, I threw it all away.

No MBA appended to my name, but in the same time span it takes to earn one, I had snapped out of my funk and gotten back on track. I downsized my life, rented out my condo, moved across the country from Atlanta to Los Angeles, and renewed my commitment to walk the earth, meet new people, and get into adventures.

In the years since I've continued to discover what works for me through trial and error and let my lessons fuel my growth.

Origin Story

I got my first travel-writing assignment and left for the Philippines at age two!

Okay, it wasn’t really a writing gig, it was a military relocation for my family back in the 80s. Growing up in a military town afforded me the luxury of experiencing people from diverse cultures very early in my life, and I attribute that experience as the catalyst for not only my love of all things travel and cultural exploration, but my general curiosity.

Through the years, I’ve made a habit of designing a life that feeds my curiosities through my own journey of life experimentation. Living life on my terms has opened doors to interviewing Former First Lady Michelle Obama, earning a spot as a panelist at the Conference on Social Media and Tourism in Verona Italy, landing a feature in Essence Magazine, amassing a long list of published print and digital travel bylines, speaking to global audiences of over 5,000 technical professionals in Hong Kong, Copenhagen, and Las Vegas on cloud computing best practices, a 3-year career break, and so much more.

Today I find joy in taking my career and life experiences and crafting them into stories that can serve as inspiration for others to live life differently.