What Amazon Seeks In An MBA Hire

Amazon fulfillment center

Amazon fulfillment center

What are your expectations for entry level MBAs? What are your most successful new hires doing to hit the ground running and quickly add value?

One of the things that we stress for MBAs is that when they come in, they should be curious. They should absorb knowledge and ask lots of questions – and get a good foundation. They should make connections with colleagues and people across the company. They [should] get into the data and truly understand how it relates to the customer. We also make [MBA hires] full participating members of the team. So if you’re curious, ask questions, and get to the data, there won’t be any issues.

What excites you personally about working for Amazon?

For me it’s a combination of things. When I come in to work every day, I’m working with some of the smartest people in the world. If you couple that with some of the problems we’re solving – and the scale and complexity that no other company has to face, that makes it interesting. You’re never bored. So it’s the challenge and intellectual stimulation with all the great people around you.

Conference room in the Seattle Office

Conference room in the Seattle Office

What are your favorite business schools doing differently (or better) to better prepare students?

I think it’s always about the application of their education in a real world setting. Amazon is very much about the application of learning, experimentation, and prototyping.  Speed matters in business.  Many decisions and actions are reversible and are not one way doors, and students who can dive deep, and also invent quickly have a great home in our company culture.

Give me an example of a student who really impressed you in the process. (i.e. What is the most creative or memorable thing someone has done to stand out and impress you?)

In my mind, there have been so many memorable interviews with different candidates, MBA candidates in particular. But one that came to mind that stuck out to me is one who was a real example of the kind of candidate that we are looking for. I was interviewing a woman who managed in a construction yard. And she needed to be on top of a lot of issues on a timely basis. There was so much complexity in what she was doing. There was a lot of problem-solving in delivering this huge end product to an end user. She really crossed the gap, whether it was dealing with monsoons or what have you. She had this amazing cross section of skills and she was able to showcase how she would utilize these skills in an environment like Amazon.

What question(s) didn’t I ask that you’d love to answer?

The points I’d love to make is that we’re a peculiar company. We have a unique culture and people have a lot of fun working here. And we’re seeking talent that’s tenacious and want to solve problems and challenges that really impact customers.

DON’T MISS:WHAT IBM SEEKS IN AN MBA HIRE

To learn about Amazon’s leadership principles, go to the next page.

  • Jimmy Black

    Interesting that you say that Jimmy White. We had roughly 50 or so people get invited to the first round of recruitment with Amazon. The select few that made it through the second round and eventually got offers (in addition to myself) were all the types of people that I enjoy hanging out with at bars. I was very pleasantly surprised with who they selected.

  • CPO_C_Ryback

    Ditto. Good luck, pal.

  • Future Amazonian

    It’s pretty solid, It’s not quite banking or top teir consulting money, but on the higher end for tech and corp jobs. If you’re recruiting for non consulting and banking, you’ll be very happy with their offer.

  • Future Amazonian

    … You started by asking about the culture, and then answer as if you’re an expert… Ok? I’m done with this convo…

  • CPO_C_Ryback

    I hear, OK, not great.

  • CPO_C_Ryback

    He probably saw folks, working like dogs, and a chance at promotion @ 0.01%.

  • CPO_C_Ryback

    Sure. Prove 1,000s wrong. Can’t wait.

  • Future Amazonian

    No one coming out of an MBA program expects to work 40h weeks. But, depending on the team, it’s possible 50 = 60. I wont know for sure until I start though…. I’m just trying to ensure that the only comments out there aren’t soley hearsay from jaded ex-employees

  • CPO_C_Ryback

    Anyone who thinks 40 will get the same treatment as 60, needs a sanity check. Now. Today.

  • guest11

    What didn’t he like about the culture?

  • Future Amazonian

    I’ve heard its a bit of a mixed bag. First, if you go in as an engineer/CS or a PMT, i think the likelihood is much higher. Opps can be a tough schedule, but you know what your signing on for. When it comes to RLD, PM, and Finance I hear it fully depends on the team.

    What I’ve been told is there will always be more work to do, but face-time doesn’t matter. At the end of the day it will be your call if you want to work 45, 50, 60 or more… So all in all, you have to set your expectations pretty early on, and not feel like you have to work 60. This come from past interns and current employees. I’m not sure how accurate it is, but the people I spoke to have no reason to lie.

  • randommer

    know a Harvard MBA who worked there over the summer. His review was that the prevailing opinion about burn out shop was true. He also did not really like the culture. He is smart, sweet non socially awkward guy. He said he did learn a ton though.

  • guest11

    what’s starting pay at Amazon for new MBA grads?

  • vanaporn chonburi

    carry on.. happy for you..

  • Mike

    Jimmy,
    What roles did amazon hire from your program? Do they hire for corporate finance?

  • CPO_C_Ryback

    AMZN had a reputation of being a “burn-out” shop for everyone. Still the same? Anyone know?

  • Future Amazonian

    I am not an international student, not am I socially awkward. They do have their type, and I’m happy to be one of them.

  • Jimmy White

    Amazon took the most socially awkward international kids from our program for the past couple of years. They certainly have their “type”