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.
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.
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