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Stanford GSB | Mr. MBA Class of 2023
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Getting Into Amazon: Insider Tips From Employees

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Getting Into Amazon: Insider Tips From Employees

Amazon hires more than 1000 MBAs globally every year.

As one of the most sought-after tech companies to work for, it isn’t easy to secure a position at Amazon.

Luckily, a former Technical Product Manager and Software Development Manager recently went on Reddit, offering an inside scoop into what it takes for MBAs to get hired at the prestigious company.

WHAT AMAZON LOOKS FOR

According to the former employee, Amazon looks for two main things in MBA hires.

For one, humility is key.

“I have interviewed many MBA grads who thought they were the hottest thing on the market and felt they were owed a job purely for graduating from a top school,” the former employee says. “Showing genuine understanding of your own shortcomings and a willingness to learn goes a long way. Amazon is a huge successful company and no MBA grad is going to come in and make Director within a year.”

This characteristic is consistent with Amazon’s Leadership Principles – one of which is to “Learn and Be Curious.”

“Leaders are never done learning and always seek to improve themselves. They are curious about new possibilities and act to explore them,” the principles state.

Secondly, the former employee highlights data and numbers experience as key differentiators across all hiring.

That seems to be echoed across other hiring managers at Amazon.

“When we look for candidates, specifically for PMTs and other technical positions, we know these roles require a STEM background, either academic—for example, a degree in engineering or computer science—or relevant job experience in technology,” Marco Cagna, a principal PMT-ES (product manager, technical–External Services) with AWS, says in an interview with Haas.

“And then we layer on the skills that all tech and non-tech product managers need including rigorous analytic skills, problem-solving abilities, good communication, and leadership skills.”

HOW TO GET HIRED

While Amazon has recently announced that it will begin hiring from a broader range of b-schools, competition amongst MBAs is higher than ever.

One key way to get hired at Amazon, according to the former employee, is to go through your network.

“If you have a tech background and want to be a tech or tech-adjacent PM, the best way to get in is to work your network and go outside the program hires,” the former employee says. “The programs are focused on hiring for non-tech roles so those are the candidates they go after. Most PMTs I’ve seen hired after an MBA are hired directly by the team, not through a program.”

Additionally, the former employee continuously stresses the importance and value of technical experience. For roles such as PMs or PM-T’s, the former employee highlights that technical experience may even be more valuable than an MBA alone.

“Software teams looking for a highly technical PM-T really want people who know how to code or know how coding works,” the former employee says. “I don’t think an MBA would be more useful than applying now, or after a couple more years of work experience.”

See the full AMA here.

Sources: Reddit, Poets & Quants, UC Berkeley Haas, Amazon