According to BusinessBecause data, nearly a third of MBA applicants are interested in pursuing careers at Amazon—and it’s not hard to see why.
Since being founded by Jeff Bezos in his Washington garage in the 1990s, Amazon has grown into one of the biggest e-commerce outfits in the world.
Given this dramatic trajectory, it comes as little surprise that entrepreneurial instinct and innovative thinking are highly-prized among MBA hires at Amazon—and that grads from Spain’s IE Business School are thriving in this environment.
At IE, entrepreneurial spirit is literally at the core of the curriculum, with the International MBA featuring a compulsory module named, ‘Developing an Entrepreneurial Mindset’.
In addition, each summer, students have the opportunity to take part in an on-campus incubator for their fledgling business ideas at the IE Start-Up Lab, and the Lab’s coordinator, Sugata Jain, believes that the skills they learn there have a big role in landing students jobs with big corporates.
“A lot of our students have gone into working at big startups—a few of them are at Uber now, and Airbnb has hired so many of them,” she says. “[But big tech companies like] Google and Amazon [also] love these candidates because they’re going and saying, ‘Look—in five weeks, this is what I achieved.’”
One such candidate is Nicolas Vanerio, who graduated from the MBA at IE last year and is now working as a pathways operations manager at Amazon in France.
BusinessBecause caught up with Nicolas to find out how his MBA helped him land a job at Amazon.
What were you doing before you started your MBA?
I worked in the e-commerce sector for more than 5 years, mainly in Mercado Libre, (MELI) the leading e-commerce company in Latin America.
I was the quality supervisor for Brazil’s customer experience operations when I made the decision to do an MBA. I was responsible for the quality of 600+ representatives answering our customers’ calls, emails, and chats. We also reviewed our fraud prevention team. I led a team of 13 analysts checking these exchanges with our customers.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA at IE?
I wanted to grow in my career and, to achieve that, I wanted to continue my studies in a place that would allow me to learn something new, expand my network, and [have] a unique experience. That's why after looking at several universities I chose IE Business School.
I wanted to get into one of the best MBAs in the world, with a technological and entrepreneurship twist. I looked into the top-ranking MBAs, but most of them focused on consulting and finance. IE was top-ranked and focused on tech and entrepreneurship.
How did the job at Amazon come about?
This was a company I was always interested in because of my e-commerce background. It has the customer [focus] that I love and is the top e-commerce business in the world.
There were several Amazon presentations during the MBA, including a field trip to one of their Fulfilment Centers. The careers department at IE helped with mock interviews, counseling and reviews.
What else stands out from your MBA experience?
I did several case competitions, just to challenge myself and learn more about the consulting way of thinking, and won a Microsoft case. This was incredibly rewarding, as my fellow candidates were very diverse and had incredible previous experiences. I would get free feedback and learn from some of the best in their industries.
Another highlight was doing the startup camp and learning what it takes to build a company from scratch—it gave me several insights into that world that I will use in the future.
I believe IE Business School is an excellent choice for people interested in tech and entrepreneurship. I loved the classes and learned a lot from fellow candidates. As a bonus, you get to live in Madrid, which is an amazing city!