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This EDHEC MBA Made The Triple Jump To Land A Top Job At Amazon In France

Nouhad Abdel Malak changed role, industry, and location to land a job at Amazon after an MBA at EDHEC Business School. He credits the school’s innovative Career SMART program


Wed Feb 14 2018

Amazon has massively ramped up its hiring of MBA students in recent years. Among Silicon Valley’s technology giants—across industries in fact—Amazon is one of the biggest employers of MBA grads; now hiring 1,000 MBAs a year globally.

In the South of France, EDHEC Business School is a fertile hunting ground for Amazon’s MBA hiring needs. More MBA students at EDHEC (31%) land jobs in technology after graduation than in any other industry; 59% typically secure employment outside their native countries. Amazon, Facebook, Amadeus, and Microsoft, hire MBA students from EDHEC.

Among them, Lebanese engineer Nouhad Abdel Malak, who managed multibillion dollar projects for a construction firm in Saudi Arabia, prior to his MBA.

Nouhad arrived in France determined to take his career to the international stage. His intention: to make the fabled MBA triple jump, and change industry, location, and role. After completing his MBA, he did just that; joining Amazon’s Pathways program as an operations manager based in Paris in August last year.

One of the youngest students in his MBA class, Nouhad was attracted by EDHEC’s cutting-edge courses in trending tech topics like big data analytics and artificial intelligence.

Critically, he says, the school’s Career SMART program—which extends across the MBA curriculum supporting students in their job search through resume workshops, interview coaching, and connections with employers—helped get him where he is today.

How did the job at Amazon come about?

Amazon, in partnership with the EDHEC Business School’s careers center, came on-campus to recruit, and presented the MBA pathways program.

It’s EDHEC’s Career SMART program—coupled with the careers counselling, strong corporate ties, and alumni connections—that attracts multinational companies, such as Amazon, to hire candidates from the school.

What does Amazon look for in its MBA hires?

Amazon look at leadership ability and potential of growth as essential constituents of a recipe for success. A candidate must be able to grow and take on more and more responsibility that matches the growth of the company (30% year over year).

Candidates should also demonstrate Amazon’s leadership principles. One of my favorites is customer obsession, as our main objective is to be the world’s most customer-centric company. Another principle is to learn and be curious. MBA candidates demonstrate that one automatically, as they take the decision of pausing their professional career and re-investing in their education.

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA at EDHEC?

I wanted to add an edge to my professional career in terms of merging my technical electro-mechanical engineering degree with a business degree that would elevate my profile to an international level.

EDHEC was an ideal platform; a reputable French business school, with strong ties to the needs of the current employment market, which offered a highly-ranked international MBA. The 10-month program allowed me to gain a MBA without taking myself out of the jobs market. The better ROI justified my choice of France over the US.

Would you be where you are today without it?

I always had this drive and ambition to take my career to the international stage and prove my abilities at one of the largest tech companies in the world. Would have I been able to make this step without my MBA degree? Probably not.

The EDHEC MBA opened doors for me in Europe, gave me a macro-vision of all other industries through the wide variety of its curriculum and cohort, and matched talent to employer through the career center efforts. Making the triple jump would have been quite impossible without the MBA at EDHEC Business School.