The purpose of this blog is to share more about the MBA internship experience with prospective and admitted Stern MBA students interested in technology. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to learn more.
Co-President of STA (2017-2018)
Amazon, Senior Product Manager of Technical Products
Job Before Stern
Before Stern, I spent seven years in the U.S. Army in various operations (Infantry) and budget management (Finance) roles. I lived in Georgia, California, South Carolina, Hawaii, and Afghanistan while managing teams ranging from two to one-hundred fifty. Regardless of my positions, I spent most of my time creating environments for others to do their best work and designing/implementing process improvements.
Helpful Advice During the Recruiting Process
For each firm, figure out what is table stakes (low variance, everyone must do it) and what you can do to set yourself apart (high variance- your story, motivations for working there, understanding of their business). Understanding from the beginning which firms are high-touch (coffee chats, thank you notes, private events), and which firms are low-touch (resume drop, informational interviews for your benefit only) will allow you to align your efforts appropriately.
Role over the summeris past summer, I was a Senior Product Manager at Amazon, working within their Consumer Engagement organization. To be successful, I needed to work with and understand our engineering, design, and partner teams. To understand the perspective of our engineers, I learned the underlying services that our product depended on (by diagramming our services architecture) and what services were necessary for future growth (i.e., dependencies, lateral uses of existing APIs). I used wireframing tools (Balsamiq) to create low-fidelity mock-ups of new experiences to review with our design team. Lastly, I used SQL to extract customer insights, inform experiment design, and confirm my assumptions when working with partner teams.
Favorite Project Over the Summer
My primary project was to integrate brands (sellers and manufacturers) into an Amazon.com chat service while maintaining the trust that customers expect from Amazon. Other projects I worked on included designing new ways to use our customer data to increase the value of our service and figuring out when to elicit feedback from users. I did not have a favorite, but I enjoyed the autonomy to explore, experiment, and implement innovative ideas through the “adding customer value” lens.
Returning Upon Graduation? Why?
I am returning to Amazon post-graduation as a Senior Product Manager of Technical Products! There are so many reasons why I am happy to be returning to Amazon, but a few that top my list include:
(1) My team and my manager were inviting, helpful, and challenged me to grow
(2) The results I was able to deliver over a 12 week period positively impacted the future of the product
(3) I enjoyed the clarity of written communication and debate vs. slide decks and presentations
Ultimately, I felt that Amazon gave me the best opportunity to leverage my strengths and I am excited for the chance to contribute to Amazon’s future growth.