Amazon Spring Insight

Sep 17, 2017

Written
by

Syed Mohammad Irtaza Hassan

Amazon, being one of the world’s leading E-Commerce companies, attracts a lot of attention from students and graduates alike. This spring I had a great opportunity to intern with Amazon and learn more about their operations. In this post I will highlight my experience with this revolutionary firm.

The Process:
Near the end of March I found out about the Insight day through a friend, and quickly decided to go through the application. The application was pretty straightforward with a few questions about your personal information and then two motivational style questions. The questions were as follows:

1. What is the most innovative thing you have done?
2. What motivates you to apply to Amazon?

After you filled in the application you will receive an email asking you to suggest a suitable time for an interview. Although the thought of a phone interview sounds very intimidating, the experience is quite the opposite. On the telephone they will ask you the same two questions again and give you the opportunity to ask them more about the internship. Pretty easy stuff, right?

The Insight Day:
The Amazon Insight does not have an Assessment Centre/option to convert into a summer internship and hence, it is only a one day affair. The 5-6 hour event takes place inside the Holborn office of the company, making it quite easy to navigate to. The office itself is nothing extraordinary, which is a disappointment considering one may expect the office of such an innovative firm to be something out of this world. The event included 30+ interns from a variety of universities ranging from Oxbridge to Durham. Presentations from employees working in various positions within the Operations department along with thorough Q&A sessions ensure you get all the details you need about what the department does and how it is instrumental to Amazon’s work.

The Positives:

  • The Work Culture:
    One could easily tell that Amazon’s work environment is a relaxed one. With employees wearing T-shirts and hoodies, the environment was quite appealing to many of my colleagues. The employees also seemed to have a good working relationship with each other, frequently cracking jokes and helping each other out.
  • The Business Model:
    Amazon’s business model quickly rewards people for their work and gives them responsibility sooner than many of them would expect. This was evident from the fact that many of managerial positions were filled with young people.
  • Diversity:
    After interacting with the employees, you could easily tell they were a diverse bunch. Ranging from a conventional MBA graduate to a rather unconventional ex-military, the place is filled with talented people coming from a variety of disciplines, ultimately greatly contributing to your learning.

The Negatives:

  • Sponsorship:
    Amazon does not sponsor international students for graduate roles. The reason given by an employee is that they cannot justify the individual’s distinction from his/her UK counterparts to the Home Office. HOWEVER, they do sponsor Area managers which a graduate in Amazon can become after two years.
  • Conversion:
    One of the most compelling reasons to do a spring internship is a possibility of converting it into a summer internship and hence saving yourself from a lot of stress and discomfort during the second year. The lack of conversion and the small timeframe makes the Insight day seem more like a networking event.

Conclusion:

Overall, the day was a good experience and I would definitely recommend it to all first-year students. Whether you’re just looking to fill up your resume or are interested in a dynamic and fun working environment, Amazon has something for you. The easy application process ensures that it does not distract you from your oncoming exams and any other internships you may have.

Employers
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