This is part of Das Tor’s ongoing Internship Insights series, in which second-year students write about their summer internship experiences.
When I was just fifteen years old, I moved from Austria to California. I participated in an exchange program at a Californian high school, which meant that I had to move to the other side of the world, living with a host family I did not know, in a city I did not know. My study abroad experiences deeply shaped my life. I experienced cultural diversity and discovered that working in an international business environment perfectly suits my interests. Therefore, I returned to the United States to continue my post-secondary studies in an environment that would prepare me for a global leadership role.
After transferring to Arizona State University, I was immediately intrigued by Thunderbird, particularly by the “Thunderbird mystique”. I completely identified myself with the global mindset taught here. That is why I chose to become a T-bird.
This summer, I was blessed with the opportunity to work for Amazon. I was a Product Manager Intern in Munich, Germany. Amazon was my top choice, and I had longed to work for Amazon for a very long time. In November 2020, I began to apply for internships. I applied to several Amazon jobs directly via the job portal. Since I had not heard back from Amazon until January, I applied to almost 50 other positions via LinkedIn, Handshake, and Glassdoor. Amazon’s interview process is rigorous. First, I had to fill out the online application and then take a 45-minute online test. The test entails several simulations of work situations. The results of the test and the online application determine whether you will hear back or not. I was thrilled when I heard back two weeks later and got my interview date. Because of Arizona’s time difference with Europe, I had my interview in the middle of the night (12:45 a.m.-5 a.m.). The interview included four 45-minute sessions with different stakeholders in the company. First, I had an Excel simulation, then a sales call, and then two behavioral-based interviews. My manager and my mentor in my internship program were part of the interviewers. The interview was conducted in German and English. I was fortunate to have met someone from Amazon via LinkedIn before my interview, and we had several Zoom meetings to prepare me for the hiring process. When interviewing with Amazon, it was crucial to have STAR Statements prepared for each one of their 14 leadership principles. I received my offer the day after my interview. The HR team and the relocation team were extremely helpful in the process of me moving to Munich. I worked there for over 4 months and adjusted to life in Munich quite well.
In terms of my specific role, I supported the management and preparation of large-scale promotional events, such as Prime Day, on Amazon.de, Amazon.co.uk, and Amazon.fr. Additionally, I was responsible for the ongoing monitoring and optimization of deals during sale events as well as in everyday business to ensure added value for customers and a sustainable growth of these events. I also analyzed the deals’ performance during deal events as well as in the context of a retrospective deal events performance analysis. After just two months in my role, I developed, researched, and collaborated on annual planning, leveraging the Amazon working backwards approach (PRFAQ). Another component of my role was data analysis via Quick Sight, and I analyzed several customer and Selling Partner surveys of raw data to gain key insights.
In preparation for my internship, I attended several former intern panels hosted by the CMC, including one where a former Amazon intern discussed her experience. I contacted her, and she was very helpful during my hiring process. If you are on the search for an internship, I would highly recommend attending these panel sessions. Also, career fairs are a great start to find an internship. The CMC hosts various events throughout the semester. If they are hosting a company you are interested in, definitely attend. I attended several events to network and to find out more about various industries and companies. If you are still unsure of what company you would like to work for, this is a great way to figure it out.
Guest speaker events are also very helpful to talk to industry leaders and to network. Even though I did not attend an event with Amazon per se, all these events were very insightful and lead me to my internship. One of the best resources I had was Jaclyn Boyes, former CMC staff member. We had several meetings to go over my resume, my STAR statements, and to practice my interview skills. She was always there for me, and her support meant so much.
My best advice would be to attend as many career events as possible. You never know who you may meet there and what opportunities may present themselves. Also, do not hesitate to reach out to students who previously interned with the company you are interested in. Fellow T-birds stick together. Do not let the internship search discourage you. It takes time and effort to land a job. As I said, I probably applied to over 50 internships and ended up with only a handful of interviews.
If you are particularly interested in working for Amazon, I would highly recommend finding people on LinkedIn who work at Amazon and setting up informational interviews with them. Attend a career session with Amazon if possible. Be sure to write down STAR statements to each of the 14 leadership principles to prepare for the interview. Ask your career coach for support. Reach out to your student liaison and other students who worked at Amazon. Lastly, please feel free to contact me with any questions.