How I found a life-changing job at Amazon – 6 months before graduation

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Sometimes in life you need to listen to your heart and take a leap of faith. This is exactly what I did when I made my decision to pursue an MBA at Hult in San Francisco.

Last February, I received an acceptance letter from Hult but could not enroll right away. There were many factors to consider, and big life changes to make. It was a major financial commitment; it required giving up on my green card (which was in process); and quitting a well-paid senior executive position. More importantly, it meant that my wife would have to remain in India for at least for few a months.

But I knew that if I did not make the big leap now (at the age of 32 and with no kids yet), I would never go after an MBA again. I realized that Hult offered an opportunity I could not miss. From the first moment I had heard about the school, it attracted me like a magnet. The school is young at heart and is redefining the concept of delivering business education. I wanted to be a part of that.

So last summer, I took a leap of faith and enrolled at Hult. Little did I know that I wasn’t just beginning an MBA program, I was actually getting plugged into a new world where experiments are fun, not scary, and there’s always the drive to try new things. The school’s faculty and staff are full of energy and passion, just like the students, and don’t just want to produce the best MBAs—but the best human leaders. I view Hult as a powerhouse of humble, talented people from across the world, with dreams to accomplish great things, not just for themselves, but to make the world a better place.

It’s now been six months since I started my MBA, and my job search is already over. I have been offered the role of Technical Program Manager at Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, and start in September. I am the first MBA candidate across all campuses to land a job, and one with a six-figure salary. My job offer came six months in advance of completing my program, which is something I had not expected, but also a very pleasant surprise. You might now be thinking, how did this happen? 

I started my job search before I joined Hult. Through the Fast Track program run by Hult Career Services, my fellow students and I were briefed about the kinds of support we would get for the job hunt. We also got a message loud and clear: start your job hunt early. We were urged to submit our résumés in a recommended format, and to refine our LinkedIn profiles right away, so we could get feedback from our career advisors.

But the real magic happened when I started meeting with my designated advisor, Laura Maish, in person. I remember two invaluable mantras she gave me:

  • Make sure your résumé and LinkedIn profile reflect your value proposition effectively and precisely.
  • It’s time to network.

Right about now you may be thinking: “None of that is new. I’ve heard this before. Networking is an overused term.”

This is why the role of a Career Services advisor is so critical. Laura didn’t just give me guidance, she diligently worked with me to build a solid LinkedIn profile that reflected who I am, and the skills I uniquely bring to the table.

She also coached me to become an effective networker. I consider myself to be good at people skills, but I had always been bad at networking because I thought it required me to look out for myself and no one else. It made me feel very uncomfortable. But Laura provided advice that changed my perspective and made me feel more confident.

Laura told me to go to events with the main goal of interacting with new people, and making acquaintances. She told me to let go of the mindset that I’m only there to seek a job opportunity. Most importantly, she told me to step inside of my fellow networkers’ shoes, because while my objective was to find a job, someone else may be hoping to make connections with talented, skilled people. My interactions with Career Services the last few months have been an intense process of self-discovery, like polishing a stone into a diamond.

I strictly followed all of Laura’s advice; I had my résumé and LinkedIn profile ready right away, and both were approved within the first couple of months of starting school. So when I finally met with a Hult alumnus who works at Amazon and was a guest speaker on campus, all my credentials were in line. Meeting with him led to connecting on LinkedIn, and that gave me exposure to Amazon’s recruiter network, because one of them found me there and the rest is history.

I took a chance on Hult, which in turn plugged me into a world of endless possibilities. I’m so glad I did—it has changed the rest of my life.

 

Umesh Tiwari is a 2015 MBA candidate at Hult’s San Francisco campus. He looks forward to starting his new role with Amazon in the fall.   

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