Elliot Noble

2015 E-Commerce Graduate

I studied Management at the University of Leeds and, after completing a year in industry at Dulux, I had initially planned to re-join the company. However, having spoken to a friend working at Amazon, I was intrigued about Amazon’s graduate opportunities.

During the interview process it became apparent the high calibre of people working at the firm, with all employees empowered to make big decisions at pace. What attracted me most to Amazon was that despite its size it has retained the feel of a ‘start-up’. For such a large company, I was also impressed at its customer focus and how ingrained the Leadership Principles are within its culture.

One of these principles is ‘Hire and Develop the Best’ and you get a real sense of this as soon as you start the graduate scheme. The two-week induction combines in-depth online training with senior Amazonian speakers and presentations on key elements of your new role.

I chose to work in the ‘Retail’ side of the business as an Associate Vendor Manager, a role most closely resembling a Buyer in other organisations. Within the team, I hold responsibility for all vendors (suppliers) outside of the very largest in the category. This involves negotiating terms, identifying and signing new product selections, resolving complicated issues faced by vendors and identifying process improvements that may be implemented across wider teams.

Having full ownership of big events such as Prime Day and Black Friday has been a highlight, requiring me to source great deals for our customers, accurately forecast demand and ensure the right stock is in place. Although the complexities and responsibilities of the role offer many challenges, I have felt the complete support of my entire team.

Although the graduate scheme does not follow typical rotations, there is plenty of scope to work across categories/functions and employees typically stay in role for 2-3 years. Given the rate of change that Amazon experiences, and emphasis placed on working on cross-category projects, each role is continually evolving during your tenure.

Having been at Amazon for just under a year, I would certainly recommend the role to anyone who wishes to work in a fast-paced, exciting environment where you have to continually learn. It’s an ideal place to start your career after university!