Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Seattle: Coming home to a place I’ve never been before

I spent the past summer - from June to August 2015 – interning as part of the Retail Leadership Development program at Amazon in Seattle. I was working with the Canada Retail Team on reducing the amount of inventory that goes into markdowns. The project involved a lot of data analysis and number crunching but also innovation as we came up with new solutions to transform how the business works. Finally, I was able to witness and contribute to the huge “Amazon Prime day” event, an exclusive sales event for Prime members which turned out to be a major success. 

During my time at Amazon all of my work was directed at the impact that my project would have on Amazon’s customers and how to make them happy. That culture is a unique one and not many businesses adhere to the extreme standards that Amazon abides by when it comes to customer satisfaction; this aspect was a great learning experience for me. Apparently consumers aren’t the only ones that Amazon knows how to please: with the dog treat vending machines on each of the office floors, it is no wonder a lot of Amazon employees bring their dogs along to work daily. As a dog lover I enjoyed working on great ideas being surrounded by man’s best friend!

Making friends with Hunter in my cubicle space

Now to the best part of my internship experience: Seattle! Seattle for me was like “coming home to a place I’ve never been before.” I was living in Capitol Hill, one of the city's most prominent nightlife and entertainment districts. This neighborhood is known for its history of art and culture and is full of cafes and bars. On weekends, I nurtured the part of me that loves being outdoors: I went hiking at Mount Rainer; visited the San Juan Islands and watched orcas swimming in their natural habitat; I was able to camp by the Pacific Ocean; and also take weekend getaways to Portland and other neighboring cities. The awe-inspiring landscapes of the Pacific Northwest never ceased to amaze me.

The internship experience not only allowed me to apply a lot of the business concepts I studied during my first year in the MBA program at Georgetown University, but it also enabled me to experience one of the most amazing states in the USA. Most of all, I now come back refreshed and energized to start the second and final year of my studies here at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Taking in the view of Diablo Lake in the North Cascades in WA

Hany Salidis is an Egyptian Fulbrighter who is pursuing an MBA student at Georgetown University.

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