Building B2B from the ground up
“It was like a blank piece of paper,” says Thomas Hamper, Key Account Manager, describing his early days on Amazon Business. “I remember literally being given the task to define my own job. It felt like a start-up.”
“There were four of us on a rainy London evening, sitting around a conference table, planning the future of this ambitious new world for Amazon in the UK,” says Hamper.
Amazon Business helps companies small and large save time and money while buying over a hundred million products in product categories such as laptops, computers, printers, office supplies, office furniture, hand tools, power tools, safety equipment, office kitchen essentials and cleaning supplies.
“I remember when it was just three of us sitting at the conference table,” laughs Sam Horbye, New Account Manager, who started a few months before Hamper. “But I had the same feeling that we were building something new and exciting from the ground up.”
The role I was first hired to do at Amazon no longer exists. Every year it’s almost a new company
I found the right place
Hamper went to the University of Durham to study Economics. “I followed the traditional path for people studying Economics – did an internship in banking and then became an investment banker,” says Hamper. “But I quickly realised that I didn’t want to be glued to a Blackberry and working until 2 am for the rest of my life. I got a call from a recruiter at Amazon, and I didn’t know a lot about what it would be like to work here, but I was open minded and the opportunities seemed interesting.”
Horbye also went to the University of Durham and joined Amazon a year and a half ago. He has four brothers, all of whom entered more traditional careers. “One is in finance, one is a lawyer. So when I started looking into technology companies, my family was pleased that I was thinking of a new area, and not one of the more traditional routes.
Also I think my brothers are a bit jealous when they hear about what Amazon is launching and the opportunities here to move around within the company quite easily.”
Horbye says that Amazon seems to be gaining in popularity among new graduates. “When I was at school Amazon wasn’t on many people’s roadmaps of companies to join after University. The focus was more on consultancy, law, banking, and economics. But there seems to be a lot more awareness and interest now. My younger brother is in University and I’m encouraging him to spread the word and apply to Amazon himself once he graduates.”
Working at Amazon
Hamper says what he likes about working at Amazon is the dynamic and exciting culture. “I like the pace of change and innovation,” he says. “The role I was first hired to do at Amazon no longer exists. Every year it’s almost a new company. And the people here are passionate and excited.”
Horbye enjoys the diversity. He says the Amazon Business team comes from a broad range of backgrounds. “You have people from all over the world with different educational and career backgrounds,” he says. “But we are working together toward a common aim.”
He also says that as someone starting out in his career, the future career options at Amazon are motivating. “There are so many different businesses I could get involved in,” he says. “When you want to move, you are encouraged to do so. Amazon wants people to be well rounded. So I could be a part of something completely different like Amazon Fresh and be well-supported in making a move like that.”