Amazon Selects JWU for Advertising Seed Program

Amazon has a reputation as a global leader in online commerce, digital streaming, cloud computing and even artificial intelligence. (And, if you somehow made it through COVID quarantine without buying something on Amazon, then kudos to you). Their focus on consumer behavior has informed the new advertising platform they use, and the selling of digital advertising space is now a multi-billion-dollar revenue stream.

A group of students presenting

Enter JWU Advertising students. They became some of the first students in the country — and the only ones on the East Coast — to take part in a pilot of Amazon’s Advertising Account Executive (AAE) program, a seed program that introduces students to Amazon’s advertising platform by having them create a campaign using the platform and present their work to Amazon marketing executives. The executives then select candidates from each school to interview for an AAE internship with Amazon at one of their six regional offices.

Thirty students in Associate Professor Oscar Chilabato’s Search Engine Marketing class took part in the program, spending three weeks learning about the platform with guidance from Chilabato and two executives from Amazon’s Boston office. They then split into six teams to develop campaigns to present. 

Chilabato was thrilled that JWU was one of only six schools selected for the pilot and the only school representing the East. He attributes the selection to the Advertising program’s strong reputation in the industry, which has been cemented by the success of ADTEAM at the national level. They placed in the American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition finals in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2019, and won the national championship in 2017.

Needless to say, the last decade has produced some of the best and brightest Advertising students at JWU who have gone on to work at top companies. Now, Chilabato is excited to watch his students earn opportunities at a leading company like Amazon, too.

“Amazon’s advertising platform has become one of the 'game changers' in the e-commerce/digital space,” he said. “In two years’ time, they have grossed nearly $20 billion in ad sales. These Account Executive jobs are highly sought after.”

But, what does an Advertising Account Executive do? At Amazon, they establish and maintain relationships with advertisers, work on communication plans and manage advertising campaigns, among many other responsibilities. They have a direct impact on revenue growth and product improvements for Amazon, making it an exciting career opportunity that many are competing for.

Student presenting

ISMERY CARROSCO BERA '20 PRESENTS HER GROUP'S CAMPAIGN.

While there was no guarantee of an internship, the interview opportunity alone gave JWU students a leg up. And, the already highly sought-after nature of the opportunity was made more competitive by the fact that only four JWU students would be selected for the chance to interview. Ultimately, the four students chosen were Mohammad Ali ’20, Ismery Carrosco Bera ’20, Marissa O’Rourke ’20, and Matt Mahoney ’21.

“I learned so much of how Amazon advertising works and the best strategies for different Amazon partners,” said Carrosco Bera. “It was truly an amazing experience to learn and understand their ecosystem.”

Carrosco Bera is a citizen of St. Maarten, a country that is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. So, while she was ineligible to work for Amazon in their U.S. offices, she was asked about working at one of their other locations and is now waiting to hear from Amazon’s European Union office.

Because of the pandemic, the pilot program’s interview process didn’t go exactly as planned, but JWU looks forward to continuing the partnership with Amazon in the future to allow more students the opportunity to network and land internships or employment with the company.

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