We were delighted to host the Amazon Pathways MBA Challenge at Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS) in May. This was the first of these competitions to be in person for two years.
Two out of four of the finalists were groups of students from our Full-time MBA Class of 2023. It was a jam-packed schedule of engaging activities, innovative case pitches and an exciting awards ceremony. We were pleased to announce one of our teams finished in second place.
Chloe Jacobs who is programme manager for Amazon shared her insights from the start of the competition 4 months ago to coming to Manchester for the final.
“After 4 months filled with strategy development, writing and presentation skills, and endless hours of learnings, the Amazon Pathways MBA Challenge concluded on May 13th, 2022.
The Amazon Pathways MBA Challenge is a leading case competition programme partnered with MBA programmes to raise awareness of the Pathways Internship Programme. This is a 10–12-week project-based internship with tangible business impact. The internship is based in one of Amazon’s large and complex fulfilment centres, sortation centres or delivery stations in Europe and upon successful completion of the internship, students will receive an offer to join the prestigious full time Pathways programme.
This competition was developed in order to provide MBA students with more information around developing a career in Amazon Operations via the Pathways Internship. It allows them to discover the variety of tasks and roles within the Pathways programme and improve problem solving, writing and presentation skills (the Amazon way) in a fun and competitive style.
This year’s challenge took place over 4 months between January – May and involved over 600 participants from 15 business schools including LBS, INSEAD, IESE, IE, HEC, ESADE, Bocconi, Lancaster and Oxford Said. The case competition programme began with the Amazon Operations Week, a series of 6 informative sessions on Amazon Operations, Sustainability, and Work-Life Balance. The series of info sessions aimed to support the participants to gain insights and learnings of Amazon Operations prior to tackling their first case challenge.
The participating teams proceeded to complete two rounds of case challenges to solve, with the support of a mentor from Amazon. They would then have the opportunity to pitch their solution to senior members of Amazon Operations in order to whittle it down to the final four.
Out of 126 teams, the final four teams advanced to the Final Round: (1) Team Apex (Alliance Manchester Business School), (2) The Invincibles (Lancaster University Management School), (3) Operation Finale (Alliance Manchester Business School), and (4) Prime Time (Oxford SAID Business School).
It was an early start on Friday 13th May as a nervous but excited 20 finalists entered the auditorium at AMBS. The hybrid event was kicked off with a keynote speech from Prashant Pandey, Regional Director at Amazon Logistics and then some words of encourage from the mentors Analia Bracamonte (AMBS) and Daniel Ingram (Oxford/Lancaster). The teams had already submitted their white paper document and used the final to present their recommendations in a 20-minute pitch followed by some challenging questions from the judging panel formed of Paul Ashraf (Regional Director), Prashant Pandey, Anuja Boopathy (General Manager) and Tahir Abbas Syed (Programme Director of MSc Operations, Projects and Supply Chain Management). After deliberation and a networking lunch, the judges provided individual feedback to each time and it was time to announce winners.