15 February 2023

A fast track to senior management


Last time, we read the first account of Luca Luciani’s planned ascent to his desired outcome. Now, as he starts off on his well-earned Amazon Pathway, the fast track to senior management, read on to learn more about how he arrived at this high point in his career trajectory.

  • Were your career aspirations always clear to you or did you have to do a lot of background research to narrow down your options? If so, how did you go about this?

I always had it clear in my mind that, at a certain moment in my life, I wanted to switch from a technical role to a managerial role. So, I would affirm that I have had a fixed plan to achieve since graduating from my Master’s degree. I was 33 years old and since I had not yet had the opportunity to make this switch in my present job, the MBA was the perfect springboard to success. When I enrolled, I already knew about some of the opportunities the MBA could open up to me. I was aware of the MBA acceleration programs run by big companies and, if I had not been able to join any of these, I would have settled for applying for a managerial role in the energy industry. Although I had my career aspirations clear, I think that background research is always necessary to narrow down the available options. Sometimes you get stuck on one idea and maybe there are other available opportunities which might be interesting for you, and which you don’t know about. In addition, in my case I did not perform this research once enrolled in the MBA, but it is something I had always carried out over the years — and I think that this was really a key point for me, because it allowed me to focus on what was interesting for me among the thousands of opportunities the MBA brings to your attention.

  • You have secured a position with Amazon on the company’s fast-track leadership development programme for MBA candidates, “Pathways”– many congratulations! Prior to this achievement, you took part in the Amazon Challenge, representing the business school. Please could you tell us how you prepared for that and what was involved in the actual challenge, including the mentorship aspect?

First, the challenge was undertaken as a team. So, the first task was to compose a team with my fellow peers — there were four of us, and I was the team leader. Together, we planned two meeting sessions per week to coordinate, share ideas and equally divided the workload to be done individually. The Amazon Challenge was a real business case in operation which came from an Amazon fulfilment centre in France. We had to analyse the problem they presented and propose possible solutions for the operational issues they were facing. In addition, an idea for reducing their sustainable impact during their logistics activities was required. Three main disciplines were involved: lean six-sigma, e-commerce logistics and sustainability. We were not attending classes on those subjects at that time, so we had to deep dive into the topics. The mentorship from Amazon was useful to get to know more about Amazon’s processes inside the fulfilment centres, trying to get as many hints as possible to be able to set our strategy to solve the case.

15 February 2023

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