Ask a former Microsoft/Amazon finance/marketing corporate employee anything

1,231
26
Joined Sep 28, 2002
As a spin-off of Hank Scorpio's Private Equity thread, I thought I would make a thread for those who want to take the corporate finance/marketing route and now entrepreneurship route.

Ground-rules:
1. I won't reveal my full name
2. I cannot get you an interview or a job. I am willing to only give you tips on how to land an interview and network.
3. Please check out Dijil.com (I'm the co-founder ), follow us on twitter, or like us on Facebook , it's a site aimed at 25-40 year old newlyweds and first time parents.

My Background:
-25 years old and I was at both companies for a combined 4 years.
-I interned at one of the companies the summer between my 3rd and 4th year in college and went on to work there right after graduation
-After 4 years of working in corporate positions, I left to co-found Dijil
-I came from one of the higher ranked UC's in California
-Graduated with a >3.5GPA in Econ/Business

Ask away.
 
Last edited:
2,648
509
Joined Jan 4, 2008
As a spin-off of Hank Scorpio's Private Equity thread, I thought I would make a thread for those who want to take the corporate finance/marketing route and now entrepreneurship route.

Ground-rules:
1. I won't reveal my full name
2. I cannot get you an interview or a job. I am willing to only give you tips on how to land an interview and network.
3. Please check out Dijil.com (I'm the co-founder ), follow us on twitter, or like us on Facebook , it's a site aimed at 25-40 year old newlyweds and first time parents.

My Background:
-25 years old and I was at both companies for a combined 4 years.
-I interned at one of the companies the summer between my 3rd and 4th year in college and went on to work there right after graduation
-After 4 years of working in corporate positions, I left to co-found Dijil
-I came from one of the higher ranked UC's in California
-Graduated with a >3.5GPA in Econ/Business

Ask away.
What were some of the hurdles you faced in starting your own site, and how did you overcome them? Did you already have background in creating sites, or did you involve someone else?

What were the initial start up costs for the site? As a new site, how do you bring in traffic?
 
1,231
26
Joined Sep 28, 2002
What were some of the hurdles you faced in starting your own site, and how did you overcome them? Did you already have background in creating sites, or did you involve someone else?

What were the initial start up costs for the site? As a new site, how do you bring in traffic?
Hurdles were all definitely technical. I had base knowledge of HTML/CSS, but you need so much more technical knowledge to create a site. Any decent website needs a database (we're using MySQL) and a scripting language to embed the information from the database (we're using PHP) into the site. Luckily I knew SQL from my previous job. My co-founder already had experience with PHP and had actually started a website a few years ago, so that definitely helped. I also just kept using Google and forums with searches like "How do I center a div on a webpage?" and lots of trial and error.

Off the top of my head, startup costs were $10 per year for the domain, $100-200 per year for hosting. The costs will come with the development tools and legal costs ($300-$500 for an LLC registration). Adobe has a subscription called creative cloud where you pay ~$50 per month for access to all their tools (Photoshop, dreamweaver, etc.). You can also use Visual Studio Express (which is free) and there might be some other ones out there. We use Adobe Creative Cloud.

As far as how to bring in traffic, we're using our own social networks (Facebook, Twitter), friends and family, word of mouth, NT. We're also doing search ads and social media ads (Twitter and Facebook).

Thanks for the question and check out Dijil.com, follow us on twitter, or like us on facebook
 
5,318
665
Joined Oct 12, 2010
Education vs. experience, which is more important to break into your field?

I have a B.S. + 4 years of experience in the Criminal Justice field + several years in sales/marketing/eCommerce...

Looking to get into the corporate world if I can't land a Probation gig (what I went to school for).

Appreciate the thread and advice would be great. I know they just opened up an Amazon branch in MA, would be cool to get some tips before sending my resume.
 
1,231
26
Joined Sep 28, 2002
How much surveillance are we really under? 
I have no idea. Both companies have customer information heavily locked down from employee access (per their trainings), but I have no idea about government access.

:nerd:
also are u hiring for YOUR company??????
Honestly, we need to get traffic and users, then we can get investors then we can hire people to start growing. If we ever get large enough to where we do start hiring, I'll take a look at each and every NT resume submitted and provide feedback or bring in folks for interviews. NT has provided lots of entertainment throughout the years, so I'll do my best to give back.

Thanks for the questions and check out Dijil.com, follow us on twitter, or like us on facebook
 
4,308
4,630
Joined Dec 1, 2011
How much surveillance are we really under? 
I'm not an expert by any means, but I do know quite a bit about computer networks and how back end systems (database systems, packet-level traffic, etc) work, so I'll try to shed some light.

The portrait a lot of conspiracy theorists try to paint is that every time you start a phone conversation, read an email, or browse the web, there is an agent of the government on the other end watching your every move. That's simply just not true, given the sheer amount of data and the number of users who are using the IP protocol (pretty much ANYTHING that can connect to the internet, phone, TV, computer, watch, etc). However, just because someone isn't constantly watching does not mean that agencies do not have constant access. I'll point to one of the older, declassified surveillance systems used by the US Gov't called ECHELON. I'll let you read through it for yourself for the finer details, but the end message is that since the early 2000s, a number of the world's government agencies have had the technology required to intercept just about any form of communication that you could imagine. The way it's done is relatively simple.

Most of the world's communications are routed through fiber optics (there are many forms, but the overall concept is the same.) To properly route communications, these fiber optic channels are ran through switches that connect the different networks of the world. Think about telephone posts and how they used to work. All telephones in a given block would be routed to the same post, and in the event that the post went down (due to a storm or what have you,) the telephones for that entire block would go down as well. It's the same concept with these IXP switches, only on a much larger scale, and instead of connecting telephones on the block, they connect entire countries to the IP protocol (which is used for internet and phone communications, as well as a plethora of other things that I won't get into at this time.)

Now, because there is so much traffic going on at any given time, it's impossible to shift through all of the relatively meaningless data. Instead, what happens is that agencies will flag certain keywords or phrases that will, in layman terms, cause that particular line of communication to be tracked. For example, let's say that you have an email account and send an average number of emails in any given day. While no one is downright spying on your emails, they are being filtered through an IXP switch (or a smaller one, they're literally all over the place) that is set to track communications that contain flagged keywords. Let's say in one of your emails, you tell a friend something like

Man, those yambs I got from that Alice chick on the 5th floor were the bomb. I can't wait to get back to Boston so that I can explode all over her face again.
Innocent enough when taken in context, but those highlighted keywords of "Boston," "Bomb," and "Explode" may set off the flag that would put your email address on a list. That list contains a number of other accounts that have set of a flag, and are then parsed further by software and, eventually, people who determine the overall threat of the message and if it requires further investigation. If the threat level is relatively low (messages coming from unknown people, or can be interpreted as satire) then you usually have nothing to worry about. However, if the flags coincide with an impending attack that an agency has intelligence on, you'll have FBI/CIA Agents at your doors in a matter of hours, asking questions.

If you were wondering, I graduated with a degree in Computer Science and have experience in the field.

As for the topic at hand. OP, how much access did you have to Microsoft/Amazon finances? Are we talking entry level, mid management, or regional? Did you enjoy your experience, or did the corporate beast get the best of you?
 
Last edited:
1,231
26
Joined Sep 28, 2002
Education vs. experience, which is more important to break into your field?

I have a B.S. + 4 years of experience in the Criminal Justice field + several years in sales/marketing/eCommerce...

Looking to get into the corporate world if I can't land a Probation gig (what I went to school for).

Appreciate the thread and advice would be great. I know they just opened up an Amazon branch in MA, would be cool to get some tips before sending my resume.
I'd say experience. I saw people from all types of educational backgrounds (good schools, bad schools, high GPA, low GPA), but they all had strong work experience. Interviewing also plays a big part. I've always believed that people vastly underprepare for interviews. Emphasize the transferable skills (communication, leadership, analytics). When you're applying for a job, make sure to use the verbs and adjectives that they have in the job description in your resume.


Thanks for the question and check out Dijil.com, follow us on twitter, or like us on facebook
 
1,231
26
Joined Sep 28, 2002
?why are u a former employee
What made you want to leave and start up your own business?
These are similar questions, so I'll answer them at the same time. Corporate politics are a pain. There's no such thing as working hard and working your way up. You have to shake hands and kiss babies along the way. I've talked to some of the higher performers and got their "formula" for success and it's not something I was interested in doing.

In addition, if you want to go out and try something (a new feature, a new product, a new way of doing something) there are so many hurdles and barriers you have to break through. In a startup, if you want to try something, there's very little to get in your way.


As for the topic at hand. OP, how much access did you have to Microsoft/Amazon finances? Are we talking entry level, mid management, or regional? Did you enjoy your experience, or did the corporate beast get the best of you?
They keep their finances pretty locked down to "need to know". If you're in specific groups within corporate, you'll have more access than say someone in a specific product group. I would say that I ended up somewhere in the high entry level to low management.

I enjoyed the experience, the people at both companies are smart. It looks great on my resume and I'll have knowledge of how the big machine works. However, see my response above about politics and hurdles.


Thanks for the questions and check out Dijil.com, follow us on twitter, or like us on facebook
 
63,613
50,679
Joined May 23, 2005
How much surveillance are we really under? 
I have no idea. Both companies have customer information heavily locked down from employee access (per their trainings), but I have no idea about government access.

:nerd:
also are u hiring for YOUR company??????
Honestly, we need to get traffic and users, then we can get investors then we can hire people to start growing. If we ever get large enough to where we do start hiring, I'll take a look at each and every NT resume submitted and provide feedback or bring in folks for interviews. NT has provided lots of entertainment throughout the years, so I'll do my best to give back.

Thanks for the questions and check out Dijil.com, follow us on twitter, or like us on facebook
how much can i give minimum to be an investor?????
 
Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks some useful and important features of our website. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker or head over to our upgrade page to donate for an ad-free experience Upgrade now