“London Business School (LBS) helped me to get my current role”, says Israeli entrepreneur Ty Zamkow MBA2015. Currently a senior product manager for Amazon, he says that despite his success in Tel Aviv, here in the UK, a big brand name is fundamental in getting the right start. “LBS Career Centre assisted me with getting the internship and post-MBA position I wanted,” says Ty.
After his two years on the programme, which included an internship at Google and stints as co-president for the Entrepreneurship Club and Out in Business Club, Ty was fast-tracked to the role he has now. “Through the LBS MBA pipeline there are fewer interview rounds at Amazon”, he says. “I think that it’s smart to leverage MBA recruiting opportunities, and take advantage of what the programme has to offer.”
The role is highly technical. “I come up with plans for the products and features we want to launch. This involves in-depth data analysis, market research, prioritisation, and stakeholder management with Engineering, UX, Legal, and Finance. I figure out what is really important to our customers, and make sure we deliver”, he says. “I use operations theory to avoid bottlenecks, statistics to analyse data, and financial modelling to forecast business metrics. Being able to talk in the same language with finance stakeholders is extremely valuable. LBS gave me the tools to do that.”
Prior to the MBA, Ty co-founded a software development agency specialising in payment systems and public transit solutions. His company developed the largest online bill payment platform in Israel. “We changed the way people paid their council tax, energy bills, and parking tickets. In the past, people had to go to the bank or post office to pay their bills, and we made that unpleasant task much less time consuming, and available anywhere, anytime”. Ty sold the company before joining LBS.
Before he applied to LBS, Ty met “quite a few people, from a shortlist of potential schools”, to gauge if he could see himself among them. “The people from LBS were the most balanced”, he says. “They had great jobs, they were down to earth and I could talk to them.” The location of the school was a bonus: “I love London”, he says. “When I came to London to visit LBS it felt like I fit. I walked on to campus and felt good there. The community gave me support from the start, and invited me to join a few classes and social events. They were welcoming and went above and beyond what I expected.”
Ty’s passion for community and travel is undeniable. He says, “I started the first Tel Aviv tech trek. Together with another classmate, I took twenty students to meet start-ups, visit tech campuses, and have roundtable chats with venture capitalists in Tel Aviv. It’s one of the top start-up destinations in the world. On the social side, we went to top-end restaurants and explored Tel Aviv’s vibrant nightlife. The feedback was extremely positive, and I think they all loved it. We instigated it ourselves – talked to who we needed to talk to, got all the approvals, the funding, and it just worked.”
He says that the friends he met on the programme are what made his MBA experience, but his biggest achievements came through his clubs. In the Out in Business Club, he spent a lot of time recruiting the biggest corporate names to their annual conference, EurOUT, and made sure that the CEOs of HSBC and senior partners from McKinsey, Bain, and Boston Consulting Group were all there. “When the conference first started, we had to bootstrap funding from all the big consultancies, and build a brand name that companies would like to associate themselves with”, he says. “We went from 30 attendees to 150 year-on-year, and increased sponsorships by 470%. We also started the first LBS LGBTQ career fair, and got representatives from top recruiters to attend. I’m delighted to see that the conference continues to grow after our graduation, and that EurOUT is now the hallmark conference for European LGBTQ students and professionals.”
Raising money wasn’t Ty’s only contribution to what is now one of the School’s most popular clubs. He and his co-president secured a scholarship for LGBTQ students too. “It was a completely new idea,” he says. “We pitched it and people liked it. We then secured the LGBTQ scholarship within a few months. We got support from admissions, the head of the MBA programme, and the Dean. The ability to quickly ramp up a scholarship is something you don’t see in many schools. LBS is unique - it’s an incubator for ideas and initiatives with full support and funding from the programme.”