Amazon CFO shares insights, advice with engineering and business students

April 18, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – In early April, Brian T. Olsavsky, senior vice president and chief financial officer (CFO) at Amazon, returned to his alma mater, the Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering to receive an Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award – and managed to inspire some students along the way.

On April 8, Olsavsky fielded questions from students from the College of Engineering and the Smeal College of Business for a question and answer session and lunch, held in the E-Knowledge Commons.

Devon Heston, an undergraduate student in mechanical engineering who moderated the event, introduced Olsavsky by saying, “We’re honored to have Mr. Olsavsky here to help answer your questions and trace his journey from his start here in the Reber Building many years ago, through his time now as chief financial officer at Amazon.”

Olsavsky encouraged students to have a positive, problem solving attitude in their careers. He said, “When you take a job, figure out what you are going to do to make that job better and be the best person who ever took that job, and also hand it off to the next person well.”   

During the session, Olsavsky also spoke at length about the importance of being a lifelong learner. “You don’t stop when you get your degree here. Those skills will eventually become obsolete,” he said. “What you have to do is keep learning and making sure you’re purposeful about the career experiences you want to have.”

“We were honored that Brian was able to share his insights with our students,” Karen Thole, distinguished professor and mechanical engineering department head, said. “His enthusiasm and credentials resulted in an incredibly impactful experience!”

Pictures from the event can be found on Flickr.

 

Share this story:

facebook linked in twitter email

MEDIA CONTACT:

 

Erin Cassidy Hendrick

emc5045@psu.edu

“When you take a job, figure out what you are going to do to make that job better and be the best person who ever took that job, and also hand it off to the next person well.”   

 
 

About

With more than 60 faculty members, 330 graduate students, and 800 undergraduate students, the Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering embraces a culture that welcomes individuals with a diversity of backgrounds and expertise. Our faculty and students are innovating today what will impact tomorrow’s solutions to meeting our energy needs, homeland security, biomedical devices, and transportation systems. We offer B.S. degrees in mechanical engineering as well as resident (M.S., Ph.D.) and online (M.S.) graduate degrees in mechanical engineering. See how we’re inspiring change and impacting tomorrow at me.psu.edu.

Department of Mechanical Engineering

137 Reber Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2519