Senior Product Manager for Amazon's London Fashion Retail office, David Butko, is an alumnus of the Robert H. Smith School of Business. Buko graduated from UMD in 2014 with a double major in Marketing and Supply Chain Management. He spoke with both AMA and SCMS members about his career journey, involvement at Smith, and his advice for seeking international employment.
His undergraduate career began when he attended the Supply Chain Industry Career Fair. During the fair, he met a recruiter from DuPont (a chemical and science company) who was impressed by his campus involvement in the Supply Chain Fellows Program and offered him an immediate interview for their internship program. In three short years, Butko transitioned from intern to global demand analyst by participating in DuPont's rotational supply chain development program. Attending the Smith career fair launched his career, and he strongly encourages students to attend them!
One of his most valuable experiences at Smith was in his marketing class, where he constructed a company's business plan and website. Identifying a problem statement, breaking it down, and craft a recommendation in that class prepared him for the professional world.
One of Butko's goals was to gain international professional experience, which led him to apply for the product manager position at Amazon's London office. As a product manager, he's responsible for creating roadmaps to improve customer-facing products and applications within Amazon's website. He develops the buying systems Amazon uses to purchase products from other brands, essentially serving as the middle point between technical teams, business teams, and end-users. What he enjoys most about his position is the freedom to prioritize what projects he wants to advance. He called it being the “CEO of your own little space.” Additionally, his marketing background helps him navigate challenges by confidently influencing colleagues on different teams and strategically utilizing customer data to pitch ideas.
For students interested in working abroad, Butko advises casting a wide net during the job search, seeking visa sponsorship, and taking advantage of connections you have. As for his next steps, Butko looks forward to growing in his role at Amazon and overcoming the unique challenges that will come along the way. We are so appreciative that David Butko spoke with us and knew that our members found immense value in the advice and stories he provided.