Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is in the midst of its busy summer intern season. The best and brightest computer science and engineering students the world has to offer are converging on Silicon Valley. But one alleged Amazon veteran employee, who refers to himself as an “old man,” is urging interns to “STAY THE F— AWAY.”
To Apply or Not to Apply? The Plight of Interns
On Tuesday, an anonymous veteran Amazon employee submitted a post on Reddit entitled “Dear Amazon interns, some advice from an old man who has been at Amazon way too long.” In the post, he sends a heartbreaking message to interns who want to work with Amazon mentors: don’t come here, stay away and look somewhere else.
The alleged Amazon “old man” wrote that he has seen plenty of smart, hard working and dedicated computer science students in his time, who try to impress their mentors in the hopes of landing an employment opportunity.
He wrote that he knows these interns will be successful in whatever they do, but he wants to “to urge you to STAY THE F— AWAY from Amazon when it comes time for you to leave school and jump into the workforce.”
It may seem surprising considering that Amazon has been ranked as one of the best companies in the United States.
This man’s remarks may sound harsh, but he provides a number of reasons to back up his claims, including the stock and bonus they give you when you sign on the dotted line.
Now, the average employee stays at Amazon for LESS than two years, so when you do the math to compare offers from various companies go ahead and factor that in. The entire system is designed to bring you in, burn you out, and send you on your way with as little equity lost as possible,” wrote the anonymous person on the Seattle subreddit.
“That signing bonus they offer you to offset the fact that they give you jack shit for stock your first two years? If you leave before two years is up you actually end up OWING Amazon money. You have to pay it back on a pro-rated scale. It’s not a bonus, it’s more like a payday loan.”
The post added that it’s essentially a “two-year job interview” if you’re a Software Development Engineer 1, or SDE-1. This is how long it takes to become a SDE-2.
What about work-life balance, an important issue for today’s generation of professionals? According to the writer, “it’s even more awful for fresh college students.” Amazon employees are ranked against their colleagues, which could be troubling because if your teammates are working until 8 p.m. to finish a fourth quarter deadline then you must as well.
His message is that young engineers have the option of working for any other tech giant out there. If you can get through the Amazon interview then you can succeed at Apple, Facebook and Google, notes the author.
I’m sure you will kick ass on your projects this year,” he added. “Work hard but don’t spend all night working. Leave at 5 or 6PM and go enjoy the city while you are here. While you are in the office pay close attention to the happiness and job satisfaction of your team mates.”
This comes as Amazon is celebrating its 20th birthday with Amazon Prime Day.
Other Tech Workers Respond
Other alleged Amazon employees, as well as workers at other tech firms, chimed in in the comments section of the post.
A lot of commenters shared similar experiences they had not only at Amazon but at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Many pretty much had the same experiences: overworked, burnt out and spent too much time at the office.
Perhaps this succinct comment sums up this entire conversation about what company does or does not “suck your soul.”
My advice is this, and it’s a lesson I didn’t learn until I got laid off: No company owes you a job, and you don’t owe any company your life.
“So love where you work, be passionate about what you do, but don’t get so attached that you don’t consider other prospects. Your company certainly won’t get that attached to you.”