Get Your Bling On
Brent Longenecker ’16 is helping customers keep the smile in the Amazon buying experience.
The Enactus adage “where other people see problems, we see opportunity,” has stuck with Brent Longenecker ’16, a former business management major and varsity swimmer who recently launched his career at Amazon headquarters in Seattle.
As an associate vendor manager with Amazon’s jewelry team, Longenecker manages the logistics behind the scenes that help customers more easily purchase that special piece of bling. Whether it’s earrings for the bride, a watch for the college graduate, or a statement necklace for that important client meeting, Longenecker helps customers find exactly what they are looking for. Identifying selections, running promotions, working with vendors, and resolving customer issues are the core functions of his job.
“In high school I read Delivering Happiness, which is the story of Zappos written by its CEO, Tony Hsieh. That was probably what sparked my interest in retail,” says Longenecker.
That spark was fanned by his interest in problem-solving and the power of technology to improve the customer experience. It was also driven by the competitive nature of varsity swimming, and honed by his experience with Enactus, the entrepreneurial student organization with a social conscience.
“In my mind, I’ve always connected swimming and retail; they’re both team sports that measure individualized efforts. In swimming, you swim your own race, but the team is relying on you. That’s kind of how retail is. Everything is measurable, it’s a very competitive environment, and it’s seasonal. You take what you learn from season to season and then you go and do it again—hopefully better,” he says.
He definitely enjoys the challenge.
“It’s fun working for a company like Amazon,” he says. “It’s really cool to work for a company that is so customer-centric. Every day is different, for sure. That’s part of the fun of it.”