When Amazon announced plans to construct a second headquarters, 238 North American cities began tripping over themselves to court the e-commerce behemoth, pulling out all the stops in hopes of advancing to the next round of consideration. New York City’s mayoral office lit up the Empire State building with Amazon’s glowing orange hue in a symbolic gesture, while cities like Chicago took even more extreme measures, such as proposing laws that could funnel income taxes directly back to the company. After much speculation, here is the official Amazon HQ2 shortlist:
Unsurprisingly, most of the cities that made the cut were among the largest in North America, with only one Canadian city—Toronto—left standing. In its request for proposals—which drew responses from more than 230 cities from the United States, Canada, and Mexico—Amazon indicated that it would prioritize tech-centric metros of populations larger than 500,000. In the end, only four of the 20 metro areas that advanced—Miami, Nashville, Newark, and Pittsburgh—have a population of less than half a million, with Newark being the smallest of the entrants. Notably, Newark offered perhaps the largest financial incentive to the company, proposing upwards of $7 billion in tax incentives.
How the Amazon HQ2 shortlist was formed is not totally known, according to the New York Times:
“According to people briefed on the process who would speak only anonymously because the deliberations were private, the process was conducted by a team of about a dozen people within Amazon, including economists, human resources managers and executives who oversee real estate. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, who was the mastermind behind turning the search into a public process and coined the term ‘HQ2,’ was also involved, the people said.”
At the time of the initial announcement, Amazon released a stream of positive economic statistics about its impact in Seattle, home to the original headquarters. The company stated (although these statistics are still not yet verified by any source outside of Amazon) that it added $38 billion USD to the value of the city from 2010 to 2016 alone, due to its investments and rapidly expanding workforce. Detractors argue that the financial value added to the city did not positively impact the quality of life, however, with more than 51 percent of Seattle residents making less than $50,000 per year and more than quarter of city residents earning less than $25,000 per year. The influx of high-level employment also contributed to rapidly rising housing costs and much worse traffic.
Experts from CNBC believe that Raleigh might be the front-runner among the remaining entrants, suggesting that its initial bid seems to most closely match the stated criteria. But others speculate that Austin most aligns with Amazon’s future. The company declined to announce when the final decision will be made.
What the Amazon HQ2 Shortlist Means for MBA Students
Not so secretly, Amazon has become one of the world’s largest MBA recruiters, hiring students from top schools from around the globe. We’ve previously outlined the details of why it has become such an attractive destination for business school students. The University of Washington’s Foster School of Business outpaces all other leading business schools in the percentage of graduates it sends into tech—an astounding 52 percent of the Class of 2016—with a huge swath staying local to take jobs at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters. With HQ2 promising to create as many as 50,000 new jobs, the business school or schools in whichever city lands the coveted contract could well become the etailer’s next largest feeders.
The company creates a direct pipeline from its MBA internship program to full-time employment, which should rapidly increase with the creation of HQ2. In a previous interview with the Financial Times, Miriam Park, Amazon director of university programs, had this to say about the company’s recruitment strategy:
“The Amazon recruitment process is designed to ensure we hire top candidates with high-growth potential whatever their background may be. As part of this we recruit current MBA students and MBA alumni for permanent and internship opportunities worldwide and see MBAs as an important part of our leadership development. We value people who can balance long-term strategic thinking with tactical execution, and who have the ability to make data-driven decisions.”
This post has been republished in its entirety from its original source, metromba.com.