Whether through its electronic devices, streaming media, or next-day delivery of items ranging from lentils to leotards, Amazon.com has revolutionized the retail realm for its hundreds of millions of users. As a senior business development manager for Amazon Campus, Elliott Welton ‘12 is playing a role in this consumerism paradigm shift.
In June 2015, Welton moved to Seattle to be a part of the Amazon team responsible for establishing brick-and-mortar pickup and dropoff locations on university campuses. He evaluates potential Amazon Campus locations, primarily in the Southeastern U.S., and negotiates enterprise agreements with universities’ auxiliary departments. Through these partnerships, Amazon affords students incremental benefits such as free returns and same-day shipping on millions of items.
“It’s very exciting to bring a new concept to universities and to serve students,” said Welton, who recently returned to his native North Carolina and works for Amazon remotely.
Welton credits his mentor and current boss, Tony Caravano—a fellow NC State alumnus who was a Caldwell Fellow and two-term student body president—for being integral to his professional successes, to date.
As a college student, Welton—who earned a degree in business administration with a minor in Spanish—diversified his academic and co-curricular experiences to broaden his perspective. He served as an ambassador for the Poole College of Management and a group leader for its Wells Fargo Lecture Series (now known as the Executive Leadership Series), and spent summers interning with State Farm and a community center.
“I studied business because I viewed it as a way to explore many different interests across industries,” Welton said. “I started in financial analysis, transitioned to marketing, and am now a couple years into business development. I had internships which provided a glimpse into the professional world and gave me exposure to the types of work I did and—equally as important—did not want to do.”
Welton also studied abroad at the University of Western Australia in Perth during the spring semester of his junior year. He was no stranger to international travel; prior to beginning his undergraduate career at NC State, Welton took a cultural immersion-focused gap year in Chile. These experiences served him well after college, when he became a sales associate for Sageworks. In that role, Welton traveled to the U.K. monthly to market software solutions to accounting firms.
When he’s not traveling for Amazon, Welton enjoys hiking and camping with his dog, Oscar; playing sports; and putting his growing “repertoire of cooking gadgets” to good use. (The latest addition to his gadget collection: a sous vide cooker.)
Welton advises current Park Scholars to adopt a similar approach to his own by being both open to new experiences and intentional about the relationships they develop. Reflecting on his years in the Park program, he cites his favorite times as those that brought his whole class together.
“I recall bus rides during Learning Lab I and II and our senior retreat as a time to learn about everyone’s diverse set of interests and skills,” Welton said. “I have always been amazed at the talent and caliber of our group.”