Alumni Holiday Spotlight: Rustam Khoshal, Amazon.com, Inc.
The Fowler College of Business at San Diego State University has many graduates working in companies that enhance the year-end holidays for shoppers, travelers and merchants. Here is the story of one of those grads.
Rustam Khoshal earned his marketing degree in 2020.
Amazon.com, Inc.: Rustam Khoshal
As the number of online shoppers continues to increase, online retailers such as Amazon.com, Inc. are gearing up for the rush of the holiday shopping season by increasing the number of employees at many of their locations. This year, Amazon announced it would hire 150,000 seasonal employees to meet their escalated year-end order requirements.
Fulfilling the Customer Promise
One of the operations managers responsible for some of those seasonal employees at Amazon’s San Diego facility is Fowler College of Business marketing alumnus, Rustam Khoshal. “I lead a team that makes sure that the customer promise is fulfilled and the customer journey is smooth,” he said. “From the time customers purchase products on our sites, until those products are delivered in a timely manner, my team and I pride ourselves on delivering on that customer promise.”
Khoshal started his career at Amazon immediately after graduating from SDSU in 2020. He chose to attend SDSU when he visited the campus as a high school athlete at Canyon Crest Academy. “We had a few summer tournaments at SDSU while I was playing high school basketball, and I fell in love with the campus,” said Khoshal, a Rochester, New York native who grew up in San Diego. “I knew then that I wanted to attend the school.”
Preparing for his Career
Once he enrolled at SDSU, Khoshal chose marketing as his major “because I was fascinated by consumer behavior and how advertising and marketing teams cater to certain demographics.” One of his favorite instructors was SDSU marketing lecturer, Kristine Ehrich, whose lessons helped prepare Khoshal for his career. “She gave her students the necessary tools — not only to excel in her classes — but to prepare us for the workforce following our graduation.”
As a student, Khoshal realized that his first job after college would be critical to his success as he moved forward in his career, which motivated him to apply at Amazon during his last semester. After his second interview, he received an offer and reported to work after attending a 10-week training program.
His training has helped him to address the hectic last quarter of the year, which is called “peak season” at Amazon and when holiday shopping is in full swing. “We spend months preparing for peak season so that we can deliver on the high demand during this time,” said Khoshal. “Peak season is our chance to shine and show that we are a very customer-obsessed company.”
Celebrate Your Successes and Uniqueness
Some of the lessons he learned at SDSU have come in handy as he works through his second peak season with Amazon. “While I was in college, I was so busy trying to get good grades and apply for internships, I’d forget to take a break to celebrate my successes once in a while. One of the lessons I learned at SDSU is to strike a balance between working hard and having fun,” said Khoshal. “Now that I’m in the workforce, I always find the time to enjoy my life and celebrate how far I’ve come. If you stay even-keeled and exercise discipline and consistency, it will get you to wherever you want to go in life.”
Khoshal also has words of advice for today’s SDSU students who would like to pursue a career at Amazon. “Embrace your uniqueness and what makes you, you,” he said. “I have worked with so many people that have come from all over the world and the company is at an advantage when we all have different perspectives on how to attack a problem at hand. At Amazon, you are encouraged and embraced for bringing a perspective that is not always available.”