Conversation with CISB Alum Ben Ferrara – Media Sales Manager, Amazon, Spain

What are your current responsibilities?

My role is Media Sales Manager at Amazon Advertising for Amazon.es and my duty is to partner with Spain and China-based Amazon businesses to create successful digital advertising campaigns. These can include campaigns that appear in Amazon search results, banner ads across the web or video. My typical day-to-day is a mixture of meeting with clients in person, speaking on the phone and then working on additional projects outside my core role.

How did you get the opportunity to work abroad?

After having worked in the same role in the US for a year and a half, I sat down and spoke with my manager about career goals. I mentioned having an interest in our Mexico office, but she had actually heard about growth in our Spain office. I was very blessed to have a manager who cared about me as a person and who took initiative to develop me and push me forward in this. From there, I got to speak to the team in Spain and eventually had an internal interview.

Ben Ferrara, CISB Alum

Ben Ferrara, CISB Spanish Track, BABA 2017

How are you using your CISB experience in your work?

I use what I learned in CISB every single day! The most obvious example is language – working abroad in an American company means that English is still important, but in Spain, Spanish is necessary too. It has been very fulfilling to use language skills that I honed in the CISB program in my everyday job. Cross-cultural communication is critical as well. My role requires me to speak to with people from China, USA, and many EU countries almost every day. Being able to effectively communicate is absolutely necessary and being able to do it in more than one language is even better.

The last way that I would say CISB has helped me is initiative and grit. CISB students are really hard workers and are taking on a certificate outside of their main studies. Their track meetings and activities are usually in the evenings or even on weekends. Learning how to take initiative is something that has helped me in my career and I am grateful to have had so many great role models in CISB who taught me that.

What advice would you give to CISB students as they prepare for global business careers?

My advice would be don´t just raise your hands for opportunities, but be proactive and ask. You don’t get what you don’t ask for and people can’t read minds, so if you are interested in growing outside of your role or taking on a global position (within the US or abroad), you need to speak up and say so!