Strategic Delivery

By Barbara Gutierrez

Strategic Delivery

By Barbara Gutierrez
A UM alumnus is down under to generate new business leads for Amazon Australia.

Brett Lerner headshotBrett Lerner may live and work in Sydney, Australia, but his heart resides at the U. 

The Amazon business development manager credits his Alma Mater with teaching him all he needed to succeed in his present job. 

“I’m so proud to be a ’Cane and I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without my experience in Miami,” he said recently in a phone interview. 

Lerner, 24, started working for Amazon right after graduating from the University of Miami in 2016 with a degree in Sport and Fitness Administration/Management from the School of Education and Human Development (SOEHD), a minor in Music and a cognate in Chinese. 

His initial role in Amazon’s Seattle office was to generate new business for the company by bringing in new clients. His engaging personality and inquisitive nature helped him to gain the trust of potential clients. After almost two years in that post, he was recently named Business Development Executive in Australia, a relatively new market for the world’s largest online retailer. 

His rise does not surprise many of his professors. 

“Brett has a very pleasant demeanor and yet is focused on getting the job done,” said Paul Resnick, professor of Kinesiology and Sport Sciences at SOEHD. “His attention to detail was always superior as was his timeliness in getting tasks done.” 

Lerner credits much of what he learned about people skills to his experience at UM. He was a residential assistant, or R.A., at Pearson Residential College for his last three years. Dealing with constant challenges, questions and day-to-day problems from a diverse group pf students and staff, honed his skills as a mentor and problem solver. 

“The vast amount of leadership, social and professional skills I gained were incredible,” he recalls. “In addition, I had the ability to impact my peers on a daily basis and that is an experience I dearly miss.” 

One of his most memorable experiences as an R.A. was helping a new student from Korea learn about the UM campus and life in the U.S. 

“He recently called me because he was graduating,” Lerner said. “He wanted to thank me because he realized that many of the people he knew had been introduced by me.” 

When he started at UM, Lerner arrived as a music major at the Frost School of Music, playing classical saxophone, but he soon realized he had lost the passion for music that was crucial to make it a professional career. Instead, he followed another passion, which was sports. 

Lerner knew that as part of his major in Sport and Fitness Administration/Management he had to do an internship. As a rabid Miami Heat fan, he used some contacts to get an internship with the basketball team’s corporate sales department. 

While there, he helped run many of the corporate partner events and gained valuable experience in managing the office, he said. Resnick, who supervised Lerner during the internship, remembers him as a hard worker. 

“I could tell from the onset that he was going to be successful,” said Resnick. “He had a strong determination to succeed in our program, but most importantly, to do an excellent job at his internship with the Miami Heat.” 

Lerner is aware that many people helped him to achieve his goals. So he believes in giving back and he often counsels students who ask him for advice on how to get a job, including one at Amazon.