INTERNSHIPS / JAN. 17, 2015
version 4, draft 4

Obtaining Internships and Finding Career Opportunities at American Express

american express

American Express was originally established in 1850 as a US Express delivery service. For generations, they have been a leader in innovation and cultivating tradition. The company has been listed on Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Places to Work.” This article will address the internships available as well as the various career opportunities they offer.

Internship Program Overview

Interns working at American Express are encouraged to exceed their own expectations, move beyond their limitations, and become smart risk takers. Professional support, training and mentoring are provided through the program. Internship programs are available in three locations: US, UK and India. The corporate office utilizes the internship program to find successful candidates for long-term careers with the company. Interns will participate in project driven training programs as they work toward finding solutions for real business issues. Program variances depend on location.

General Skillset Requirement

In addition to maintaining a high GPA and fulfilling all educational requirements, applicants for the internship programs need to possess the following seven skillsets:

  • Ability to balance being a team player as well as a confident individual contributor
  • Talent for having a strong customer-based focus both on the phone and online
  • Aptitude to perform solid project management skills and decision making ability
  • Capability to negotiate, communicate and perform presentations professionally
  • Strong skills as an analytical problem solver who can think outside the box
  • Ability to demonstrate strategic thinking, planning and implementation of ideas
  • Capacity to lead others in a professional manner while accepting constructive criticism

1. US Summer Internship Program

Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to work in the US program for 10 – 12 weeks in the summer. Interns work on a variety of projects dealing with operational, financial and strategic factors for the company. A formal performance management process has been implemented so that interns receive real-time feedback. Interns will be able to attend various networking events to build a solid professional network throughout the company. US internships will be completed in one of the following three offices, New York, Phoenix and Ft. Lauderdale. The undergraduate and graduate internship programs are discussed below.  

  • Undergraduate Program – During the 10 – 12 week program, the interns work on projects directly linked to key business priorities. The career areas that exist for the undergraduate program are as follows: consulting, digital product management, finance, marketing, operations and technology. An added bonus is that interns have the opportunity to attend a Summer Speaker Series as well as Executive Lunches.
  • Graduate Program – This 10 – 12 week program is focused on the intern completing one specifically planned project which demonstrates his or her abilities and challenges the individual professionally. The graduate program career areas are as follows: client management, human resources, pricing, risk management, technology and consulting.

Management is seeking candidates who are highly motivated and work well with handling challenging situation. Candidates must also be team players and able to utilize creativity in the workplace. Interested applicants can complete an online application and submit their resume and cover letter to AmericanExpress.com/US.

 

2. UK Internship Programme

The UK Student Opportunities Programme is open to graduate and MBA students. Involvement in the programme will strengthen the intern’s individual skills and hone natural talents. Graduate students work in the following departments: customer care, marketing, operations and technology. MBA students work in these departments: client management, consulting, finance, human resources, operations and risk management. Eligibility requirements, rewards and benefits and the application process are discussed below. This internship program consists of a 10 week term in either the London or Brighton offices.

  • Eligibility Requirements – Candidates must be highly motivated individuals who are skilled at teamwork and honing their creative processes. Applicants are required to have 320 UCAS points. UCAS points are a tariff system which allocates points to students in order to apply for entry into higher education courses. They are also required to validate their extra-curricular activities.
  • Rewards & Benefits – Graduate students receive a competitive starting salary, sign-on bonus, 22 days’ holiday time, private health insurance, pension scheme, professional qualification support and study leave time. MBA students receive the same benefits, except they also get tuition fee reimbursement and 25 days’ holiday time.
  • Application Process – Applicants can apply online at AmericanExpress.com/UK and follow the programme application process. The first step is for the applicant to submit a CV and cover letter. The process continues when the applicant completes an online test and participates in a telephone interview. After that, the applicant is required to visit the Assessment Center in the London office. During that visit, the applicant will participate in two additional interviews. After the interview, a case study exercise must be completed. Finally, the applicant will listen to a presentation and join in a group discussion.

 

3. India Internship Program

An internship programme has been implemented in India for both graduate and post graduate students. Interns participating in this programme will have experiences which will expand their skillset. Additionally, they will be able to work in various departments and levels of the company. One major bonus for interns participating in this programme is that they are afforded the opportunity to work with senior leaders. This collaboration entails working on vital projects which are directly related to accomplishing overall company goals. The India campus is the main channel for finding and developing individuals for future leadership at the company. The two types of internship programmes are discussed below.

  • Summer Internship Programme – The term of this programme is 8 – 24 weeks. The main focus is to share the corporate perspective with the interns. Additionally, the interns will have the opportunity to fully develop their level of competence in regard to management and technology skills. Projects are directly linked to the company’s business needs. Interns will also work on professional development and participate in networking opportunities. Career development is available for summer interns in the following areas: marketing, client management, sales, operations, risk management, and technology.
  • Full-time Programme – The full-time programme operates slightly differently than the summer programme. Full-time interns are placed on rotational and non-rotational positions. These placements are based upon the current needs of the company. Interns will receive on-the-job training. Additionally, they will also be required to attend educational seminars and participate in a mentoring programme. The goal of this programme is assist in the professional development of the intern. Management would like to see each intern learn how to become an educated risk-taker and hone their specific leadership skills. Full-time interns will receive career guidance in the following areas: finance, sales, client management, marketing, risk management and technology.

Specifically for the India Intern Programme, management hosts a yearly case competition which is linked to current business challenges. The focus of the competition changes each year. In order to apply for an internship and ascertain various career opportunities in India, visit AmericanExpress.com/India.

 American Express offers several different internship opportunities globally. Participating in an internship—especially at a large corporation like this one—can open many doors for your future career. Interested individuals should follow the basic steps as outlined in this article.   

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