I worked in on a project linked to the global implementation of a new financial reporting tool.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
A thoroughly enjoyable internship which consisted of stimulating and valued work with great people around you. The entire program was well planned and managed, whether that is in the context of exposure to senior leaders through to the social events. This ensured every intern got the most out of the experience. I had a brilliant summer as an intern at American Express!
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was given countless opportunities to showcase my abilities with my own project. I was regularly given valuable feedback from various sources and my contribution was recognised and valued. I definitely felt like the work I was doing was useful and this only motivated me to work harder.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Although the support and guidance was readily available to me if I asked for it, I was given the opportunity to work on my own and show initiative. I was given responsibility and able to go away and do the work I needed to, always knowing I could seek advice if necessary. I appreciated that freedom and trust to be able to work on my own instead of being micro-managed.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Partly due to the size of my project I was kept very busy. However, I was completely in charge of my own daily schedule and chose to ensure that I maximised my time at American Express. As a result, I made sure that on days where I knew the workflow would be quiet, I arranged to meet various individuals from other departments as well as senior leaders to learn as much about the company as I could.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given my own project to manage and I had to report to my senior leaders on the status of the project regularly. This meant that when they required information on the project, I was the first point of call. They set me the task but then gave me the freedom and responsibility to go away and do it, being able to call on help if and when I needed it. I was in charge of my own schedule and workflow. This gave me a sense of ownership and accountability of my own work and ultimately made me want to work harder.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
This internship has provided me with a clearer sense of direction coming into my final year at university in terms of what I want to gear my studies towards. It has also influenced my decision on whether or not to complete any further qualifications as it has shown me how this may directly affect the area of the business I could go into. Working at American Express has definitely shown me the type of working environment I want to work in and how to work best in that environment.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Everyone in the office was friendly and helpful. I expected the environment to be corporate and stuffy and was very pleasantly surprised to find it relaxed and calm.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Incredibly well organised. You always knew what was expected of you and who to contact if you needed any help. The HR team worked really hard to ensure that every intern has a positive experience over the summer, both in terms of your own career development and socially with your teams and other interns.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I was given a lot of opportunities to speak to senior leaders both about the company and roles within the company as well as my own personal career development. I am incredibly grateful for the amount of invaluable advice I was given by various people. The company made a real effort to find out what I was interested in and put me in touch with the right people in order to carve a path for me at the company. They want to ensure that you are a right fit for them but also that they are right for you.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I was offered a job with American Express and have every intention of taking it. A great company with many different interesting lines of business that I can see myself working in. It would be incredibly difficult to find another job that offers the same environment and prospects that American Express offers.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
We all got to know each other through the weekly social events held by the HR team. We all became very good friends and were able to have fun while working this summer.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I worked in London but already live here. However, the social events were all funded by the HR team.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Again, being in London, finding somewhere to go out is never a problem.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Again, being in London, the opportunities are endless.