Anna Ward is a rising MBA2 and is a Digital Product Intern at American Express. Anna serves as the Co-President of Stern Women in business and her professional interests include entrepreneurship, technology management, and fintech.
NYU Stern’s “Summer Internship Series” sheds light into Sternies’ internship experiences. Posts are written by rising MBA2s who are currently working at their summer internship.
I’m two weeks into my internship at American Express, and it’s been quite a whirlwind so far! I’m a digital product intern on the Global Commercial Services team, and my project is focused on new applications of AI and machine learning.
Before business school I worked for a tiny company, so the large, corporate environment of American Express could not be more different from my previous experience. I was nervous about adjusting to the culture of such a large company, but so far, it’s been an absolute blast.
The first week on the job, my biggest challenge was figuring out all the acronyms that the team was using. Luckily, Amex has an internal “acropedia”, so after every meeting I look up any new acronyms I’ve heard (I’m averaging approximately 5 per meeting!)
The company prides itself a “relationship culture” and the best part of the internship so far is the people here. I had heard that Amex’s culture is very similar to that of Stern, and that’s proven to be very true. It helps that they have a large number of Stern alumni who work here, all of whom are going out of their way to welcome us and offer their help throughout the summer.
The friendly and supportive nature of the company is also realized in their “coffee chat culture.” One of my first assignments was to schedule time to grab a coffee or walk and talk with dozens of people, to learn more about their experience and work. These coffee chats are an integral part of everyone’s work at American Express, not just the interns. It’s how people stay up to date on other team’s projects, and how they explore the possible next steps in their careers at the company.
I’ve been surprised at how applicable the learnings from my first year at Stern have been so far. On my second day in the office I had a meeting with a VP and felt totally prepared to hold a conversation and ask them questions, thanks to my experience working directly with the leadership team of a startup last semester in my Tech in the City course. The research and presentation skills I developed during case competitions have primed me for my project, and my classroom participation readied me to speak up in team meetings.
I’m really looking forward to diving into the world of AI and machine learning over the next 8 weeks, and sharing all that I’ve learned with my team here at Amex and my Stern classmates in the fall!