How to get an internship at American Express

How to get an internship at American Express

A credit card is the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of American Express (AmEx). However, this was not the case in the 1850s when it started as an express mail business. A few years later, it ventured into finance services, and through its focus on innovation, went on to become one of the largest global payments networks. If you want to be a part of the driving force in the finance world, then an internship at American Express can be the perfect opportunity for you.

What are the types of internships at American Express and who can apply?
Students who are pursuing their bachelor’s or master’s in engineering or business administration are eligible to apply for American Express internships which are offered across diverse fields like risk analysis, machine learning, statistical modeling, software engineering, marketing, sales, human resources, etc. The internships last for 2 – 6 months at their Gurugram or Bangalore office, and a stipend of INR 35 – 60K is given. There’s no rigid CGPA criterion, and the cutoff depends on the number of applications that they receive.
In addition to academic eligibility, AmEx hires interns who have good analytical and critical thinking skills which are necessary to analyse large amounts of data.

How to apply for an American Express internship?
1. Apply online – American Express Careers
You can apply for the WINGS internship program at American Express by uploading your resume and submitting an online application. If you do not find a relevant internship, you can join the online talent community to get updates about opportunities and events.
2. Campus recruitment
AmEx visits some management and engineering colleges like IITs, IIMs, and BITS for its campus recruitment drives.
3. Coding contests
For technical roles, AmEx organises hackathons on various platforms like HackerEarth and HackerRank. The shortlisted candidates are called for an interview.

To learn more about American Express recruitment process, you can also get in touch with a recruiter via email at IndiaCampusRecruitment@aexp.com

What happens after you apply for an internship at American Express?
If your online application is shortlisted, you will be contacted for an online test or group discussion. The test will have MCQs or coding questions wherein you have to solve three. This will be followed by the interview rounds. 

In the case of a campus recruitment drive, the selection procedure usually consists of five rounds – a resume screening, an online aptitude test, two technical interviews, and an HR interview.

The aptitude test consists of MCQs that aim to check your math aptitude, data interpretation, and logical reasoning. It may help to practise a few CAT tests to prepare for this round.

The interviews at American Express revolve around your skills and the profile that you apply for. For example, you may be asked the basics of the programming language that you are proficient in and asked to write a few programs. There can also be guesstimates, case studies, and puzzles that evaluate your problem-solving approach.

If you are applying for the data analyst profile, you can expect questions on SQL, Python, Java, and C++. Some sample questions are –

1. What are some real-life applications of inheritance and encapsulation?
2. Explain natural join, cross join, right outer join, and left outer join with the help of diagrams. 
3. What is function overloading and operator overloading?
4. What is the k-nearest neighbors algorithm?
5. Write a program to find the longest consecutive sequence in an array.
6. The hourglass puzzle – there are 2 hourglasses of 4 minutes and 7 minutes. Measure 9 minutes using the two.
7. The horse puzzle – there are 25 horses and 5 lanes. Find out the fastest 3 horses in the minimum number of races.

The HR round is a mix of generic and company-specific questions and can be conducted by the vice president or director of the department. A few sample questions are –

1. Why do you want to intern at American Express?
2. If you have the choice, which team would you like to join?
3. How does American Express make money?
4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
5. How do credit cards work?

What to expect once your internship at American Express starts?
The project-based internship at AmEx aims to expose interns to real-life business challenges. While you will be assigned an individual project, you will also be working with other teams on various projects. You can freely discuss your ideas and problems with other employees and senior leaders who will share the same space as you due to AmEx’s open space office.

Are you worried that it might be a lot of work and no play? You may find comfort in knowing that AmEx is known for its great work-life balance and has been recognized as one of the best workplaces in India. You can enjoy great flexibility in terms of working hours and where you work from. This means that you can avoid the agony of travelling to work after a late night and work from home! Moreover, you will be a part of social events like office parties, team outings, games, etc. The induction process at AmEx is also a sweet balance of learning and fun. Your first day would begin with breakfast during which you would meet other interns. This would be followed by an introduction to different teams and their work. A mentor will be assigned to you who will guide you throughout your internship, especially with your project.

At the end of your internship, you will have to present your project for the final review which will go live if approved. Since internships are part of the assessment for full-time employees, AmEx can offer you a job if you perform exceptionally well!

Tips from ex-interns at American Express –
1. If you are applying through the campus recruitment drive, make sure that you attend the pre-placement talk. This will give you a deep insight into AmEx’s work which can prove useful in your interviews.
2. Read about AmEx and the technologies used by them. They look for students who are innovative and can drive change with their ideas.
3. You can prepare for the coding questions and contests by practising sample challenges on HackerEarth and HackerRank.

Still doubtful about applying to an AmEx internship? Dipayan’s summer internship experience at AmEx can help you make up your mind!

If you are eager to apply but would like to perfect your resume first, then you can check out similar engineering and MBA internships and gain relevant experience.

Image credits – Wikimedia Commons, distributed under GNU Free Documentation License.

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