The Summers of 2019 is a series about the various categories of roles offered by companies for summer internships. We bring to you the experiences of interns from Consulting, Finance, Marketing, General Management, Product Management, Operations and E-commerce roles to understand a bit more about their work life. The articles are meant to give the reader a glimpse into the life of an intern, and maybe help the reader understand their own fit in that particular role.
Contributed by: Ayush Singh
I interned at American Express in Credit and Fraud Risk Department (CFR). My internship project was completely analytics-based wherein I needed to identify merchant attributes that are predictive of risk. The duration of the internship was of 8 weeks. My internship started with a basic overview of the business model of American Express. My manager and mentor were very supportive throughout the internship and helped me immensely. This was my first corporate exposure and this help was very crucial to me.
The internship project required familiarising oneself with the basics of Database Management System (DBMS), the SQL and SAS languages. However don’t be put off if you have no idea of any these languages or concepts, since the initial week is training-cum-orientation week, wherein you get accustomed to these concepts.
Once the project started I was required to do a thorough analysis of the data. This task required firstly assembling data from various sources and cleaning it up. For this part of the project, my mentor helped me a lot, since I had no previous experience in dealing with a huge quantity of data. After this, I went about analyzing the various merchant attributes and establishing the relationship of these attributes with the actual default to get a trend, which was the objective of the project.
The evaluation of the interns was carried out in two stages. Around the 5 week mark, there was a mid-term review and in the end, there was an end term review. The mid-term review gave a direction as to what were the expected deliverables by the end of the internship and an analysis of the work done so far.
The work culture of American Express is quite relaxed and inducive for learning. The work hours from Monday to Thursday were from 1 pm to 9:30 pm and on Fridays, it would be from 9 am to 5:30 pm. During the course of the internship, there was one HR connect and leadership-connect program where the interns directly interacted with the senior leadership team of American Express. Furthermore, there was a fun activity after the mid-term review where the interns were taken to PlayArena.
I would conclude by saying that American Express is a great place to intern with and it does not specifically require you to be good in data analytics since you get to learn a lot on-the-job and have a good hands-on experience with big data analytics. Furthermore, the managers and mentors are very supportive throughout the internship.
Ayush is a student of the PGP 2018-20 batch at IIM Bangalore.