Corporate Finance Group



Title: MBA Finance Summer Intern

Company: American Express

Prior to attending Chicago Booth, I worked as an Investment Banking Analyst in JPMorgan's Industrials & Transportation Group, and then worked in News Corporation's three-person Corporate Development group supporting the company's Deputy CFO.

When deciding on what career path to pursue for a summer internship, I knew that I preferred working on the corporate side and that I wanted to stay in finance, but wanted a change from M&A. In order to become a successful financial executive, it's important to have a broad finance background beyond transaction experience. Although not as sexy as M&A, a forecasting, planning & analysis role would provide me with the opportunity to add value, while at the same time gaining a new experience in one of the most essential finance functions at a company.

Last year, American Express recruited for Finance roles across the company. There were 30 projects to choose from as an MBA Finance intern, with opportunities at the corporate level, as well as in one of their two business units (Consumer and B2B). At the corporate level, opportunities included Treasury, Tax, Internal Audit, Investor Relations, Controllership, and Corporate Planning & Decision Support. At the business unit level, the main opportunity was to support the marketing teams (also known as "the business") from a financial aspect.

I interned on the Consumer side of the company, which includes all credit cards for both individual consumers like you and me (think Gold Card, Platinum Card, Blue Cash Card, etc.) as well as credit cards for small businesses (American Express' Small Business business is called OPEN). I interned with the Forecasting, Planning & Analysis team, which included the Forecasting team and the Results team. The Forecasting team works on the one-year and three-year financial forecast for the entire Consumer side of the company, while the Results team takes a more historical view- they analyze and summarize the monthly results and present them to senior management. I presented the OPEN financial results for July to senior management- it was a very exciting opportunity. Additionally, I worked on my summer project, which was to come up with what financial ratios the Consumer business should be looking at based on what the market and competitors consider. I learned a lot about the credit card industry and the company's P&L. I also gained a better understanding of the FP&A role within the company, as I worked very closely with the company's Reporting team out in Phoenix, as well as colleagues in Corporate, Risk Management, and on the marketing side. Overall it was a fantastic experience!


Sep 22, 2011

Find below the comments of a student about her summer internship experiences as an MBA Finance Summer Intern in American Express.