Interning at American Express

By Terence Lam

This past summer I had the opportunity to intern at American Express. After tirelessly searching for an internship, I realized that CONNECTIONS go a long way. During my time here at Tufts so far, I’ve learned that it’s very difficult to get an internship through the conventional resume drop or application. Most of the time, especially for me, many internship opportunities are obtained through connections or networking; this past summer was no exception to that.

There was and still is no formal internship program at American Express for undergraduate students, so I was extremely fortunate to get this opportunity. A family friend, who knew my father and coincidentally was a Senior VP at AmEx, put me in touch with one of his directors for an internship opportunity. Connections. And I know some of you are sitting there thinking, “Well I don’t have any connections!” Maybe you feel that your parents’ jobs aren’t related to finance at all! While your parents may not necessarily work in finance, everyone has connections. Whether it is your parents, a friend of your parents, the parents of a friend, or even just a friend (how you can connect can go on and on), everyone has connections. You just have to think about who you know and explore.

Perhaps your connection cannot give you a job or internship directly. What should you do then? Well, they can still be very helpful. Someone you know can very easily put you in touch with the right people and are usually open in giving you advice or just sharing information about their work. This is extremely important, especially now, when you are still trying to figure out what line of work you want to get involved in and if a particular field is right for you. In the end, the morale of the story is to not be afraid to explore your connections, ask questions, and make sure you make it a point to network early and often.

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