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.

Thanks for reading! If you’re interested in learning more about various topics relating to economics at Tufts, as well as associated events planned by the Economics Society, sign up for the e-list by emailing tufts.ec.society@gmail.com with your preferred e-mail address and full name.

Advertisements

How to e-mail like a pro(fessional)

By Jay Farber

In an internship or summer job, people expect you to generally be competent, but they usually understand that you’re still a college student. For many Tufts students, beginning the networking and interviewing processes is the first time that we really need to act professionally. Being professional isn’t a skill that any class at Tufts teaches, but it’s invaluable in one’s career. Here are some tips about communicating professionally in your internship or job search.

Continue reading

Why networking is crucial to internship/job-hunting (and success in life)

By Ker Zheng

The most convenient way to get an internship/job is through on-campus recruiting, i.e. companies that deliberately come to campus to interview candidates. Yet you should not solely depend on Tufts Career Connect for opportunities. Why? In case you haven’t noticed, not that many companies actually come to Tufts to recruit. And when they do, they oftentimes will only hire 1-2 Tufts candidates, depending on the size of the company. Some of the more selective ones may not hire any. Additionally, most of these positions are concentrated in the northeast, which won’t help if you’re trying to get a job in Chicago or in San Francisco. Also keep in mind that Tufts has a large population of economics majors, with economics being the second most popular major behind international relations. Tufts is a liberal arts college; many F500 companies and banks would rather hire from schools with undergraduate business/finance majors or Ivies, though consulting firms tend to have more respect for a liberal arts degree.

To simply put it, there is a lot of competition for these interview slots. And if you don’t have a top-notch GPA, strong extracurriculars, and/or valuable internship experience, your chances are probably slim. (but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try). Additionally, if you’re a freshman or sophomore looking for an internship you may be out of luck since most formal, structured, paid internships tend to recruit juniors. So what do you do if on-campus recruiting isn’t looking great for you? A common method that many new job-seekers utilize is to just apply directly to companies’ websites, or to apply through job aggregator sites such as monster.com. But these methods are oftentimes futile because companies can receive hundreds and even thousands or tens of thousands of resumes, and oftentimes they have automatic screening criteria that will only consider candidates above a certain GPA threshold. It is often said that sending your resume in through online applications is the equivalent to sending it to a black hole; no company’s human resources team has the manpower to go through that many resumes thoroughly and chances are yours won’t get read. This is also why cover letters sent to large corporations don’t get read as well.

So what can you really do? The answer is to NETWORK.

Continue reading

Why Networking is Crucial to Internship- and Job-Hunting

By Ker Zheng.

The most convenient way to get an internship/job is through on-campus recruiting, i.e. companies that deliberately come to campus to interview candidates. Yet you should not solely depend on Tufts Career Connect for opportunities. Why? In case you haven’t noticed, not that many companies actually come to Tufts to recruit. And when they do, they oftentimes will only hire 1-2 Tufts candidates, depending on the size of the company. Some of the more selective ones may not hire any. Additionally, most of these positions are concentrated in the northeast, which won’t help if you’re trying to get a job in Chicago or in San Francisco. Also keep in mind that Tufts has a large population of economics majors, with economics being the second most popular major behind international relations. Tufts is a liberal arts college; many F500 companies and banks would rather hire from schools with undergraduate business/finance majors or Ivies, though consulting firms tend to have more respect for a liberal arts degree.

Continue reading