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Breaking into Fintech: How to get hired at American Express

Sehrish Alikhan

Sehrish Alikhan

Reporter, Finextra

For our latest dive into what leaders in financial services are looking for in their new hires, Finextra spoke to VP of Colleague Experience Group (Human Resources) at American Express UK, Ben Lane.

If you are looking for a new position in the fintech industry, check out our conversations with top companies in the sector for hot tips on how to land a job.

What top tips can you offer candidates looking to join the industry?

Lane emphasises a key word when searching for jobs: research. It is important to be informed of both the duties of the role and the company that candidates are applying to.

“When choosing which company to join, it’s important to invest time in finding the right fit. Ask yourself, do you feel passionate and genuinely interested in the organisation? Does the company culture align with your own values? For example, are you looking for a company that serves the local community in which it operates. Or one that has a strong set of sustainability principles?  These factors will also influence the experience you have and the career journey you go on,” advises Lane.

Be aware of key trends and relevant developments in the sector relating to the position you are applying for; pay attention to market leaders and challenges that you can help companies face as a new addition to the team. Lane notes that placing yourself in the position of a customer will allow you to visualise consumer needs and vocalise what they are looking for from the company, which is relevant for interviews.

What is American Express looking for from their ideal candidates?

Lane states that American Express is looking for candidates that offer the best of their abilities and share company values.

“‘We Win As A Team,’ ‘We Respect People’ and ‘We Back Our Customers’ are some of the Amex ‘Blue Box Values’ that describe how we work together to provide the world’s best customer experience every day. We also stand by a set of Amex leadership behaviours that help define the way we work for all colleagues globally, these include the expectation to ‘Build a Diverse and Inclusive Team’ and to ‘Demonstrate Courageous and Authentic Leadership’,” explains Lane.

“Ultimately the aim is to create an environment that is collaborative, communicative and team centric. As well as looking for prospective colleagues who align with these values, they need to have curiosity and a career long hunger to learn; a learning mindset is key.”

What roles is American Express currently hiring for?

American Express is currently hiring across several fields, including technology, marketing, customer care, finance, and product. Take a look at specific positions to apply for here.

Why work at American Express?

Lane highlights that American Express prides itself on its  colleague-first culture, and that it is compelled by valuing growth, inclusivity, and innovation.

“As an indication of the welcoming culture that we enjoy, we have 14 Colleague Networks in the UK that bring together people who share common experiences, interests, and backgrounds — including disability, ethnicity, faith, gender identity, and sexual orientation. In addition, more than half our global workforce are women and the number of women in senior management positions in the UK now stands at 48%,” says Lane.

He adds that the payments company offers competitive pay and physical, financial, and mental wellbeing support for colleagues by offering wellness resources and counsellors.

What can American Express do for you?

Lane states that American Express is heavily focused on the employee growth journey, with formal career performance and development conversations taking place with each employee twice a year - in addition to ongoing check-ins with leaders - to ensure personal and career development.

Training programmes offered by the company include LinkedIn Learning for industry-focused courses, Harvard Business Publishing for leadership development training, Own My Career learning activities for individual development, and Project Marketplace for short-term assignments and goals, among other targeted development initiatives.

American Express also offers the ‘Amex Flex’ flexible working model that includes both a completely remote working model and a hybrid working model for employees.

Lane details the extensive childcare initiatives offered by American Express: “As well as our flexible working policy, we also support parents with supportive family leave arrangements including our competitive 20-week maternity leave, inclusive healthcare coverage and back-up childcare assistance. In addition to personalised support and resources for fertility, pregnancy and early parenthood, we also provide free and confidential support on menopause, men’s health and women’s health to colleagues and their household members.”

Tell us the success stories of employees that have risen through American Express’ ranks.

“Internal mobility and career growth are hallmarks of our culture, which is why it’s not uncommon for colleagues to have been with the business for significant periods of time. Amex places a huge emphasis on continuous learning and offers so many opportunities for colleagues to develop their skills and advance their careers.

“I myself have worked at Amex for almost 15 years, both in Australia and the UK, taking on roles with increasing responsibility, receiving promotions into new areas and leading teams across multiple markets. In fact, moving across the business was one of the best things I ever did for my career development. As well as learning a lot about myself, my transferable skills and what I was capable of, it gave me broader experience of the business that has been invaluable.”

Want to see more fintech opportunities? Visit the Finextra Job Board for hundreds more roles, and bookmark the link for regular check-ins.

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