This past semester, I had the incredible opportunity to intern at American Express’s Hong Kong headquarter. My time there was one of the most valuable learning experiences I’ve had thus far in my Cornell education. The Credit Internship program provided me with a unique opportunity to explore a particular career path as well as to experience an exciting city.
My internship was with AMEX’s Global Compensation & Benefits team. The Hong Kong-based team was responsible for overseeing compensation & benefits decisions in five markets: Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Japan and Korea. I was challenged to launch a health & wellness campaign for the Hong Kong market and saw this project from the start to the final rollout. What stood out to me most about this project was the trust the team placed in my abilities—I was trusted to make important decisions and to take ownership. This experience taught me a lot about project management and about communicating with internal and external stakeholders.
In addition, I did a number of ad-hoc analytical projects on the compensation side, through which I had the chance to witness what I learned in the ILR curriculum in action. All throughout my internship, American Express was very supportive of my professional growth in that I was given a tailored study plan, had regular one-on-one meetings with my manager, talked with HR executives in many countries and participated in corporate and HR conferences.
Furthermore, the international aspect of this internship helped me to develop a more diverse outlook. Living and working in Hong Kong opened me up to new cultural experiences and an exciting city life. I was also fortunate to have a diverse group of co-workers who come from different parts of the world and whom I became friends with.
My Credit Internship was an amazing opportunity filled with challenging work and lots of fun. I would highly recommend the Credit Internship program to all fellow students interested in exploring an ILR-related career field.
- Huaxin Jiang