American Express

www.americanexpress.com
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5 people found this helpful  

Great for the resume, but increasingly more political

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Senior Marketing Manager in New York, NY
Current Employee - Senior Marketing Manager in New York, NY

I have been working at American Express full-time (more than 5 years)

Pros

- Looks great on your resume and you will often receive headhunter calls (though many employees come back)
- Fellow employees are usually very smart and well educated, but rarely overly competitive or rude
- Relatively easy commute if you live in Manhattan;
- Jobs are fairly clear in responsibilities and narrowly focused, so you can develop deep expertise in a subject
- In most cases, you have to take all of your vacation (use it or lose it) within the year
- Lots of non-financial resources to leverage (local discounts, on-site gym & medical center, online financial planning) that you'd expect froma big company
- 6 month Global Rotation Program, Externships with Small Businesses, and many other volunteer opportunities (consulting, board service, Junior Achievement, etc) all encouraged and supported
- Not a stickler on face time as you can be pretty flexible in working arrangements (working from home, coming in late/leaving early for valid reasons)
- Work/life balance is what you determine it to be - usually you can get out by 6-7pm each day and not be expected to log-in from home unless you're really trying to move ahead quickly
- Feels like a smaller company given culture is relationship driven and people rotate often

Cons

- Pay lower than direct competitors and can vary wildly between employees doing the exact same job
- Tons of processes and redundancy with little training other than baptism by fire
- Pre-Amex experience is not really valued and not a lot of focus on external competition
- Poor performers at all levels and out of touch senior leaders are retained and rarely asked to leave
- MBA hires aren't treated consistenly at all; some move up to director in 2-3 years and others get stuck in multiple rotations.
- There are no clear rules regarding performance management or promotion - ratings are simply based on having 1 big (and often heavily self-promoted) accomplishment and being well liked rather than comparison of standard metrics; analysts and managers rotate to new positions based somewhat on ratings and interview performance, but who gets the job/promotion is based more on what more senior employees do behind the scenes aka "informal sponsorship" - putting in phone calls/e-mails, vouching for your skills aka "likeability". This has led to a lot of frustration, particuarly on who gets promoted to Director and Vice President. You can have more years of experience at Amex and "stellar" performance reviews but others are hired because of personal connections they've developed - and the company does not apologize for it
- May be difficult finding a balance of time to network with employees and getting your actual work done

Advice to ManagementAdvice

- Make talent assessments/succession planning for promotion-ready managers and directors much clearer
- Weight sponsorship less heavily than past performance when making promotion decisions as you easily overlook strong talent
- Stop hiring so many external consultants who get all of their ideas from internal employees
- If/when the economy improves, employee retention will be much harder to maintain

Recommends
No opinion of CEO

2111 Other Employee Reviews for American Express (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Can be a good place depending on what group you're in

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager - Global Reengineering in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Manager - Global Reengineering in New York, NY

    I have been working at American Express full-time

    Pros

    -nice location / comfortable office environment especially with the new re-designs
    -senior leadership is impressive
    -lots of energetic smart young people
    -work-life balance is getting harder to maintain, though still better than most other companies in NYC

    Cons

    -your overall experience can vary wildly depending on what department/team you're in. In some groups, you can work on interesting projects, get visibility, and move to other groups easily. Conversely, there are some teams that does work that adds no value whatsoever and you can easily be pigeon-holed. I currently work in a function called business transformation (reengineering) and I'm dying to get out fast. My advice is to do your due diligence when you're interviewing - make sure you like the people and understand fully what the team does.
    -pay is nothing to write home about (people come here for balance, not for the money)
    -highly political, even for a F100 company

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Good place to work if you're not dying for $$$

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Marketing Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Marketing Director in New York, NY

    I have been working at American Express full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good work life balance (although that's changing)
    good opportunities to make your own career - changing jobs within the company is easy.
    The people you work with are generally smart and ambitious
    management, especially recent hires, seem to want to take the company further into the digital world.

    Cons

    While moving from job to job is relatively easy, moving up involves a lot of politics and game playing
    salaries are adequate, but significantly lower than other bank competitors (i.e. Chase, Citi)
    technology is atrocious

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make an investment into seriously upgrading the company's infrastructure and replacing most of Amex Technology

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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