Tell us about yourself
I grew up in Sussex, fairly near Brighton. I studied IT with Media Communications at Lancaster University, as it covered a range of subjects from computer programming and image manipulation to video editing and virtual reality and I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do after I left school so thought this would give me a lot of options. I ended up going down the computer programming route, working as a developer for about 4 years until I decided to move back to Sussex and found the Amex Masters Programme.
Why did you choose the programme?
After studying my undergraduate degree, I worked for about 4 years as a computer programmer. However, although I enjoyed working with technology, I wanted a more varied role where I got to work directly with customers rather than being sat in front of a computer all day! This programme seemed perfect, as I got to not only try out different roles, such as business analyst and portfolio analyst, which I had not done before, but I also got to go back to university and brush up on my programming skills!
What did you study?
IT with Business and Management
How have you used the skills learnt during your study?
My course covered a lot of programming and technical details, which although I’ve not used directly, has been valuable when having conversations with technical members of my team and has improved my understanding. It has helped me to communicate to both technical and non-technical audiences.
What did you do after the scheme?
During the second year of the program, I got a permanent role as a Senior Business Analyst in the International Mobile Technologies team, which works on the American Express mobile web sites and Smart Phone apps that we have throughout our International markets (i.e. all countries except for the USA).
How is it working/living in Brighton?
I don’t live in Brighton, but like working here. It’s easy to get here by train and there’s lots of things to do. I like to browse the shops if I have time during lunch and there are also loads of restaurants to choose from if you want to get some dinner after work.
How do you find the program?
It’s been a really great experience! Although it’s been hard work and challenging at times, it’s kept it interesting and I’ve enjoyed learning a variety of different skills from both my project work and my studies.
What are you currently working on?
I’m involved in a number of different projects to enhance both our mobile web site and our iPhone App across multiple countries.
Plans for future?
Not really sure. I’d definitely like to stay at American Express working in the technology sector and I’m enjoying working with mobile technologies at the moment. I’m always on the lookout for new opportunities though, so will just see what crops up.
Why would you recommend working for American Express?
Great people to work with. Good opportunities for development and support from your leaders. Interesting and varied work, which means I’m always developing new skills.
Other than your day job what other activities are you involved in at Amex?
I was involved in the Hackathon, where our team won the Best Enterprise Hack for our prototype. I’m now working with my team outside of my day-to-day work to develop our idea further and showcase it to different teams to see if we can drum up some interest and even get it into production. I was also the communications manager for WIT (Women In Technology) while I was on the programme, which was a great way to network with people from other teams I wouldn’t have otherwise got to know.