A Meaningful Career at American Express

By Ahmed Wafi

Lynne joined American Express as a 19-year-old fresh out of high school. Twelve years on, fuelled by passion and determination, she’s climbed the corporate ladder in the multibillion-dollar company.

It’s rare to see an individual stay in one organisation for the entirety of their careers. In fact, even in team sports, we don’t often hear of an athlete staying with one team for too long. Enter Lynne, Operations Manager of the Customer Engagement Network at American Express’ Hong Kong market who joined the organisation as a vibrant 19-year-old 12 years ago.

“To me, a career is beyond the pay, benefits and perks; it has to carry a purpose and passion in life and I am proud to say that my career at American Express gives me that,” she said in an exclusive interview with GRADUAN®, explaining her career journey that has taken her around the world and her reasons for staying in the organisation.

Amex is an organisation with over 60,000 employees, but they definitely do their part in taking care of their people's well-being. At Amex, employees are treated to a host of perks and benefits including telehealth, covid coverage, mental health coverage, life and accidental insurance, flexi leave days on top of annual leave days, and a safe space for its people to voice out their concerns through the free confidential counselling services.

Couple this with meaningful work, you’re bound to have employees who will enjoy being part of this organisation! We checked in with Lynne to find out more about her career path at Amex Malaysia.

Talk us through your career progression at Amex.
I joined American Express as a Customer Care Professional taking care of our customers in Singapore at just 19 years old. Twelve years later, I now take care of our customers in Hong Kong as an Operations Manager.

I was never one to climb the corporate ladder but working in Amex has given me the opportunity to take on various roles where I have led different teams, worked with great colleagues, and have been part of various Colleague Networks and engagements while learning and growing.

When did you realise this was the career path for you?
I used to perceive a customer service role to be just about answering phone calls. But Amex has shown me it is so much more. There are so many great learning and development programmes I have been part of, one of which was The American Express Harvard Leadership Excellence programme.

It was tailored to my skills and needs, helping me improve my executive presence, presentation and leadership skills. I also had the chance to mentor colleagues and lead Colleague Networks where I worked with teams in building a culture of diversity, openness and colleague engagement which was a lot of fun and learning along the way.

What traits do you think are necessary to succeed in the corporate world?
Persistence. I believe in working towards what I want and never giving up until I have achieved my goals. The thought of working abroad has always been on my mind and when the opportunity came to lead a team in Hong Kong, I accepted it without a doubt. I was pushed out of my comfort zone. Relocating alone in a foreign country was daunting, even more so as I did not speak the local language!

Another trait would be assertiveness. Having the courage to speak up and challenge the status quo is probably easier said than done but it has been invaluable as I have been able to share my thoughts and opinions without upsetting others or getting upset at myself.

What are some words of advice you would give to today’s youth? Put in the effort and believe you will achieve great things in life. I’ve been pegged as fearless, and that has worked well for me. It has not been easy but I am proud of the progress I’ve made and how it has changed my life.

I am currently in a ‘Women in Leadership’ programme and I hope to inspire female leaders to pursue their passion and grow their careers!

Are you keen to follow in the footsteps of Lynne and so many more who have changed their lives for the better through meaningful careers at American Express! Look no further! Explore career opportunities at AMEX today by visiting its career page here!

You can also vote for AMEX as Malaysia’s Most Preferred Employer here!

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