Recruiting for the future
Recognizing Booth marketers’ powerful combination of communication skills and analytical acumen, recruiters at American Express turn to Chicago Booth with an eye toward the future leadership of the firm.
About five years ago we designated Chicago Booth as a “Blue Box School.” The Blue Box designation is important to us. It refers to the American Express logo and the standards of excellence it represents. We recruit at a number of different institutions across the country - and the globe for that matter - but what we’re looking to do is fill the pipeline for the future leadership of the company.
Chicago Booth graduates obviously bring strong analytic acumen as well as strong business insight and strategic thinking, so recruiting at Booth is natural. For us it is the perfect marriage because when you’re in the financial service industry, there are some elements that represent the art of marketing, but there’s a lot of science involved as well.
Variety is the Norm
Historically, how we describe our marketing roles to students has actually been a challenge. We’re not like a CPG firm, where it’s very clear that a candidate would have a product management role and with a defined process and expectations.
We do a number of different types of marketing - anything from the consumer marketing you might do in the consumer side of the business to the B-to-B oriented marketing work done with our corporate card.
It’s critical that our recruits understand the various levers of our business model. It is somewhat complex, and within the organization we see people move around a good amount in order to build competence and capability over time.
Booth Leaders Drive Results
Because we’re looking for people to assume a wide variety of roles over their time here with us, we want to recruit from an institution that develops those skills, and we’ve absolutely found that that’s been the case with Booth.
We know that Booth graduates have the ability to do the analytics and understand the dynamics of a business challenge, but they’re also able to work well within a matrixed organization and drive results. There are many times when you have to work across business units to get things done, and that requires skills in communication and teamwork. This kind of well-rounded candidate is exactly what we look for at American Express, and Booth does a great job of attracting those types of people.
What we’ve found with the Booth folks we’ve brought in is that they’ve have been moving up through the company and taking the bigger roles with greater responsibility, and we would expect them over the coming years to become the future leaders of the organization.
One young woman from Booth who was recently promoted to our director level came in as a summer intern in our corporate card division and pulled together a strategic perspective on how to extend our product line for our corporate card customers. Of course you want to see your MBA summer interns doing important work, but this person demonstrated some strong strategic thinking and put together a business case that culminated in the purchase of a whole new company. I think that’s pretty impressive.