This article is part of the American Express UK Employee series, where internal American Express staff have put pen to paper and written about some of our products and services and how they can support UK businesses.
In my life before American Express, I worked at one of the Big Four accountancy firms. When working for a large, global organisation it can be sometimes feel like you are a small cog in a very big machine, but every now and again something happens that can make you feel really valued.
I was working on a project for one of our audit teams, culminating in a presentation in Colorado. My job was never customer facing and I was usually based at a desk in our London office. On this occasion however, due to the scale of the project, I was asked to support the team in Denver for a few days.
Business travel up to this point had meant at most a training day in Milton Keynes so the prospect of international travel (and my first visit to the U.S.) was really exciting for a junior member of the team.
What brought me back down to earth was the prospect of paying for my flights and hotels out of pocket and claiming them back as expenses. I had never been a big saver, my 'rainy day' fund consisted of a jar of change on my bedside table, and the thought of having a huge hole blown in my budget for the month was daunting. Of course, I would be reimbursed but I doubt my landlord would have shared my excitement for my trip if it meant my rent wasn’t paid on time.
That’s when I had my first experience with American Express. I’d never had any business expenses so I’d never needed a Corporate Card but a colleague suggested that now might be the time to apply.
It completely removed the stress that would have come from the unexpected costs and the daily checking of my account as I waited to be reimbursed. Knowing I would be going on the trip armed with a Corporate Card and not having to turn it down due to my own finances was a huge relief.
My company had wanted to reward me for my contribution to the project, not considering that it might have caused a financial headache. Instead, I was able to join the team as they concluded the project and celebrated a job well done.
American Express allowed me to be there and let my company make me feel valued. It was the difference between missing out and being included and the difference between feeling disappointed and feeling valued.
They say first impressions matter; my first impression of American Express has certainly stuck with me.
Written by Ashley Wilson