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Internship Spotlight: Allie Harokopus ’22, American Express

Allie Harokopus ’22 on developing a strategy to build support for the American Express brand among younger consumers.

What did you do this past summer? We asked second-year MBA students to check in from their summer internships, where they applied the lessons of their first year at Yale SOM.

headshotAllie Harokopus ’22
Internship: American Express, New York City

Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Clubs and Affiliations: Marketing, Media and Entertainment, and Women in Management Clubs
Favorite SOM Class: Yale Center for Customer Insights (YCCI) Discovery Project
Favorite SOM Professors: All the YCCI Professors! Ravi Dhar, Nathan Novemsky, and Treeny Ahmed
Favorite New Haven eatery: Olmo Bagelry
Bonus facts: I am dog mom to mini golden doodle Cayman—you can find us playing fetch behind SOM most days!

American Express is one of the world’s most trusted and recognized brands in the world–known for their premium card products and travel, dining, and entertainment experiences. This summer I had the opportunity to intern with the Global Advertising and Brand Management (GABM) business unit, the team tasked with understanding the American Express consumer and creating marketplace demand for the brand.

As a GABM summer intern, I worked on developing a strategy to build brand love with younger consumers through AmEx advertising, sponsorship, and experiences. To win this group of consumers, it was essential that we understood their evolving passions, behaviors, and needs so that consumers would perceive the brand as relevant. I worked closely with the AmEx Insights team to ensure the voice of the customer was the basis of the go-to-market strategy and plan. Having conducted secondary research, interviews, surveys, and data analysis according to the YCCI beliefs, goals, and choices framework through the Discovery Project set me up for success in this role. When working with AmEx Insights, I was able to understand the process of how insights were developed, ask appropriate questions, and determine where there were possible gaps. Ultimately, I felt confident turning insights into action.

As someone fascinated by the art and science behind great brands, I loved working on this project across the global media, experiential, and consumer marketing teams. I was extremely impressed and inspired by the strategic marketing expertise across the enterprise, the commitment to mentorship and talent development, and ultimately the dedication to delivering premier services to our cardmembers every day. As part of the larger internship program, we also had the opportunity to hear from several senior leaders, including CMO Elizabeth Rutledge and CEO Steve Squeri!