The 12th grade Introduction to Business class visited the corporate headquarters of the American Express Company (AMEX) in New York City on March 12th. The students received an overview of the company’s 163-year history; toured the archives; learned about the American Express business model, and participated in an interactive product development exercise.
"As the seniors prepare to enter college and begin thinking about internships and possible careers, it was great experience to see how a corporation such as American Express has evolved over time," remarked Ms. Susan Braun, School Administrator at the Waldorf School and teacher of the 12th grade Introduction to Business class, "learning about the company’s business model and engaging in hands-on activities gave the students an opportunity to put their classroom lessons into a framework of actual corporate experience."
Before the day was over, the students had the extraordinary opportunity to listen to Mr. Kenneth Chenault, the American Express Chairman and Chief Executive Officer – as well as Waldorf alumnus from the class of 1969 – as he took time from his busy schedule to meet with the 12 students. Mr. Chenault shared his thoughts on leadership, organizational values, sustainability, and how they relate to the company’s responsibilities towards customers, employees, and share holders.
The trip was an opportunity for the students to learn, firsthand, about how a multinational financial services corporation is organized. The group exercises also gave the students time for a "brainstorming session" to provide feedback on several new American Express products. During the panel discussion, the students from Waldorf asked questions of current American Express employees regarding college decisions, career choices and more.
"The objective of the Introduction to Business Class is for students to develop an overarching understanding of core business concepts – everything from financial statements to business organization to corporate ethics and social responsibility. Whenever possible, the goal is to create practical experiences around these concepts, providing students with understanding on a deeper level," remarked Ms. Braun. "The visit to American Express was a wonderful opportunity for them to see and experience first-hand some of the basic principles of business theory and practice which we have studied this year. My thanks to everyone at American Express for their time, help and graciousness creating such a memorable day."