School of Business Alum Launches New Internship Program for UAlbany Students at American Express

A woman enters the American Express headquarters tower in New York City.
American Express headquarters in New York City.

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 9, 2022) — In an increasingly competitive job market, internships and other experiential learning opportunities are a necessity for students to gain professional skills and launch their careers.

Stefanos Marcopoulos '07, '08, vice president of Global Risk and Compliance at American Express and vice president of the UAlbany Alumni Association, realizes this and has created a new internship program as a unique way to give back to his alma mater.

Marcopoulos recruited four UAlbany undergraduate students, two at the School of Business and two at the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity, who are working as interns with American Express’ Global Risk and Compliance Organization this summer.

This new partnership between the University and American Express creates new opportunities for qualified students to learn about its businesses as well as an opportunity for employment post-graduation.

“As a double graduate, I want to see UAlbany students set up for career success,” said Marcopoulos. “This internship program is a way that I can help do that, while also staying connected to the University.”

Danes in NYC 

Stefanos Marcopoulos sits in the UAlbany "Best Seat in the House" inflatable chair at Casey Stadium.
Marcopoulos regularly returns to campus as vice president of the Alumni Association.

As a student, Marcopoulos studied accounting, earning both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in five years.  

After graduating, Marcopoulos initially did not feel connected to the University as he started his professional career. However, he would often encounter fellow UAlbany alumni in the workforce and wanted to find a way to reconnect to the campus.

“UAlbany’s greatness is not solely because of its faculty, staff and students, but also because of its large network of alumni who are now successful professionals,” Marcopoulos said.

That’s when he decided to get more involved with the Alumni Association. Marcopoulos was elected first to the board, then treasurer and ultimately vice president. As he became more involved with mentoring and teaching students, the idea to create an American Express internship program was born.

Marcopoulos coordinated with Noah Simon, Director of the Office of Career and Professional Development to host the “Danes in NYC” program, which invites roughly 15-25 UAlbany students to network with alumni at the American Express campus in New York City.

Danes in NYC partnered with American Express over the last four years, with the 2021 cohort conducted virtually due to the pandemic.  Simon is optimistic about resuming an in-person opportunity soon.

“Over the years, many UAlbany Alumni have worked at American Express, but there was no direct link back to the University,” said Simon. “Stefanos has worked with our team to make that connection and offer students valuable networking and professional growth opportunities.”

The American Express Pipeline

Following the success of “Danes in NYC,” Marcopoulos convinced leaders at American Express to make a stronger investment in UAlbany students, officially launching the internship program this summer.

The first cohort of student interns consist of William Philo, a junior in the Financial Analyst Honors program, Amara Reid, a junior Business Administration major, Briuana Jackson, a senior Informatics major, and Emmanuel Berkoh, a junior Informatics major.

“Being in a smaller pool of applicants, we were given an opportunity to compete with students from prestigious institutions that usually fill these highly sought out internships,” Reid said. “I am grateful to Stefanos, UAlbany and American Express.”

“I am still deciding which career path is the right fit for me,” Jackson said. “It is surreal knowing I was selected to intern at American Express. This is an exciting learning experience and will help me determine the direction I take next.”

Stefanos hopes to continue the program in future years and hopefully offer full-time positions to some of the interns after graduation.

“The ultimate goal for this program would be for it to return next year, continue to grow, and create a UAlbany to American Express pipeline for years to come,” he said.