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Press release


  • 3 October 2008

AMEX celebrates five years at University of Sussex


The University of Sussex and American Express came together to celebrate five years of a highly successful American Express sponsored Masters programme at the University.

Praising the success of the scheme, Nigel Greenwood, Vice-President of Technologies at American Express, said: "The partnership with Sussex has been so successful that there is an opportunity to use it to provide graduates for other parts of the business; demand has never been higher. I'm also approached by people in the industry asking how we get such a high standard of new recruits into the company so the reputation of the course is clearly spreading."

Since September 2003, 90 students have passed through the University Development Centre (UDC) programme with around half of those being taken on at the end of the course by American Express, Brighton & Hove's largest private sector employer.

Some of the graduates of the UDC scheme have already progressed to management level within the company and are themselves coaching and leading new UDC students and graduates through work placement projects.

Over 100 people attended the celebration event at the University on 25 September 2008 and heard speeches from Nigel Greenwood of American Express, University of Sussex Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Robert Allison and Professor Ben Du Boulay, Dean of SciTech, along with graduates of the course.

Professor Du Boulay said: "We have got used to our students leaving us after their time here so it's really heartening to listen to how students from our University have made such an impact on a company at all levels of the organisation. To hear that some of them are in international postings, are teaching the next generation and are on the fast track to the top of the organisation is a real pleasure."

Between 15 and 30 students a year have worked part-time for American Express for two years, based in the Sussex Innovation Centre on the Sussex campus, while also studying for a Masters degree in computing in the Department of Informatics. At the end of the two years, the highest performing students have an opportunity to gain a full-time job with American Express with all the benefits, including the possibility of postings to overseas operations such as New York and Sydney.

Speaking at last week's event was Sussex graduate Lizzie Brown who, whilst on the programme,

secured a full-time position as a Senior Business Analyst in Technologies at American Express. Lizzie explained: "I highly recommend the programme to anyone. The Technologies Graduate scheme enabled me to further my education by studying a great Masters, in addition to gaining hands-on work experience for a global blue chip organisation with the prospects of becoming a fixed employee at the end.

"Some of the experiences I've had during my two years studying were truly life-changing. When you're sent to Paris to talk to European Finance Directors in your first year it does have a profound effect on you! I've made friends for life and I'm on track for a great career."

Find out more at www.sussex.ac.uk/Units/pgrad/amex/

Notes for editors

Students take an MSc in Information Technology for E-Commerce or the MSc in Human Centred Computer Systems.  The tuition fees and an annual salary of £18,621 are paid by American Express plus a £1,000 bonus (half paid at the start and half in Year 2).

 

For application details, see http://www.sussex.ac.uk/Units/pgrad/amex/

University of Sussex Press Office contacts:

Danielle Treanor, Jacqui Bealing, Maggie Clune

Email: press@sussex.ac.uk

Tel: + 44 1273 873245 or + 44 1273 873713

 

American Express Press contact:

Suzanne Withers

American Express,

Tel. +44 2079 764604

 

Websites: http://www.sussex.ac.uk

 

or  http://www10.americanexpress.com/sif/cda/page/0,1641,22308,00.asp

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