Business Systems Analyst, American Express Canada (Amex)
Career profile provided by CareerMash
Karen travels the world to work on tech projects that make services easier for AMEX’s customers.
AMEX operates worldwide and so does Karen. “On my latest assignment I travelled to France. Some of the technology teams I work with are in Phoenix, India and Florida. It`s interesting to meet the people face to face and build a more personal connection.”
Karen turns AMEX’s vision for improving customer services into easy-to-use online or phone features. When AMEX wants to improve a service, Karen answers with creative new technology.
“It’s challenging to deal with constant change. Sometimes a change seems like a small thing but the technical work to make it happen is huge. I help everyone across business and tech teams around the world understand what needs to be done in a way everyone can understand.”
Karen Toy's CareerMash
Karen loves mashing up business and technology smarts. It allows her to work on all kinds of different projects and learn new skills from each one.
For example, Karen’s combination of business with tech plus savvy communications skills helped AMEX speed up the way customers pay bills over the phone. As well as working with a wide range of internal teams, she also had to keep banks in the loop because they use the service too. After mapping out the project start to finish, she led it to completion. She even trained phone reps and emailed customers to explain the whole she-bang.
A Day in the Life
Imagine someone gave you free range to create something in any way you want. That’s what life is like for Karen. Sometimes she coordinates the development of entire new systems. Other times, she’s simply adding a feature to one part of a system like the login page. “Creativity comes from thinking outside the box. I envision a new design and work with everyone inside or outside the company to ensure the look and feel are consistent across each platform that uses it.”
Karen leads an entire team of business analysts who work on different projects. Her busiest times are during what she calls the “details phase.” She has to think about everything because she leads the project. That ranges from writing the simplest possible error message when a link is broken to explaining a new feature to customers in a way non-techies can easily understand. She works with multiple teams to figure it out.
Imagine someone gave you free range to create something in any way you want. That’s what life is like for Karen.
Karen completed a double major in accounting and management information systems with a focus on business from McGill University. She started as an IT consultant at Accenture and worked her way up to senior management. She joined AMEX as a business analyst in 2007.
Tips for success
Communicate - You need to be able to tailor your conversation to different audiences to keep everyone on the same page. Sweat the small stuff - “For my role, its good to be detail oriented and able to follow a process. In school, gather those skills that will allow you to document and become process oriented.” Pay attention - Analyze everything and don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s how you learn what you need to do to succeed at your job.