Citi has launched a programme that embeds students from leading universities into its innovation efforts, enabling participants to earn course credit for work with the bank on emerging technologies such as machine learning and big data analytics.
Run through Citi Ventures, the Citi University Partnerships in Innovation & Discovery (Cupid), programme is already up and running, with more than 80 students studying business, design, engineering and public policy at 12 universities working with the bank on semester-long projects.
Students - from the likes of Columbia University Business School, Georgetown, and University of Texas at Austin - are matched based on their interests and skill sets with internal Citi initiatives including projects.
Many end up within the D10X programme, an internal strategic growth model managed by Citi Ventures that uses VC and startup methods to let employees to take new business ideas from concept to launch.
Vanessa Colella, head, Citi Ventures, says: "While our employees continue to test and validate new solutions that help our clients, we want to also create a platform in partnership with leading academic institutions where new ideas can percolate. The energy and creativity of the students is palpable, and it’s been incredible to work alongside them."
Jamie Tobias, assistant dean, NYU Stern, adds: "NYU Stern students are really responding to the opportunity to work on these types of real-world innovation projects, and doing so at a global bank will not only help them hone their skills in strategy and technical product development, but also expand their awareness of future career opportunities at Citi and beyond."
Citi has made a concerted effort to build links with top student talent. Last year it leased space at Cupid partner Cornell Tech's New York building, The Bridge, in order to engage with students and faculty on areas such as blockchain and machine learning.