DBS extends internship programme to create new generation of digital bankers

Source: DBS

After the resounding success of the inaugural DBS UNI.CORN programme last year, DBS will kick off the second year of this innovative internship programme with 24 interns starting their 12-week internship today.

The 2017 intake was expanded by 50%, from 16 to 24 interns this year, reflecting the programme’s success and popularity among university students.

This year, DBS also received over 1,000 applications, a five-fold increase from the previous year. The 24 penultimate-year university students are from diverse disciplines, including banking and finance, engineering, liberal arts, computer science and multimedia design. They were selected based on their ability to solve problems and work in a team.

Unlike conventional internship programmes, the curriculum for the DBS UNI.CORN internship programme enables them to develop prototypes to address specific business problems. Working in teams of four, each team will be assigned a business problem statement from either the bank’s consumer banking, SME banking or technology units. Interns will be taught the agile methodology framework and will spend the next 12 weeks conceptualising, testing and developing a solution to address the problem statement. The internship concludes with a Demo Day, where each team will showcase their solutions to the bank’s senior management.

UNI.CORNs will also get an opportunity to see their prototype ideas implemented. Solutions presented by the inaugural batch of interns were tested within the respective business units. For example, one of the prototypes, an e-dollar Ang Bao on DBS PayLah mobile wallets, was even introduced as a trial to DBS staff during Chinese New Year.

Said Neal Cross, DBS’ Chief Innovation Officer, “An agile and innovative workforce will help make Singapore’s Smart Nation ambition a reality and we are excited to be a part of this by nurturing the next generation of digital bankers, strengthening Singapore’s talent pool. We are thrilled to have the second batch of UNI.CORNs join us on our digital transformation journey and we hope that they will take away with them a new way of working that will help shape the future of banking.”

Applications were open to all penultimate-year students in Singapore. Applicants were asked to complete a game designed by the bank, complete cognitive assignments and submit a video about themselves. Shortlisted applicants were then invited to take part in a 12-hour Idea Smash hackathon, where their problem solving skills and ability to work in a team were evaluated.

The DBS UNI.CORN programme is part of the bank’s strategy to develop and groom the future generation of digital bankers, as it seeks to act like a 22,000-person start up, able to respond and innovate quickly to deliver simple, fast and contextual banking in the digital age. Up to 150 interns and new graduates each year are put through various training initiatives where they can be immersed in new technologies, a start-up culture, agile methodology and other digital working concepts, in addition to accelerated training, job rotations, networking sessions and mentoring from senior leaders. For the full list of training programmes, please refer to Appendix 1.

Appendix 1
Management Associate Programme
The Management Associate Programme is a leadership development programme aimed at grooming our bank’s future leaders. This 24-month programme gives top candidates first-hand experience across the bank’s diverse business areas, equipping them with a solid foundation for a successful career in banking. To gain a good working knowledge of the bank’s various businesses, candidates go through a structured rotation programme and nine weeks of campus training.

Graduate Associate Programme - Operations
Graduate associates enter a specialised two-year programme and receive extensive training across different areas including banking and finance, project management and personal development. They will be mentored throughout the programme and rotated across DBS’ operations units, learning about different products and projects. This provides them with opportunities to spearhead new projects and lead teams to shape the future of banking.

Graduate Associate Programme - SME Banking
Graduate associates enter a 12-month programme that gives them all-round exposure to develop banking solutions for the SME industry. Comprising intensive classroom training in core credit and financial knowledge, front-to-back rotations in different business areas as well as on-the-job training in the role of an SME Relationship Manager, the programme offers accelerated professional development and networking opportunities for those wishing to start careers in SME Banking. Staff will also be assigned individual mentors to provide guidance and support.

Business Analytics Graduate Immersion Programme (BAGIP)
Over a 12-month period, graduates embark on an accelerated programme that focuses on core analytical skills essential to business growth. This includes technical and business analytics training, ranging from SAS programming and statistics analysis, to using data mining techniques to meet industry challenges. Graduates will also receive on-the-job training and mentorship from some our bank’s most experienced analysts. Here, they will be given the opportunity to be part of big data team projects and pick up data extraction, reporting, and business advisory skills.

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