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OCBC gives 26 students six months to come up with bank of the future ideas

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IN a slightly different twist to find innovative bankers, OCBC Bank has selected 26 students for a six-month internship to get them to build a bank for the future.

IN a slightly different twist to find innovative bankers, OCBC Bank has selected 26 students for a six-month internship to get them to build a bank for the future.

Over six months from May to November 2017, OCBC said in a press release on Monday that it will not only introduce the students to the world of banking, but - unlike any other banking internship programme - feature the deliberate inculcating of entrepreneurship skills and knowledge.

The first bank-wide penultimate-year internship programme attracted more than 500 applications from undergraduates studying at universities in both Singapore and overseas, said OCBC.

Only 26 undergraduates who are in their second last year from the top Singapore universities - National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University and Singapore University of Social Sciences - were selected in a rigorous one-day selection process called Ideation Day on March 14.

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OCBC said that while the interns - called FRANKprenuers - will be attached to specific units in the bank, from retail banking, corporate banking and treasury, to fintech, technology and even human resources, they will also be tasked with the future bank project.

"One way it goes beyond conventional internship programmes is by setting the 26 students to work creatively on a problem statement that is not confined to an existing banking issue. The problem statement requires students to come up with an innovative solution to "build the bank for the new world economy" as they envisage what their ideal bank of the future will be like," said OCBC.

Said Jason Ho, head of group human resources, OCBC Bank: "The OCBC FRANKpreneurship is designed to be different from other internship programmes in the market. Throughout the six months, 26 outstanding students will be immersed in a business environment with hands-on work experience, while working on cross-divisional projects using a "startup" approach where they will be exposed to the methodologies, thinking and journey of a startup.

Working in groups, students will have to come up with creative solutions, just as an entrepreneur must develop a break-through business idea that is commercially viable.

The programme starts next month with a 10-week attachment at OCBC, and carry on for another 12 weeks during the school term where FRANKpreneurs will continue to refine and work as teams on their concept and presentation.

At the end of the period, the students will have to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges comprising OCBC Bank's senior management and line managers, as well as university professors.

The FRANKpreneurs will also be assessed during the six-month period for suitability to join the bank's management trainee programme which offers outstanding young bankers an accelerated career in the bank.

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