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A unique combination of experiences

A unique combination of experiences

  • 31 May 2022
  • By OCBC Careers
  • 15 mins read

Rica Choo, Singapore Management University (SMU), majoring in Marketing, (23), was with the digital business team at OCBC Bank working on the FRANK platform during her FRANKpreneurship internship.

Hello, I’m Rica. The OCBC FRANKpreneurship programme captured my attention as it promised a unique combination of experiences. And it certainly fulfilled that promise! Not only did I receive hands-on banking experience through the full-time work attachment, but I also participated in pitches where I could apply what I learned in school to ideate innovative solutions for the future of banking. This combination of experiences is hard to come by and not readily available elsewhere!

Mentored by industry leaders

I’ve long wondered what working in banking would be like and passionately wanted to dive deep into that space and find out for myself. The FRANKpreneurship programme gave me the priceless opportunity to interact with and be mentored by industry leaders and subject matter experts. They willingly shared their industry knowledge and real-life working experiences and gave me practical tips on how to grow and develop as an individual. The insights I gained were invaluable.

Fast track to the Graduate Talent Programme

Another major motivating factor was the fact that this programme provides a fast track to the Graduate Talent Programme (GTP), which involves a two-year work rotation across divisions within the Bank. As someone who loves trying new things, the idea of being able to experience working across various departments in OCBC Bank captivated me.

Learning to listen and think

Working on the FRANKpreneurship team project was the most fulfilling internship experience I have ever had. The project started with understanding a business problem, followed by uncovering the pain points of our target audience through the use of empathy maps that we learned in our training. We then brainstormed regularly as a team to formulate customer-centric solutions.

We definitely had a very steep learning curve to climb and we had to manage our time between business-as-usual (BAU) duties and the project. We got a taste of real working life! But I was really thankful for the opportunity to be stretched beyond my comfort zone.

I learned to be an empathetic listener and creative thinker. Through the internship, I had to listen actively to appreciate the importance of balancing expectations from the corporate standpoint and the pain points of relevant stakeholders. This allowed me to come up with out-of-the-box yet realistic solutions to maximise value for both the firm and consumers.

Rica Choo

Learning from diversity

I had the opportunity to work with many people of different backgrounds and working styles. I came to understand how to approach different team players and be more accepting and to embrace differences. In fact, these differences brought fresh perspectives and angles that we might not have considered. We learned to have constructive discussions by considering various viewpoints to design a solution that best meets the needs of the project and the stakeholders.

Learning to learn from feedback

Another huge learning was the ability to receive feedback well and to be objective in my evaluation. Asking for and receiving critical feedback can be difficult, but I came to realise that well-meaning and honest feedback were pivotal for the progress of our project.

For example, our team faced a major setback when our proposal was rejected and we had to pivot away from our original idea. In fact, our final proposal was a complete 180-degree turn from the original idea we had during the first few weeks of the project. Instead of being disheartened, my team and I processed the constructive feedback to design an impactful solution for the Bank.

The holistic experience of working on day-to-day business while preparing for the final project gave me a solid foundation of skills which I can apply in real-life business scenarios, client projects, as well as school assignments.

Tips for FRANKpreneurship applicants

For those joining FRANKpreneurship, be willing to step out of your comfort zone and challenge your limits. No matter how much you have learned in university, it is never the same as getting real experience and developing the skills required for the industry. Fortunately, OCBC offers a nurturing environment for growth and learning, where personal growth and well-being are valued even while you work on the day-to-day business. I strongly encourage my peers to apply for this one-of-a-kind internship and to experience the excitement that I felt during my FRANKpreneurship stint.