Banking and Healthcare
Karan Haresh Mirpuri, National University of Singapore (NUS), 23, was a finance intern under the OCBC FRANKpreneurship Programme in the Global Consumer Financial Services (GCFS), Group Finance division of the Bank.
Hi, I'm Karan. I'm a third-year accountancy student at NUS and this is my second internship. The recruitment process was very unique. Previously, I would have a traditional, one-on-one interview with the hiring manager. With FRANKpreneurship it was a whole new experience.
In the OCBC FRANKpreneurship Programme, we were assigned to a team and given three hours to discuss and present a case on how the Bank can tap into opportunities in healthcare. The team members were new to each other so we had to bond and ramp up our teamwork very quickly.
Wait, what's the connection?
The immediate reaction to the case is, 'Wait, what's the connection?' We don't typically speak of banking and healthcare in the same breath. My team really had to push ourselves to think about what OCBC Bank could offer in healthcare apart from the obvious aspect of providing financing. We only had three hours to rack our brains and develop a ten-minute presentation to deliver to the human relations team and the hiring manager.
NUS Career Fair
I first learnt about the FRANKpreneurship Programme during the annual NUS Career Fair. I visited the OCBC booth which was promoting the programme. I got to speak to FRANKpreneurs from the previous year and found out more about what FRANKpreneurship had in store for us. After speaking with the former FRANKpreneurs, I made up my mind. I had to get into the programme. The moment the opportunity came up in NUS's career portal, I seized it and submitted my application.
Unsure to certain
When I first accepted the internship, I was unsure what to expect because my earlier internship had been primarily ad-hoc in nature. I was looking forward to the structured approach the FRANKpreneurship Programme promised but wasn't sure if it would really deliver.
Thankfully, my nervousness was unfounded. The OCBC FRANKpreneurship Programme was a good choice. OCBC invited external consultants and internal mentors to speak to and guide us as part of the programme. Everyone was active and proactive in engaging us. It was clear that they put in a lot of effort to make the internship a meaningful one for everyone.
Experience Day was the first time I've 'competed' in an online pitch. It was a memorable experience. The team and I presented to about six judges, consisting of OCBC senior management and various academics. At the end of the presentation, we were assigned to different breakout channels where each judge gave their feedback and offered suggestions on how to refine and bring our project forward. That was really helpful and much appreciated.
Impressions of the programme
From a work point of view, it is very enriching. I'm in the Finance division of GCFS, working on automating and documenting procedures for internal users. Much of my work centres around data, building dashboards and proposing improvements to existing processes. I was taught mostly accounting in school. Working on data is new and I'm learning a lot from this internship. Through this internship, I can see first-hand how an organisation can translate its financial information to usable data to identify opportunities. I'm crossing the bridge between academic theory and real-life application. It is an eye-opening experience.
The culture at OCBC Bank is refreshingly informal and candid. As the job is new to me, I am grateful to have a lot of guidance and help from experienced colleagues. I can easily approach anyone via Skype. It's like virtually tapping someone on the shoulder. This makes communications so much easier in the Covid-19 period when many of us are working from home. It is cool that my manager and department head had a virtual coffee with me over Skype for over an hour. It was a nice personal gesture.