FRANKpreneurship 2019 Chronicles
FRANKpreneurship: People, Preparation and Payoff
Have you been looking for that one FRANK (totally no pun intended) blog post detailing the FRANKpreneurship experience? Well, here it is! I’m Jessica Lee, business undergraduate from Singapore Management University (SMU) and FRANKpreneur from the batch of 2019, here to give you the insider’s scoop on what you can expect when you join this far from average internship!
People: A Family at OCBC
13th of May 2019 marked the start of Boot-Camp, the 3-day orientation specially held for FRANKpreneurs, to give us an overview of the bank and kickstart the ideation journey for our Beyond Banking solution. Here, I met my FRANKpreneurship pre-assigned group for the first time. We are now better known as Team Jewel V (Jessica, Jia En, Wei Ling, Eugene, Linus and Vladimir). Breaking the ice led to us discovering our shared love for Korean dramas and Chinese karaoke songs.
(From left to right: Carmen, Wei Ling, Jessica, Jia En and Ryan)
Having built the necessary rapport, we were each more willing to speak up and contribute to our FRANKpreneurship competition topic: Education. To guide this initially clueless bunch of undergraduates and share her expert knowledge on enterprise banking and platforms, we were gifted with the best mentor anyone could ask for, Carmen Chan (thank you, OCBC). Topping it off, we had the honour of getting help and advice from three-time master mentor, Ryan Lou. Jewel V was incredibly blessed with awesome mentors.
(Emerging Affluent Team celebrating after OLG night, together with Head of Consumer Financial Services, Dennis Tan)
My direct supervisor, Arun Muraleedharan, Head of Group Marketing’s Emerging Affluent Segment, took a chance on me, a finance and human resource double major student. To help me best learn about what a marketing career entailed and the organisation’s culture, he allowed to assist in their ongoing team projects, inclusive of but not limited to OCBC Life Goals (OLG) Mobile Planner, OLG Night and creating a wireframe for a mobile banking app targeted at the emerging affluent segment. His willingness to mentor me helped ease the otherwise steep learning curve.
Preparation: Gearing up for success
Ideate away(From left to right: Linus, Jessica and Vladimir)
Frank Fridays and many additional late nights after office hours were spent together working on our project. None of us would forget mapping out the entire Education landscape in detail on any and every whiteboard we could find in The Open Vault, identifying pain points and golden opportunities. Debates were common but at least this prevented us from engaging in groupthink and falling prey to the temptation to settle for a sub-par problem statement. Brainstorming for our solutions and finalising our presentation deck was like a test of our creativity, giving us a glimpse into life as an entrepreneur.
Learning beyond the red campus walls(From left to right: Jia En, Jessica, Wei Ling, Linus, Eugene and Vladimir)
With the help of our mentors who connected us with their network, we managed to secure interviews with subject matter experts in the education industry. On top of practicing the art of interviewing by using Carmen’s recommended five whys approach, we learnt to harness the power of digitalisation through crash courses by Adobe. We were exposed to the wonders of its tools, handy for prototyping our final proposed solution and using data to purposefully drive businesses.
Perfecting the Presentation(From left to right: Linus, Eugene, Vladimir, Jessica, Weil Ling and Jia En)
Head of OCBC Learning and Development, Aye Wee, taught us frameworks to keep our pitch concise and to engage with our audience. To test our ideas, Head of Ecosystems, Keisuke and Vice President of Group Marketing Family Segment, Sharon, also took time off their busy schedules to help close our knowledge gaps. Jewel V also attended the OCBC 2018 Graduate Talent Programme (GTP) Shark Tank. Watching our “seniors” enthusiastically present their team’s mind blowing beyond banking solutions spurred us to further refine our pitch deck.
Pay Off: Enjoying the fruits of our labour(From left to right: Jessica, Eugene, Wei Ling, Linus, Jia En and Vladimir)
Counting down the days left to the finale night, the pressure to nail down the details that would bring us to victory has never felt more real. This was our one-shot to wow the senior management of OCBC and friends on the judging panel, as well as our very own supervisors. Being selected the very first speaker of the first presenting team, I experienced rushes of nervous excitement, knowing that it was up to me to set the tone and impress the sharks in the first seven seconds. Jewel V’s goal? Leave everyone in admiration of our business idea: TAIDUO, our one-stop platform that helps parents discover their child’s interest, unleash their child’s fullest potential and give them the assurance that they are doing the right thing.
Having presented a coherent deck that not only explained our education ecosystem with extreme clarity but injecting a story that touched the hearts of our intended target audience, Jewel V took home the champion title for this 2019 Grand Showcase, along with another $500 tucked into our pockets. The real prize, however, was knowing we made our mentor proud. It was the least we could do to repay Carmen for being our guiding star in the project. Jewel V wishes to use this opportunity to thank each and every colleague in OCBC who encouraged us along this journey of professional development and growth.
Piecing together this positive experience(From top left to bottom right: Jessica, Vladimir, Jia En, Linus, Carmen, Ryan, Wei Ling and Eugene)
Saying that I am happy to be a part of the FRANKpreneurship would not cut it. I’m immensely grateful to work alongside motivated interns and colleagues, in a company that embraces creativity and encourages employees to think out of the box. This two-in-one internship has truly challenged me in terms of time management and thinking more critically. These lessons learnt from these sixteen weeks will last a lifetime and I hope that the friendships forged over this memorable summer will continue to blossom. It is without a doubt that I am in anticipation of what else OCBC has to offer when I come back as a Graduate Talent of 2020!