Growing through the Graduate Talent Programme
2019 marks Cheng Keong's fifth year with the Management Reporting, Planning & Analysis (MRPA) department within Group Finance. With his eyes set on joining the banking industry and hoping to apply what he had learned in Nanyang Business School, this accountancy graduate began his career journey as a Graduate Talent (GT) under OCBC's Graduate Talent Programme (GTP), then known as The Young Bankers Programme.
The GTP interview process
Among all the management associate programmes available in the job market, OCBC's GTP caught Cheng Keong's eyes. Why? He loved that he could apply directly to a division of his choice, while still having opportunities to rotate within the bank. The certainty of joining a department he desired was a strong motivator.
Cheng Keong's career with OCBC started with a resume submission and video interview. Selected out of thousands of applications, he was interviewed by a Human Resource representative, followed by a panel interview with the Head of Departments within Group Finance. Finally, he was seated face to face with the Bank's Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for his final interview. Today, he sits on the 28 th level of OCBC Centre with the rest of his finance counterparts.
Apart from stress being the common denominator during the interview process, Cheng Keong noticed that there was a genuine interest in getting to know him better as a person, and he was asked questions that were meant to assess if he was a right fit for the company's culture. At OCBC, the family culture is strong. Like a piece in a puzzle, Cheng Keong fit right in.
Finding a place in Management Reporting, Planning & Analysis
One year, three rotations and countless learning takeaways. From capital adequacy reporting, group financial reporting to finally planning and analysis, Cheng Keong has covered them all. These purposeful rotations have given him the exposure and experience he needed to better contribute in his role within MRPA Planning and Methodologies, an almost ten-people strong team within the MRPA department.
Cheng Keong's day to day work involves performing value-added analyses that support business decision making for the bank. His work also includes the review of the Group's management accounting policies to cater for new requirements, products and management initiatives. To date, he has assisted in the coordination of the Group's annual budgeting process and multi-year planning exercise, as well as facilitated the preparation of the Group's financial forecasts for the Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP).
More than colleagues, more like a family
Being in the Bank is never just about work, and Cheng Keong had opportunities to learn off the job. From planning events like the Dinner and Dance and several others for the division, to learning to play in a band with colleagues, Cheng Keong's experience with the Group Finance Taskforce was indeed a memorable one. It is true, planning and organising such events do require team members to pull longer hours. However, it was through these shared experiences that memories were created, and friendships were forged. Being surrounded by colleagues who turned into friends, who are fun and supportive, is what propels Cheng Keong forward.
When asked about what advice he might have for fresh graduates embarking on their careers, Cheng Keong recommends joining a holistic programme that allows broad-based exposure to the business, and opportunities to form strong relationships with peers. Mastery begins with humility and true knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing, and that is how Cheng Keong has emptied his cup and kept learning.