Financial institutions continue to offer internships, jobs

The initiative will benefit 76 interns. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Financial institutions are continuing to offer internships and jobs to tertiary students amid the coronavirus crisis to help graduates find employment in this difficult economic landscape.

These initiatives go beyond government-led efforts such as the paid traineeships scheme that was announced last month.

An initiative from Citi Singapore involves offering all its summer interns full-time analyst roles when they graduate as long as they meet certain minimum requirements.

The move, aimed at supporting fresh graduates during the pandemic, will benefit 76 interns.

Around 80 per cent of them are in their penultimate year at local institutes, including Nanyang Technological University, the National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore Management University and the Singapore University of Technology and Design. The rest are Singaporeans pursuing undergraduate degrees overseas.

The interns will be attached to any one of eight business or technology divisions at Citi Singapore.

Citi internships typically begin on June 1, but the programme will be delayed to July 6 and shortened to five weeks due to the pandemic, while some parts may be delivered virtually. The attachment usually lasts for 10 to 12 weeks, depending on the division the student is interning at.

"We understand that students rely on internships for income, on-the-job skills development and professional networking opportunities," said Citi Singapore human resources head Jorge Osorio. "Committing to offer a full-time role to all our summer interns in this difficult environment... is a testament to our commitment to the communities in which we live and work."

Ms Tay Kar Hwee, 24, an undergraduate in electrical and computer engineering at NUS, is joining Citi Singapore as a technology intern.

"When Covid-19 hit, several of my schoolmates had their internships withdrawn and I was concerned that it would happen to me, which would affect my job prospects," she said. "The good news is that we will all be offered a job upon graduation as long as the minimum requirements are met."

OCBC Bank also offers internship programmes to aspiring entrepreneurs, undergraduates and postgraduates that give them the chance to enter the bank's graduate talent programme or get full-time jobs.

A spokesman for DBS Bank said it continues to offer internship opportunities to students keen on getting a career head start with the company. "Beyond internships, DBS also continues to hire fresh graduates for our graduate associate programmes," he added.

Mr Max Loh, Ernst & Young managing partner for Singapore and Brunei, said: "Internships are an integral part of our graduate hiring strategy and, notwithstanding the current business challenges, we remain committed to our internship programme in terms of onboarding and numbers.

"A key component of our internship programme is the opportunity for interns to earn a priority offer to join us upon graduation and we are going to continue leveraging this to... augment our talent pool."

United Overseas Bank head of group human resources Dean Tong said the bank is also committed to creating opportunities for the next generation of talent in the industry through its management associate programme, which expanded from 32 graduates in 2018 to 48 last year.

"Through a partnership with the Institute of Banking and Finance and Workforce Singapore, we also plan to offer on-the-job training to more than 100 new graduates for a period of six to 12 months, with the option of converting them to full-time employees should they fulfil the requirements of the programme," he said.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 24, 2020, with the headline Financial institutions continue to offer internships, jobs. Subscribe