Ten trail-blazing tertiary-level students in Barbados are moving on to another stage of their development with experience of not only working in the banking industry but of creating an application that can be used in a progressive corporate business.
The group participated in the ICE (Innovate, Create, Elevate) Summer Internship programme, which CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank piloted last year at its Barbados headquarters, but officially launched this year with an extension to The Bahamas and with plans for further regional reach, next year.
The bank’s Senior Manager of Talent Development Tyneesha Watson described it as a distinctive programme pointing out that rather than being like the generic ones where interns worked at routine tasks, ICE gave talented millennials the opportunity to solve meaningful business issues.
In addition to their attachments to departments within the bank, during the six-week programme, the ten students were divided into two groups, Team People and Team Digital Banking Experience. Each group was given a special project that called on them to develop approaches for dealing effectively with a challenge facing the organisation and they were assigned project leaders on whose experience they could draw.
Team People, comprising Pascal Williams, Rayna Williams, Rashonda Hayde, Kiezel James and Aleah Weekes looked at how the organisation could optimize the employee on-boarding process. Their project leader was Khadijah Bourne and co-leader, Stephanie Blackman.
Team Digital Banking Experience made up of Joshua Wiggins, D’Shon Henry, Jonathan Williams, Ashley Gaskin and Andaiye Burrowes explored the use of Robotic Processing Automation in the banking industry. Their project leader was Fherry Gill while Chieron Lucas was the co-leader.
At the programme closing, the teams presented their solutions and were judged on ease of implementation, creativity and other criteria by Head of Human Resources, Carolyn Lewis, Chief Auditor, Carl Lewis, and Neil Matthews, Director, End User Technology, Communications and Support Services.
The judges complimented both groups and expressed amazement, that in such a short space of time, the interns understood so much about the bank’s process and had learnt so much about systems such as RPA. Team Digital Banking Experience was declared the winner and received $3,000 worth of Amazon shopping while Team People received $2,000 worth.
Watson, who was pleased with the outcome of the project, said she was also impressed with how much students grasped in six weeks. She added that she welcomed the inclusion of a people-related focus but was also impressed with the output of the technology students.