Ms Heng and Mr Chua enjoy the nurturing environment of OCBC’s fresh graduate and postgraduate programmes. PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Learning on the job

UPON graduating from Nanyang Technological University with a bachelor’s degree in computer science last year, Mr Ben Chua sought a job with a good work culture that encouraged learning and development.

In July last year, he found what he wanted in OCBC, when he joined the bank to be trained as a system analyst in group operations and technology.

“OCBC puts a lot of emphasis on developing its employees, and I believe that continuous upgrading is key for fresh graduates,” he says.

At Singapore’s longest established bank, a supportive and inclusive work culture is championed, with continual innovation and learning as its cornerstones. OCBC’s many fresh graduate and postgraduate programmes also invite young and promising talent to contribute to its dynamic environment.

Mr Chua, 26, joined the bank through OCBC’s Young Bankers programme — a year-long exercise consisting of industry orientation, extensive training and mentoring to prepare trainees for a specific role within the organisation.

“The training sessions varied from helping us build strong banking foundations to cultivating interpersonal skills,” he says. He adds that his programme mentors were helpful in providing unbiased opinions and offering insights into the bank’s practices, which accelerated his learning process.

The programme’s rotation plans also encouraged Mr Chua to adapt to new environments quickly and work with colleagues from different divisions. “The programme helped me to develop very niche skill sets in the banking domain, and strong interpersonal skills to interact with different people in a short period of time.

“It has provided a good foundation and many learning opportunities for a fresh graduate like myself,” he adds.

Nurturing environment

Ms Heng Min Yuan was similarly heartened to discover OCBC’s collaborative and nurturing environment when she came on board as part of its Post Graduate Management Associate Programme (PGMAP) at the beginning of this year.

Spanning 18 months, the OCBC PGMAP equips its trainees with banking knowledge and soft skills through on-the-job learning experiences and mentorship.

As an aspiring risk manager, Ms Heng, who graduated from Boston’s Brandeis University with a Master of Science, was drawn to the PGMAP for its division-specific training, particularly the opportunity to rotate among the departments of OCBC’s Group Risk Management Division.

“As someone who is new to risk management, I wanted to focus on learning within the division to see how the cogs turn in the risk management function of a bank,” she says.

Guided by a mentor who has put forward development opportunities and helped to widen her network, she has also been encouraged in her personal and professional growth.

Once a timid public speaker, Ms Heng has overcome this limitation. She hosted the bank’s Women@ OCBC event in March, which has afforded her a new confidence, as well as a slew of other public-speaking opportunities.

She says: “I feel excited that I am constantly given challenging tasks by my peers and superiors because these are excellent learning experiences.” She is also happy to know that she is on the right track.

“The PGMAP offers a good grasp of OCBC’s businesses as well as the chance to interact with interesting and experienced individuals. “If I were given the chance to choose again, this is still where I want to be,” she says.