Candidates are the cream of the crop
Candidates chosen for Standard Chartered Bank's prestigious International Graduate (IG) programme conform to no particular stereotype, but they definitely have one thing in common.
'We are looking for stars,' says Belinda Chan, senior resourcing manager for the bank's human resources division. 'Everyone has a chance, but we want to find the cream of the crop, people who have clear goals and are keen to develop a career in international banking.'
About 250 places are available every year, with 25 of them reserved for graduates in Hong Kong. Some will have studied locally, others have completed a degree overseas, and this mix of backgrounds and experience ensures a diverse, multicultural outlook among each incoming group.
The programme allows recruits to choose a path in consumer banking, wholesale banking or specialist functions, such as human resources, finance or corporate real estate. Over two years, they complete a series of rotations to gain on-the-job experience in frontline and back-office roles, combining this with formal academic training and the chance to work towards a professional qualification.
Chan emphasises that the programme is well structured, but by no means rigid. The bank's philosophy recognises that success depends on helping employees get the very best from themselves. Therefore, the aim is to create opportunities, build strengths and discover passions by listening to individuals and accommodating their interests. 'We modify things from year to year as the world changes and as the bank changes. We are always looking to improve and adapt to reflect the needs of graduates from around the world and the expectations of Generation Y,' she says.
To highlight this, the programme now bears a new tagline - 'learn faster, go further, contribute more' - to stress that career development and opportunities for advancement go hand in hand with giving something back. All-round training should also encourage a wider sense of responsibility. 'The bank invests a lot in people selected for the IG programme, and we want them to give back as well,' Chan says.
'We hope they will get involved in our volunteer committees and activities and play a full part in the broader community.'
Regarding the application process, she notes that interviews for entry in August 2011 have already started. Candidates should be ready for online tests of basic aptitude and numerical reasoning followed by various HR and business interviews.
'Anyone who is interested should move now,' Chan says. 'The sooner they apply, the earlier the interview; we process applications as they come in.'