From June to August 2017, students from various learning institutions, as well as two secondary school graduates, got firsthand experience at various careers in banking.
They were participants in CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank’s annual summer internship programme.
Ranging in age from 17 to 21, the fourteen Interns were drawn from learning institutions such as: HR Wise, Sir Arthur Lewis Community College – north and south divisions, St. Josephs Convent and the Castries Comprehensive Secondary school. Three males and eleven females took part.
They underwent a briefing / orientation session on the bank’s history, the importance of customer service excellence, dressing for the office, and the various ways in which the bank exemplifies its core corporate behaviours of collaboration, agility, integrity, ownership and urgency.
Throughout the programme, the interns garnered exposure and work experience within assigned units of the bank, namely the Customer Service Centre, Corporate Banking Centre, Insurance Unit, Merchant Services Unit and the Operations/Processing Centre.
Describing the experience as a “wonderful and prestigious opportunity”, Darlene Francis, who participated in the June to July intake noted in a thank you letter to the bank, that the internship gave a real world experience that gives full clarity to learning from the classroom.
“Every single day was productive, and an eye opener as I observed the manner in which the frontline personnel worked efficiently under pressure, multitask, and manage to maintain a positive attitude with customers who are uncooperative.”
The interns were matched with a branch of the bank in closest proximity to their community. As such CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Vieux Fort, Soufriere, Bridge Street and Rodney Bay branches played an active part in orienting the interns to the world of work.
Country Manager Ladesa James explained that the internship programme delivers on the bank’s commitment to supporting the development of our youth.
“Our approach is to go beyond the sponsorship of material needs, to creating pathways for personal and professional empowerment as well. It is not unusual for some interns to be engaged as permanent employees, if we identify extraordinary talent and potential for development.” Mrs. Williams concluded.
The CIBC FirstCaribbean Bank’s internship programme runs annually for approximately of twelve weeks, sometimes extending to September and October. Interns receive a weekly stipend to assist with their transportation to and from work, and meals.
The St. Lucia interns were part of an overall intake of close to 100 young people spread across the bank’s 17-member regional footprint that participated in its internship programme this summer.