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Citi Singapore finalising revamped internships. ‘Video coffee chats’ a possibility

Citi in Singapore is currently developing plans to provide virtual training, work assignments and networking events for its summer interns. As we reported earlier this month, Citi has promised that interns in Singapore, Hong Kong, New York, London and Tokyo will receive full-time analyst jobs upon graduation as long as they meet “minimum requirements”.

The US bank is now “finalising” these requirements as well as the overall structure of its intern programme, which starts on 6 July and involves 76 people in Singapore, says Jorge Osorio, head of human resources at Citi in Singapore.

Osorio says Citi’s approach to internships is “different and more straightforward” in these “unprecedented times”. But the interns will be assessed twice, suggesting they won’t get an entirely free pass into a full-time role. “The requirements will be based on the intern’s performance during the programme as well as the evaluations from the division they are assigned to,” Osorio tells us.

He dismissed the suggestion that Citi’s early offer of graduate jobs to the 2020 interns might diminish the quality of next year’s analyst intake, adding that the interns were already “high calibre” because they have gone through a tough selection process to be offered a summer role. “From recruiting at carefully chosen schools to extensive interviews and careful placement decisions, and with a strong focus on diversity, much work goes into selecting a high-calibre cohort,” says Osorio.

Citi’s Singapore internships, which were originally scheduled to last 10 to 12 weeks, have been shorten to five weeks, but the interns will still received their full salaries. Although Singapore’s circuit breaker restrictions are currently due to end on 1 June, it’s possible that they may be extended, and social distancing laws of some sort will almost certainly still be in place in early July when Citi’s internships kick off.

The bank is considering various ways of conducting all or some aspects of the programme online. “Possibilities being explored include video online coffee chats with department heads, regular catch-ups between interns and their supervisors, regular virtual gatherings amongst interns, group projects, online training (comprising content such as soft skills as well as technical topics), and online town halls catered specifically for interns,” says Osorio.

If you want to perform particularly well during a Citi internship this year, you should try to show that you can cope with the pressure of working during challenging market conditions. “During these internships, among other attributes, we look for individuals who are adaptable, flexible and agile. These times, and changes in the programme provide us a unique opportunity to assess these characteristics in our interns,” says Osorio.

More than 80% of the interns are penultimate year students from local universities, including Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore, Singapore Management University, and Singapore University of Technology and Design. The rest are Singaporeans currently pursuing their undergraduate degree overseas.

Osorio says the job guarantee “removes the uncertainly around their future as they are joining the workforce during an incredibly challenging time”.

The 76 students will be attached to one of eight of Citi business or technology divisions: banking, capital markets and advisory; Citi Commercial Bank; Citi Private Bank; Global Consumer Banking; International Personal Bank; Markets and Securities Services; Operations and Technology; or Treasury and Trade Solutions.

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AUTHORSimon Mortlock Content Manager

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