Emily HL Wong is what you would describe as someone with a myriad of skills and experience. She started her career with a prestigious learning institution in Australia before making the switch to a media company in Singapore. Then, she made a career change to be a HR practitioner in the financial industry before landing her role in Alliance Bank Malaysia as the Senior Vice-President Head, Organisational Development & Learning. In HR, Emily possesses extensive experience in education, talent management and development, including designing, managing and facilitating leadership development programmes. As a certified Accelerated Strengths Coach as well as an Instructional Systems Designer, she continues to transform the talent development and learning landscape by focusing on promoting leadership excellence, culture change and generating a strengths-based culture at work.
Which is why when it comes to fresh graduates looking to expand their skill sets and experience, she highly recommends the Alliance Bank Management Trainee (MT) Programme as an induction programme to gain relevant work experience and leadership skills in the financial services sector.
“Since 2012, more than 230 management trainees have graduated from this 12-month programme. It adopts a pragmatic, impactful long-term learning approach, focusing on ‘adding value’ for the graduate employee be it through structured classroom learning, business attachments and projects, ad-hoc leaders talk-shops on relevant business issues of the day, corporate responsibility programmes, or employee appreciation and networking get-togethers. This is to help equip our management trainees with the prerequisite knowledge and skills to take on future leadership roles. Upon completing the programme, we match the management trainee’s interest to the business where they will be assigned to,” shares Wong.
Talent can expect an intense and immersive programme that will provide them with a vital stepping stone to begin their banking careers. “Our enhanced learning and development initiatives are based on five Key Learning Priorities: A systematic way of approaching customers, harnessing digital to improve customer value proposition and scale up, leveraging technology to streamline processes, managers enabling their teams to succeed, and embedding strong governance,” says Wong.
Additionally, the programme undergoes continuous reviews to ensure it is in line with what’s necessary in the current industry environment. “We continuously improve our MT programme to include relevant subjects such as the Industrial Revolution 4.0, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotic Process Automation, in addition to essential modules of leadership, presentation, six sigma, and project management. In May 2022, we welcomed 13 graduates to the 10th cohort where they learn new subjects including ESG and Sustainable Financing, Developing Business Acumen , and Data to Business Story. Our MTs are also given the opportunity to participate in transformational projects that fast-track their career into leadership or specialist roles. They are expected to collaborate within their own teams for various assignments and projects, and work with peers of similar calibre in teams with cross functionality, as well as with external business partners,” says Wong.
THE RIGHT CANDIDATE
With all the opportunities the programme offers, needless to say Alliance Bank is on the lookout for candidates who check the boxes for excellence. “The candidate must be creative, passionate, and resilient when it comes to tackling challenges,” says Wong. In terms of qualifications, the programme is open to graduates with a Bachelor’s Degree with a CGPA 3.0 and above, or Master's Degree from any discipline, and with not more than two years of working experience.
Even if you are not from a finance background, you are encouraged to apply as the bank believes that individuals with different backgrounds and specialisations can add another perspective to existing banking business models and value chain. Additional qualities Wong says will help you stand out against other applications are to have an open mind and a positive attitude towards learning.
Ng Yung Sheen, who was MT in 2018, agrees that the programme has provided her with a wealth of experience and knowledge. “I had the opportunity to grow and learn about the banking industry. The programme is a holistic learning platform, enabling finance and non-finance graduates to develop into professionals. The biggest perk? The training and networking opportunities provided. We completed one month of intensive soft skill training, like design-thinking courses. Apart from that, we were also given the opportunity to meet and connect with managers and leaders to pick their brains on the latest banking trends, or even what they do in their spare time! One of the important lessons I learnt is to commit to excellence. The outcome of the work you do is a direct reflection of your attitude. It is definitely a key behaviour to help me excel in my career,” shares Ng.