Nor Nabilah Natasha Binti Mohamad Rafiene had zero knowledge of the banking industry when she applied for an internship under Maybank’s Young Bankers Internship Programme (MYBIP). “With a background in corporate communications, I was not familiar with financial terms like remittance, liabilities and bancassurance,” confides Nabilah.
However, with the curiosity to learn and explore possibilities, she decided to apply for MYBIP after finding out about it through the on-campus open interview posters at, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM). In fact, Maybank had formed a strategic partnership with UUM aimed at developing the leaders of tomorrow. To commemorate the collaboration, the MYBIP was officially rolled-out at the university, giving UUM students the opportunity to be part of the programme before anyone else.
The programme features were so interesting that Nabilah decided to give it a shot. “I was intrigued that there were no minimum CGPA requirements and that anybody from any background could apply for the programme and be a full-fledged Personal Financial Advisor (PFA) upon graduating from it. The Bank will even provide us with the basic licenses that will allow us to sell financial instruments, all while we are still studying! The best part? All these perks came with no bond. This piqued my interest as it would give me an opportunity to try it out and see if I would be suitable for the role without any obligation to join the Bank,” says Nabilah.
She applied for the programme – which required her to go through an interview and an online psychometric test for shortlisted candidates – and was offered a spot. Nabilah not only discovered the banker in her but made an impression with her stellar performance. She managed to secure a total of RM60,000 in sales comprising fixed deposits and banca premiums while training at the branch.
The rest was history, as they say, or in the case for Nabilah, she was offered a job at Maybank which she promptly accepted.
GRADUAN speaks to the young banker to find out more about her experience with the programme and how it has given her the foundation for success.
Why did you decide to apply for a spot in MYBIP?
An internship placement in my final semester was a compulsory requirement for me to graduate. I browsed through the various online job portals, looking for available opportunities that would suit my career aspirations as an undergraduate majoring in corporate communications. I actually submitted four applications before applying for MYBIP. It was never in my plan to join a bank but that changed when I received a text from my Professor asking me to attend the interview session. According to him, even if I did not secure a placement, the session would be a good platform for me to experience how corporate organisations recruit their talents.
Tell us about the interview process.
On the day of the interview, I walked over to the venue, registered myself and submitted my resume. After a few minutes, I was called into one of the interview rooms. There, I was greeted by a young, professional-looking officer who gave me a warm smile. “This is not that nerve-wrecking,” I thought to myself, relaxing a little.
The officer then asked me to introduce myself. I took the opportunity to discuss about my strengths, trying to convince him that I was the one he was looking for to fill up the position. It was a shaky start but my confidence built up as I continued to tell him more about myself. I was also asked what I knew about Maybank and why I would want to be part of the Maybank family. I was really glad that I took some time to look up for some information about Maybank and its business prior to the interview. It was when I was answering those questions that I realised I would actually love to experience working in such a large and renowned organisation.
The interview lasted about 20 minutes and I noticed that there were many students still awaiting their turn. Less than a week after the interview, I was informed that I was shortlisted and would need to sit through an online aptitude test designed to test my numerical and verbal reasoning. Alhamdulillah, I passed the test and was then offered a place as a MYBIP intern.
What was the first week like?
My first day as a MYBIP intern saw me rolling in my luggage and checking-in at the Maybank Academy where I underwent a one-week induction programme with my fellow MYBIP interns, which was most insightful and fun. I had the chance to meet and bond with my fellow MYBIP batchmates, whilst improving my soft skills and self-confidence. I also attended several specially curated workshops which helped me understand the bank and its business a little better. It is amazing how Maybank actually weaves in the numerous learning objectives into interactive and fun activities – they actually had a live-sized board game!
We were also given insights into what it is like to be a PFA, providing us a clearer picture on what is expected once we move into our on-the-job (OTJ) training at any of the Maybank branches across Malaysia.
What was your training like? What did you learn?
I was attached to the Subang Jaya Maybank branch. During the course of my training, I was assigned a ‘buddy’ who is an experienced PFA to guide and mentor me. During my first week, I had some trouble understanding financial terms and abbreviations, banking processes and operation routines. Fortunately, I had a supportive buddy and equally encouraging colleagues who were more than happy to teach me. I also took the initiative to do my own research online after office hours. “Never stop learning” became my new motto.
During my training, I also had the opportunity to meet and deal with customers. It started off a bit rocky but my buddy was always there to assist and guide me where necessary. What I learnt in this area specifically is how the Bank adopts a very humanising approach to sales and marketing, emphasising an elevated customer experience, getting to really know the customers, their needs and demands. Customers are people after all, and the customer experience is really just a part of an individual's human experience. Over time, the lessons I learnt here helped boost my confidence, improved my communication and negotiation skills, and allowed me to learn to read non-verbal signs to better my approach.
What else was part of the programme? How did it help you understand your role as a PFA better?
After our first eight weeks at the branch, we then enrolled into a month-long classroom training at the Maybank Academy where we attended classes and workshops for more in-depth learning on customer experience, product knowledge, relationship selling and compliance. We also sat for our basic sales licenses during the period, which enabled us to actually sell financial instruments in our subsequent attachment.
What was the most interesting thing you discovered about yourself during the internship?
I never imagined I would actually intern in a bank, let alone join a sales internship programme. I was always convinced that sales was not for me and that no one in his/her right mind would ever buy anything from me. That changed after I had a “taste” of what being a salesperson is really like and now, I am loving every minute of it!
And now you’re a Maybanker! Congrats!
I received an offer letter to become a PFA at Maybank even before the completion of the MYBIP programme! In fact, more than 90% of us from the first batch are currently with the Bank. I am so thrilled and honoured to be part of this humanising bank.
What’s your biggest takeaway from the programme?
The experience during the programme has definitely changed my perception towards working as a salesperson. I am totally blessed to be given such an opportunity and would like to thank Maybank for providing us undergraduates with such a holistic platform to help us understand ourselves and the industry better.
Intrigued? Check out the awesome opportunities we have for you at maybankjobs.com!