‘Don’t fear the light that dwells deep within’
Its been 115 days since I stepped into Stanbic IBTC Bank branch in Owerri as a blue intern, and in a few words I would be telling a story of my entire experience.
I remember stepping into the branch filled with nerves and having to ask questions about whom to meet concerning the induction conference call we were to have. Uncertainties and doubts crept in, but I knew how badly I wanted this and decided that nothing was going to take me back or alter my decision to stay.
In this short while, I learnt a couple of things which helped build me up as a person, and created a platform for me to adjust to the corporate world for future references. Top of the list would have to be Time management, as for the first couple of weeks I struggled with planning my time which left me very exhausted at the end of each week. Waking up very early every morning, coming home in the evenings; I thought ‘how was I going to cope with this?’. But as time went on, I began to allocate specific periods to undergo other personal interests and still deliver my best on the job.
Hardwork and dedication even though the most cliche words used are still a winner when it comes to attaining your goals. I learnt that you can get whatever you want but it depends on how badly you want it, and as long as you keep working towards it with consistency and passion, it’s going to come sooner that expected. Smart work is better work, because it saves you time seeing as the banking industry requires you to multitask on various targets set before you. You can do it at a go, but the key is to be meticulous, go through it over and over again, be articluate; know what to look out for. Think fast and correct mistakes immediately because if you procrastinate for even just a second, it becomes history and could result to a catastrophe.
When it comes to selling a product, give it all you have. It doesn’t matter how ordinary you might think it is, someone out there could be paying attention and develop interest as a result of your dedication to seeing that a potential customer receives maximum attention, with all questions answered. When it comes to anger, it is certain and inevitable especially when you’re in a position of service; the most reliable way to get over this occasional weakness which comes in as anger and irritation is to apologize, and shut it down. If possible, just stay away for few seconds and speak to yourself, find a way to seek peace on every situation, attain emotional intelligence and understand that it is you both against the problem and not you against the other person.
The blue internship program exposed parts of myself I never knew existed. I realized that I could adjust to anything and anywhere as long as I put my mind to creating the best out of any scenario. I learnt to never say no, as my line manager would say ‘Just try, anyhow’, I believed those words and consistently sort to find a way out of every situation. During the duration I was able to work through the various departments from the sales which was my first area of development which involved learning the various account packages we had, assisting customers to fill their packages, ensuring they were KYC compliant, selling the right product and answering all questions regarding account opening and their benefits. After about 3 weeks or more, I moved on to the customer service desk where I observed as our customer service reps attended to customers and while one of them was on vacation, I took over attending to customer’s request, answering their questions, guiding them when they have difficulties and challenges, and onboarding new customers on internet banking which was my major role with a target given to me by my line manager.
Initially, it seemed like a huge task to me as I knew how much anxiety people experience when they were put under pressure to deliver a certain set goal. But this time, it pushed me and made me create my own strategies to reaching my target. This included doing a meet-and-greet, randomly starting up conversations with customers so I could sell our Digital banking products to them which on a normal day would have been very awkward to me. I would admit that it was strange for me at first, but in a couple of days, I had well adjusted and did it with a lot more confidence and results were evidence.
I shuffled between the back office and the banking hall to understand how things worked behind the scenes, I asked questions concerning the ATM, how to log request etc. and even went on a monitoring exercise alongside my colleagues.
On the 20th of September, I initiated an invite for Stanbic IBTC Bank Owerri to speak on International Trade at an event by the FUTO Business Club which for the purpose of fostering a relationship with them for future purposes.
I also had a media chat on the same club on the various Investment packages available at Stanbic IBTC and so far had gotten a lot of positive responses from people interested in the Mutual Funds and opening accounts with us.
My highlight of the programme was seeing the smiles on the faces of customers after their requests were granted or they were given assurance, the feedbacks I got when I suggested an alternative to them when they had challenges, the replies I got when I texted them their account numbers immediately they were opened, the sigh of relief when I tell them their issue has been resolved, the joy they feel as they bade me goodbye happily, seeing as their day has made. These were my best moments and I would do it over again to make sure that I am part of a group that delivers on expectations. Stanbic IBTC Bank gave me my first shot, and believed in me at a time when I didn’t feel so optimistic.
To all my Oga’s and Madam’s in the office, since there are no ‘Sir’s’ or ‘Ma’s’ allowed, to everyone at Stanbic IBTC BankOwerri Branch who opens up their arms and accepted me, and treated me as their little sister, always willing to answer my questions and give a lending hand, to the entire group, to Ayodele and Oreoluwa whom I am going to miss their ‘Dear Blue Intern’ mails. Thank you. For helping me discover myself. Thank you.