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Treasure learning opportunities

Published on Thursday, 23 Jun 2011
Working together, ICBC (Asia) trainees have become colleagues – and friends for life.
Photo: Ricky Chung
Natalie Wong
Hiddie Chan
Ivan Yeung

NATALIE WONG majored in hotel management at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University's school of hotel and tourism management. She now works in retail banking at the Tsim Sha Tsui branch of ICBC (Asia).

How did the trainee programme help you prepare?  

The programme was comprehensive. All the instructors were experienced department heads at the bank. They taught us how to apply to our work what we have learned from the programme.

What kind of training have you received from the programme?  

It offers a lot, ranging from professional knowledge about the banking industry and banking regulations to sales techniques and ways to effectively communicate with customers.

What makes you happy at work?  

My greatest source of satisfaction is to build good relationship with customers. 

Any tips you can share with prospective management trainees?  

One should be prepared to sacrifice a lot to learn from work. As new joiners, we have to ask others whenever we find something we don't understand. We need to accumulate experiences and treasure every learning opportunity. We must persevere.  

What do you expect from your banking career? 

I believe there is a great deal of room for development in the industry. I will do my best in my role. I hope I can grow with the company and try different positions in the future.

A yen for quality customer service

HIDDIE CHAN studied accounting and finance at Cardiff University and now handles retail banking at ICBC (Asia) Sheung Wan branch.

What kind of training have you received from the programme?  

It has not only improved my knowledge of personal banking services but also helped me acquire the skills needed to improve my work. I met a number of interns my age. We learned together and supported each other. 

How has the programme helped you improve your performance? 

I not only learned various kinds of products and services but also received training on how to provide quality customer service. I also learned useful concepts, such as "customers come first", which allowed me to forge long-term relationships with customers and strengthen and expand our customer network effectively. 

What are the challenges and rewards of your work? 

I think that understanding customers' actual needs is a real challenge.

I have to listen to them and analyse their needs. I have a great sense of satisfaction when my customers find the products and services I recommended to them useful. 

Do you have any tips for graduates interested in joining the programme?  

Apart from taking exams for relevant professional qualifications, they should also update themselves on the latest products and services in the industry.

Taken by bright prospects

IVAN YEUNG studied in the department of risk management and finance of the University of Hong Kong. He joined ICBC Asia 11 months ago. 

Why did you choose a banking career? And why ICBC Asia?  

I chose the financial industry out of my personal interest. Banking is an integral part of the industry where changes take place every day. We also face many new challenges. I compared different types of banks in my job search. Then I learned that ICBC is one of the four biggest state-owned banks and has established itself as the largest bank in the world by market value within a few years. In addition, the mainland economy is undergoing fast growth. There must be vast opportunities for my career development. 

What kind of training have you received under the Management Trainee Programme?  

The programme consists of two parts - classes and field practices. Classes cover the organisation and operations of a bank, while field practices focus on retail banking. I developed a deeper understanding of the banking industry through training. I benefited a great deal from it. I still remember the days when I was attending classes and receiving internship with other trainees in the branch offices. We encouraged each other and built team spirit. Memories of this are still vivid. 

How is the programme helping you in your career development?  

I currently serve in the front line at the bank. My job covers a wide range of services, from personal wealth management and loans to business financing and commercial banking for small and medium-sized enterprises. During the training period, product managers gave us clear introductions, allowing me to understand features and advantages of different products. The training allowed me to sell the products even more effectively at branches. The managers and other experienced colleagues have also been kind enough to share with me their personal sales experiences, which would be invaluable to my career development in banking. 

What challenges do you face? 

As a frontline sales staff member, I face challenges every day, and I gain satisfaction from every one of them. It is a long and demanding process, from when I get acquainted with a customer to when we have established mutual trust. It is an invaluable experience which I treasure. 

What are your expectations? 

My present goal is to do well in my frontline customer service position. And I hope to try different tasks with other departments in the future to broaden my horizons. I look forward to an all-around career development in the banking industry.

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