UniCredit Bank Banja Luka launched the fourth cycle of their Internship Program “First Big Chance”
The program is an opportunity for local students of Economics, Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Information Technology to gain their first practical business experience. For the first time, the programme was fully online.
This year students sent their applications by video, and spoke about their biggest achievements, strengths and weaknesses, and outlook for the future. Based on these video applications students were invited to take part in individual and group tasks at assessment centres, and to join online interviews.
Just 6 students were selected from 120 applicants and they started the internship programme at the beginning of February. Over the next three months the 6 students will have defined activities scheduled each day of the week. The cohort will have scheduled time for group projects, individual tasks as well as time with their mentors and educational sessions on various important topics. They will also have sessions with managers from different organisational units and, of course, coffee breaks to meet colleagues more informally.
“This year, COVID-19 has led us to leverage our digital channels to the maximum! All practical work takes place in a virtual environment with mentoring support and specific work on certain tasks. This is an unique opportunity for students to get acquainted with the banking business, gain practical knowledge and develop new skills. They are working together but also with other bank colleagues on assigned tasks. In addition to working on their specific tasks, students have daily educational activities that are interactive which will help them master the tasks and understand the organisational climate in our Bank,” said Anita Grabner, Head of HR at UniCredit Bank Banja Luka.
First impressions of students were even better than expected:
Tamara Vukobrat, one of the six participants of the First Big Chance Online.
“This programme gives me the opportunity to get acquainted with the organisational structure, values, culture and processes in the Bank. Our connections with mentors are great, the education topics are useful, and the manager sessions are interesting. We’ve all had a good, educational time every day of the programme,”
Darija Kojić, another participant of the First Big Chance Online.
“The First Big Chance Online exceeded my personal expectations. In addition to working with mentors, we have daily training with internal and external lecturers from various fields. Our mentors, and other lecturers, really pass on their knowledge to train us as quality workers. They also motivate us to work diligently, but smartly,”
Our goal for future years is to fully optimise the digital platform and to make this programme developmental for all parties – students, mentors, educators, managers and HR.