Bhavan Sarpal A/L Pardeep Kumar
Global Maybank Apprentice Programme
Like there are two sides to every coin, it’s always a tough choice for fresh graduates to decide on where to begin their career. With the advent of FinTech and start-ups, we mull over: would going to non-banks be more exciting and challenging, or should we go to a prominent financial institution for the chance to climb the corporate ladder? To me, joining a corporation like Maybank made more sense because of the depth and steady opportunities to learn, its regional presence and more possibilities to network. Corporations today are also embracing digital trends and flexible working, and the opportunity for employees to push boundaries and explore – all in a responsible way, of course. So, if one is up for a challenge supported by future-ready infrastructure, go corporate.
Into the company
I was a finalist of "Maybank GO Ahead. Challenge", an international, multidimensional case competition that tests undergraduates’ competencies including strategy, behaviour, corporate responsibility and general knowledge. At the end of the challenge, candidates who exuded and demonstrated a strong balance between leadership, intellect and teamwork, were offered to join the Global Maybank Apprentice Programme, a two-year rotational programme that offers best-in-class development, incorporating on-thejob training and an international assignment to offices where Maybank has a presence. It also allows graduates to design their career based on their interest and personal preference. I was fortunate enough to receive the offer, which I then gladly accepted.
As part of my rotation in the Group Digital & Strategic Alliance department, my daily tasks include researching on global digital & technological trends to preparing research decks for the Group President & CEO of Maybank. There are also times where we are required to meet and discuss collaboration opportunities with local and global FinTech. This can get very exciting especially since ASEAN is the hotbed of FinTech innovation. Other tasks include recommending how to digitise Maybank’s presence in other ASEAN countries and strategising Maybank’s digital journey moving forward. Not a day goes by without me learning something new.
One soft skill that I feel is really important is the ability to articulate your message in a clear and concise manner including your personal thoughts as it shows confidence in your knowledge. Being able to justify it is also a good complementing skill. Another skill I’ve learnt and gained, is that whenever you have a problem at work, it is always important to frame that problem in a positive manner and be more proactive by recommending possible solutions.
Then and now
To me it’s more on reprioritising my to-do list to ensure I can stay productive at work because as a working adult, you spend a lot of time at the office, and travelling to and from work. Hence, before joining the workforce, I made small efforts to better manage my time and priorities. In terms of projecting the image of a working adult, I am actually glad Maybank encourages a smart-casual, modern way of dressing at work. This goes to enabling an agile and adaptive mind. So, I can still wear my collared T-shirts and jeans to office, which used to be my uniform when I was a student. And this reminds me that learning is a life-long journey.
Culture: ★★★★★ 100%
Work-life balance: ★★★★★ 100%
Travel opportunities: ★★★★★ 100%
Professional development: ★★★★★ 100%
Personal growth: ★★★★★ 100%