ASB Graduate Diaries: Novia Ng

10 September 2014 / Published in News & Stories

Novia Ng is seven months into her two year journey through the Payments stream in the Future Me Graduate Programme. Novia shares her experiences as she progresses through the programme.

I often wonder how I ended up here at ASB.  Working under the Technology and Innovation umbrella for a bank is about as far as you can get for a law and arts student. Never did I think I would be working shoulder-to-shoulder with project managers, business analysts and more excitingly, with the latest payments gadgets and technology. I’ve realised you don’t need to have studied banking, finance or accounting to work at a bank. ASB isn’t all about numbers and margins; there are opportunities across a diverse range of sectors. Of course, I didn’t know this when I started back in February. To be honest, I didn’t really know what to anticipate for my first day at ASB’s North Wharf.

I didn’t expect to be meeting the CEO on my first day at a new job, but there we were, 17 fresh graduates listening to Barbara Chapman first thing on Monday morning. She gave us a glimpse into her life as CEO and some sound advice to make the most of our time on the programme. The rest of Welcome Week was filled with talks from the Executive Leadership Team (general managers who report to the CEO), learning about how the bank is run, as well as a couple of social events thrown into the mix. It was a great way for us to learn about the bank and for the group to get to know each other before being dispersed to different areas of the business, all around the country.

After Welcome Week, it was time to get stuck into the world of Payments. ‘Payments’ is a hard term to define and so what I do as the Payments Grad is not exactly easy to pin down. Basically, Payments encompasses any area that touches on how money is moved. Within the bank, this involves everything from dealing with techie hardware stuff like infrastructure maintenance to legal stuff like compliance with the Reserve Bank.

My first rotation in Project Delivery, however, has nothing to do with either infrastructure or compliance; instead I get to play with some of ASB’s coolest new toys, including ASB PayTag. As a part of the team running the internal pilot for ASB PayTag, I got right into the middle of it, creating feedback channels, drafting internal communication documents and monitoring real-life reactions from users while working with business units from across the bank. It’s probably a bit concerning how enthusiastic I have become about this product.

In addition to project work, I’ve been lucky enough to sit in on a couple of strategy meetings which have given me incredible insight into the discussions, issues and opportunities that the bank faces in the Payments space. My manager has also been incredibly encouraging when it comes to learning more about the world of Payments. I have had some fascinating discussions with teams from around the bank, allowing me to both learn and network.

The great thing about the FutureMe programme is that you aren’t on your own starting out at the bank. As well as those in our own cohort, we are connected to the older grads and alumni. I turn to these guys when I need to answer questions like “Is it okay to wear your Vans to casual Friday?” or “How do you book a meeting room?”.

As I spend more time at the bank, I realise I’m only beginning to grasp the basics about how ASB operates. It’s been an insightful, challenging and rewarding first few months in Project Delivery. My next rotation is my customer-facing rotation, Transaction Banking – a completely different area to Projects. I’m excited to see what my next stop can teach me about the banking world.

If you’d like to join ASB’s Future Me programme you can apply here.


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