ASB Graduate Diaries: Māori internship

25 August 2016 / Published in News & Stories

Applications are now open for current or recently graduated university students to apply for Whakakāngia tō umanga, ASB’s summer Māori internship programme.

We took the opportunity to chat to Tom Crosson and Tahana Tippett who both began their ASB journey on the Whakakāngia tō umanga programme last year and have both gone on to secure permanent positions at ASB.

What is the ASB Māori internship programme and how can people apply for the 2016 intake?

Tom: It’s a 10 week programme designed to give university students with Māori heritage experience in a corporate environment. You will be exposed to many aspects of the organisation and given opportunities to network and learn from true industry leaders. You can apply by submitting your application and CV through the ASB careers website.

What does Whakakāngia tō umanga mean?

Tom: It translates to kick-start your career – and that is exactly what this programme will do.

Why did you join the programme?

Tom: I wanted to get real-world experience within a corporate company whilst completing my Bachelor’s degree. I was also interested in gaining a more in-depth understanding of the banking industry and the different areas within a commercial bank.

What’s the most important thing you got out of the summer internship programme?

Tahana: One of the most important things I learnt from the programme was how important it is to have people skills. Basically, my managers taught me that having the right people skills and knowing how to interact with customers will really influence your professional development.

What does a typical day in a life of an ASB Whakakāngia tō umanga intern look like?

Tom: As an intern, there were no typical days. Each day was different and filled with new challenges and opportunities to learn. These included external client meetings, group projects, internal meetings, networking events and much more. Each of us was placed within a different business unit, so we were able to get some insight into other areas of the bank through regular meetings and catch-ups.

Did the internship open up your eyes to life in a corporate?

Tahana: It definitely gave me insight in to what you can expect within a corporate work life. ASB taught me how to work effectively with others to make constructive contributions. I also learnt how it’s important to work with other cultures and gain diverse perspectives within a professional setting.

What is the most fun thing you got to do on the internship programme?

Tahana: Just being able to spend three months with the ASB whanau culture – we are basically one big family.

Having been on the programme for eight weeks last summer – what words of wisdom do you have for the next cohort?

Tahana: Be very proactive; go and ask any of your team members if you can participate in any of their projects or help them complete a task. Try and attend as many customer meetings as possible and really focus on what questions your manager asks the customer and how they answer the customer’s questions.

What have you both gone on to achieve since you graduated from the programme in February 2016?

Tahana: I am now a personal banker at ASB Willis Street branch in Wellington, and I love it. The team I am a part of is amazing and really motivates me to be the best I can be.

Tom: Following my internship I secured a permanent role in Global Transaction Banking. I have now been in the role for six months and am really excited for what the future will bring. I was also given the opportunity to represent my graduating cohort at AUT as the graduation speaker in July of this year which I am extremely proud of.

Where to next for you both?

Tahana: My long term goal is to work effectively and efficiently within ASB. The culture and people I have experienced within the ASB head office has played a big impact on my own personal development and really influenced me to pursue a long term career with ASB. The team that I will be most interested in the future at ASB is the Māori Financial Solutions team. This is due to the fact that I was raised in a Māori cultural environment when I was younger and I am passionate about helping my people achieve their goals commercially. My Māori internship has also allowed me to increase my professional networks. I have met so many people from different roles and organisations; these networks have allowed me to refer business to the right specialists, and in return business is referred to me. Most importantly, ASB has given me confidence, knowledge, experience, technical skills, and taught me how to work in a professional and diverse team structure.

Tom: My short-term goal is to perform above and beyond what is expected of me in my current role. I want to work efficiently, be attentive and provide our customers with the best service I can. From a long-term perspective, I want to acquire, enhance and develop a diverse range of professional skills to place me in good stead for future opportunities. In particular, I would like to gain experience in other business units at ASB such as Retail and Business Banking, Corporate Strategy and Risk. 

Whakakāngia tō umanga

The programme begins 28th November 2016 and finishes mid-February.
Applications close 9th September.
Apply here.


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