We thoroughly enjoyed the 16 weeks of interactions with these smart interns at OCBC Bank
In mid-May, when I first stepped into the room with the group of 30 smart people of roughly my age, I was actually not sure what I could do to help them.
These are the FRANKpreneurs, interns from OCBC whom we will mentor, together with industry veterans from the bank, over a period of 16 weeks to build business models based on themes.
All of them are young, smart, and eager to learn/perform. You could also see anxiety and uncertainty on some of their faces. That reminds me about more than a year ago when I first stepped out of university and immediately jumped into the craziness of Momentum Works.
On the second day, some groups already faced their first frustration. Identifying and solving a real-world problem is different from any school exercise – 16 weeks sounds like a comfortable timeframe, not when you are stuck with your first step.
I saw heated arguments, stubbornness, and even some tears.
What I had expected (but was not sure) was how fast most of them can work around the initial challenges, and start to improve drastically. It is also good to see the bond build amongst FRANKpreneurs, and between FRANKpreneurs and mentors.
New challenges kept coming – throughout the program, some groups went into a few dead ends, and had to pivot their business models; some groups were severely challenged by the soft sharks in the soft shark tank, as well as judges in the experience day.
By the time we organized a sharing session before the final showcase, we already saw them transform – a group of confident, bonded true young entrepreneurs. Those who were stubborn in the beginning became better team players, and sometimes leaders; those who were a bit reserved opened up quite a bit and also became good team players.
On their final pitch in front of the bank management team and employees – it was, how do I describe it, impressive. The problem statement was to the point, and the solution precise. You feel a sense of satisfaction, especially when you have seen how they have worked their way from day 1 to this moment.
In fact, it was so difficult for the judges to deliberate that two teams (instead of one) were actually selected as winners.
We thoroughly enjoyed the process ourselves – it gives my (slightly) older colleagues an opportunity to interact with the young (and learn how to interact with them) as well.
We wish everyone all the best for the future.