KBC Bank Summer Internship: Winners' Experiences
For the third year running, the Enactus and KBC Bank internship is back! We spoke to some of last years winners who recount their application experience, share their favourite parts of the internship and provide some top tips for applying this year!
Nicholas Neary – Enactus DIT
‘For me, the most enjoyable aspect of the KBC Bank internship process was meeting the other intern applicants, the KBC Bank staff and Enactus Ireland team. It was very exciting meeting everyone involved in the KBC Bank internship programme and it was clear to see that the bank has a very strong employee community. It was very refreshing to experience such an open and friendly working environment and I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience. The day began with a series of fun and engaging team building exercises, which really encouraged myself and the other students to work together, brainstorming ideas and thinking outside of the box in order to complete the tasks quickly and efficiently. It was very enjoyable and really allowed us to bond quickly as a group. I really enjoyed the individual interview process as it was a good experience being able to talk about my achievements, strengths and passions. We also got the chance to openly discuss what I can offer KBC and what KBC can offer me as an innovative second year university student. The interview was informal and really encouraged free flowing conversations. Questions surrounding my personal qualities and key achievements prompted interesting conversations. Other key topics of interest were ‘Have I ever dealt with a difficult situation?’, ‘Have I ever had an opportunity like an internship elsewhere?’ and ‘Why do I wish to get an internship with KBC Bank?’ Presenting my digitally-led service in front of the KBC panel was certainly a nerve racking experience. However, it is a great learning experience and definitely a great confidence booster. I really enjoyed experiencing the world of business from the perspective of KBC Bank, integrating with each of the teams, employees and interns as well as establishing great relationships with the KBC community. Overall, it was a fantastic opportunity to gain knowledge and critical insights from various departments into how KBC Bank operate. My top tip for people applying this year is to do extensive research on KBC’s sustainability pillars as you will need to know about them when creating your idea and going through the interview process.
Emily Duffy – Enactus UCC
‘When I saw the internship with Enactus and KBC Bank partnered together, I knew I had to apply! I was adamant coming into college that I would find work experience in my field that would not only help me advance in my degree but find a company that have the same core values and passion for social entrepreneurship that I do. It was a big ask as internships are hard to find, but with KBC Bank I found the perfect mix. The application process was different from any other which I had encountered as it asked for us to come up with a digital led solution for KBC Bank under their sustainability pillars. I loved this part of the application process as it allowed me to be creative with my idea and my pitch. It was clear to me that KBC value innovation and creativity, two things I find extremely enjoyable. It was at this point I knew that the KBC internship wasn’t going to be an ordinary internship. The day of the interview, I was simultaneously nervous and excited but as soon as I arrived at the banks headquarters in Dublin and got to talk with other candidates and staff of KBC, my nerves subsided. Everyone was extremely welcoming and keen to listen to our ideas. The day was sectioned into three parts; the individual interviews, the group interviews and the pitches. It was a challenging day full of interesting conversations and I enjoyed every minute of it. While the day was jam packed, we still had the opportunity to familarise ourselves with KBC and its culture. The atmosphere in what I would have assumed was an intense work environment was quite relaxed and an emphasis was placed on cooperation and innovation. Looking back on the experience, I really would encourage students from all disciplines to apply as it really is an unique and amazing opportunity. My one piece of advice for anyone applying this year would be to have faith in your idea from the get-go. If you truly believe in your idea, this will come across in the application process!
Maria Bennett – Enactus UL
‘My experience with the KBC Bank internship is one that I will surely never forget. I was chosen to compete in the final round of the internship and was invited to KBC Banks headquarters in Dublin along with other students in the Enactus programme. The day began with us all being welcomed into the bank by the wonderful staff of KBC where all potential future interns finally got to meet and share our nerves and excitement together. My day started with my individual interview with Michelle and Eimear as they quizzed me about my time in Enactus and why I would like to join them in KBC. The interview was very relaxed and we have so many laughs not only in the interview but throughout the day. Next, was the team assessment as candidates broke into two groups, testing our team work skills. We hopped on “floating paper rocks” together and threw people overboard on our imaginary boat in the middle of the ocean continuing our day of laughter in KBC. All fun and games aside, when the afternoon came around, nerves started to kick in, what was playing in the back of our minds all morning was growing closer and closer, our pitches. Each candidate had the opportunity to pitch their idea of a digitally lead banking product to the staff in KBC, receiving on the spot feedback and questions. It sounds daunting but surprisingly this was my favourite part of the whole process. Being in a professional environment that encourages innovation and allows us students to bring our ideas to the table is rewarding and something to be thankful for! To say the staff of KBC were welcoming is an understatement, each person went above and beyond to make us all feel comfortable and prepared throughout the day. I had a fantastic summer with KBC Bank and my top tip for those applying this year is really put thought into your idea, because this is what landed me the internship!
Lungile Buthelezi – Enactus DIT
‘My internship interview experience at KBC Bank was enthralling to say the least. Not only was I taken aback by the organisation and execution of the whole day – which was perfectly tailored to students finding their way in the working world – but I was also fascinated and was completely taken by the working environment and the organisational “ohana” culture felt the second I entered the door, rushing in from the hussle and bussle of Dublin’s morning traffic. To get to the important part; we were each tasked with preparing a four minute business pitch of the sustainable, digitally-let ideas we had innovated for the bank. Putting the pitch together was relatively simple as I knew I had complete creative control, however presenting the pitch was quite a struggle as four minutes is quite a short time to get an idea across without leaving out anything important. The other part of the application process was an individual interview (as was expected) and a group work interview, which would have to be my favourite part as we all (aspiring interns) got a chance to form a friendship with each other and work together to solve simple tasks (i.e. marshmallow and spaghetti tower), but ones which individually taught us essential group work skills – how to find the best strategy while keeping a healthy group work relationship. Out of all, working with diverse people has been one of my favourite things about this internship! To be frank, I have always viewed banks as this scary money-handling institution, but that day, I knew I had walked into something else entirely. Not to be corny, but I found the bank of ‘me.’ My top tip for those applying this year is to really put time into your application as this is the first encounter KBC Bank staff will have of you and you want to make an impression!’
Would you like to be last years winners and intern with KBC Bank this summer? If so, click here for more information and apply now!
Closing date is Wednesday, February 20th, 2019.