As per the requirement of the Bachelor in commerce and economics course structure, I was obliged to undertake an industrial attachment at an organization of my choice for a period of eight weeks. This exercise was meant to enable me glamatise with work environment, exercise skills and knowledge acquired in university and gain more competence in my area of specialization. The application process begun as early as third year 2nd semester and I must say it was not an easy task because I can’t count the number of application I made through both letters and e-mail True to say, opportunities as it has been penned down knocks ones at every mans door or a woman’s door if I am allowed to appreciate gender parity.
If not so they come ones in a blue moon and as somebody with superior minds has advised, in order for one to acquire this rare ‘commodity’ he/she has to keep jumping and if any comes across in the process of jumping grasp it and capitalize on it.
I would link these wise words to be me being accorded an opportunity to work and exercise the skills and knowledge that I have acquired through the years I have been undertaking my under-graduate degree programme at the Institution of Global excellence in Training, innovation and development(JKUAT). As explicitly indicated in the cover page this rare opportunity was accorded to me by the Trans-National Bank Management. I began my industrial attachment on 13th of June 2011 to 26th of August 2011.
This translates to around ten weeks.
The first day basically involved an orientation programme where I was taken through the various departments in the bank and introduced to the staff members. The departments that I was taken through were customer care, clearing department, cash department, marketing department and credit department where I worked under the supervision of the branch manager Jacinta Ndolo and school based supervisor Dr. Margret Oloko. I must say that it was an exciting opportunity working in an organization which forms part of the pillars of the economy. In one way or another I knew I would extend my services in economic building while there. These may probably be evidenced in the duties that I will perform.
The main objectives of the attachment were as follows
Impact and allow the learner/ student glamatise with the work environment through partaking accorded roles and duties in the organization. This forms a good basis for their future placement in the work industry.
It acts as a measure where student or an individual can relate what has learnt and what is on the ground therefore becoming a gauge for his/her future success in the chosen field specialization. Beside what is learnt in the university, the student gets an opportunity to acquire more skills and knowledge. Gives an opportunity for an individual or the student practically exercise the theoretical part learnt in school or at the university. Attachment is like a pace setter for an individuals or the student future work. That is the student knows where to position him-self or her-self in the market. It also forms a good basis for the organization employee out-sourcing processes because from the interns they are able identify potential future employees for the organization. Instill courage and sense of responsibility in the students even as they purpose to seek job opportunities in future
General description of the organization and the departments where attached.
Trans-national Bank always abbreviated as TNB is a private company which came into existence in 1985 as a SACCO. In the late 80s it was fully chattered as a private bank that would provide both personal banking services and cooperate banking services in the republic of Kenya. It has excellent products for small account holders and offers congestion –free banking, innovative and responsive products and services, affordable bank charges and speed in decision making are its strong point over competition.
Physical Address of the Organization.
The organization is driven by a number of factors which include their vision and mission. These driving forces are as out-lined below: VISION: To be the regional financial service provider of choice MISSION: Provision of convenient financial services and solutions to customers through high standards of service while increasing stake holders’ value.
The Core Values of the Organization
The main and core role of the organization is simply provision of banking services in the republic plus engaging corporate social responsibilities
The bank plans to win a large personal banking clientele over the coming years and continue to expand and spread its wings across all the corners of the country. The bank also expects that its net profit is going to continually rise year in year out. Beside this it also expects that its marketing team will continually seek to come up with tailor made products for its customers
Like any other organization it has a structure of management composed of the Directors, chief Executive officer(C.E.O), Audit committee, Credit committee, strategy committee, risk committee, Assets and liability management committee, Human resource committee, secretaries, Registered Office, Auditors, Advocates, managers, operations officers and staff members. The above can be summarized by the table below:
The head office is in Nairobi (Trans-National Plaza) city hall way. The company boasts of several branches across the country ranging from Nairobi Branch(city hall way)
The Bank offers a variety of services and products ranging from Current accounts
The main departments found at the station where I was attached and I happened to traverse across were as follows.
Filing of account opening forms for clients
Filing of RTGS( Real Time Gross Settlement Forms) and their confirmation Memos Filing of TTS( Telegraphic Transfers Forms)
Filing of clearing documents, cheque book request forms, expenses receipts e.t.c Issuing of cheque books and recording them
Photocopying and printing
Turning on and off the systems, setting them up and general updating of the software’s. Documents and parcels delivery between the branch and main Head Quarters at the Central Business District (C.B.D) Stock taking (That includes posting of all received stock i.e stationery in the system) Assisting clients fill the BRITACK (British American) I.P.O (Initial Public Offer) forms.
The core activities were undertaken at departmental level during the period of attachment and they are as stipulated below. 6.1 The customer care service Department
Attending to general inquires from clients/customers.
Availing account balances and statements of accounts to clients Assisting new clients open new accounts.
Closing of in-active accounts.
Activating of de-activated accounts upon clients request.
Updating clients accounts.
The Marketing Department.
Marketing the organizations products and services within the branch area and Nairobi environs in general Visiting both present and potential clients at their business premises to find out their progress, challenges facing them, seeking their opinion on the level of satisfaction and possible improvements on our products and services. Preparing call reports after every marketing outing.
Phone calls to unreached clients during call visits for updates or follow up exercise. Attending marketing meetings with the marketing managers.
Providing a readily available, service-focused, knowledgeable and experienced point of contact for new customers. Cross-selling the bank’s products effectively.
Identifying customer needs effectively and open new accounts accordingly.
Managing the customer portfolio which comprises of high net worth local investors; Updating and continually maintaining KYC (Know Your customer) on all clients held in our portfolio, including up to date information on clients’ financial background. Identifying market for the organization
This involves capturing the images of all cheques through a scanner, undertaking amount entry, verification and generating their commission. Posting of cheques in OMNI (Omni is network that allow posting of cheques online so that respective recipients can access them wherever they are. Undertaking TR (transfer) this is done for inward cheques and is simply transferring the money from drawers account to the payee account and the same applied to KRA(Kenya Revenue Authority) tax remittance by clients. Recording of received cheque books, issued ones and balancing the books on daily basis. Sorting cheques in order of bank codes and amounts in preparation for cross checking with the Outward Clearing Report (OWCLG).
The credit department basically deals with provisions of loans and asset financing to the clients. The core activities involved; Receiving loan application forms/documents from applicants.
Analyzing, scrutinizing and assessing their loan documents which include their securities. Undertaking account statistics which included analyzing applicant’s transaction turnover, commissions, interest and ledger fees. Making call visits to applicants business premises to ascertain the
following facts as part of loan lending process; The location of the business and their offices
The type of business one is operating i.e. company, partnership, sole- proprietorship e.t.c The description of goods and services being offered by the business e.g. Hard-ware, stationery, Hotel, e.t.c. The major suppliers and customers of the loan applicant
Whether they do any importation or exportation
The mode of payment to suppliers i.e. through cash, cheques,TTs(Telegraphic Transfers) or RTGS(Real Time Gross settlement). Their new investment plan i.e. new products, fixed asset acquisition , , how long they have been in business, the expectation from the investment and if they have had any changes since their establishment. The key management number of employees and their qualification. After all this exercise I was expected make an appraisal report for the applicant in conjunction with other members in the credit department. This would then be passed to manager for approval before being forwarded Head office.
I must acknowledge that during this period numerous skills and impartment was gained and they are as outlined below: Further improved my communication skills as being most important skill through interacting with clients through marketing exercise, customer service department and general communication to clients in the departments that I worked Handling of bulk cash including verification, sorting, sealing e.t.c Never new much about loan procedures but got an opportunity to know them as has been stipulated under the activities under-taken in the credit department. Writing of bankers cheques was a key skill gained. Never in my life had I written one. More to it I learnt that bankers’ cheques permit no alteration of any magnitude because if it goes with alteration chances are high that it will bounce. Preparation of call reports and appraisals for loan applicants and new customers was also a key thing that I learned. How to identify original and fake cash by observing certain features through a special cash scanner.
Being through a learning and education system, I came to agree that it is an essential and critical instrument in an individual life and as many institutions would phrase their mottos and vision, true to say education is key, light or avenue to many things in an individual’s life. Therefore to me the skills I have acquired in institutions of learning enabled me serve the organization in the following ways My communication skills enabled me to owe a number of new clients to the organization during the marketing spree and while at customer service. The computer skills that I gained earlier in my life also enabled me solve a few computer errors and software hitches at the organization. The courage I have accrued by embracing leadership positions enabled me interact with clients of all personalities. Through entrepreneurial knowledge gained in university I was able to make significant and immense contribution during marketing and other staff meetings for branch evaluation and addressing pressing issues.
Serving at the branch as an intern enabled me to expand my public relation territory by a significant percentage. I have brushed shoulders with people of divergent personalities and caliber both during office work and during marketing sessions and call visits. This exposed me to the market and thus I believe was able to position myself well in the job market. Therefore the contacts, I believe will give me an edge both now and in future as I seek personal and societal establishment. The ideologies also gained through contacts will be used in constructive manner through the daily processes that I will be undertaking or engaging myself in.
Getting the attachment in the first place was a major hurdle that was difficult to jump across. Many application were made but almost 90% were almost unfruitful Expenses incurred in the whole process of attachment ranging from application to actual working period were very high. That included the travel cost, accommodation among others proved quite challenging Uncooperative clients. Some clients at work place would fail to follow stipulated bank procedures and one had to be patient enough in directing and reminding them what they are supposed to do. Dealing with
dead-lines. At times dealing with date-lines proved wanting because of bulk of work, time given to accomplish it and the labor force available to accomplish Work overload. Sometimes work was so much more especially during end-months where organizations are paying salaries to their workers and tax remittance by the organizations
The University should chip in by liaising with various organizations to assist students get attachment. Availing of any attachment information at their disposal e.g it came to my notice that some organization needs a prior of like three months before the actual date of attachment commencement. Provision of allowances: The organizations should consider providing some allowances to interns for their upkeep during the attachment period and also act as source of motivation. Civic education on clients on organizations rules and etiquette. The organizations should organize forums where clients can be taught operational etiquette, rules, terms and conditions of operations Provide reasonable date-lines. This should put into consideration the amount of work to be done and available time and also the number of workers Increase the staff members: This would counter the problem workload and beating date-line
It was conspicuously observed that there was a significant relationship between what is learned in the university or in the school and what is practiced or exercised in the industry. A few of the things I have learnt and were being used in the industry included the Amortization schedules concepts, reducing balances concepts, reconciliation concepts, market segmentation concepts, partnership, competitive pricing, required improvement on existing banks products and new ones, strategies on improving the companies corporate brand strategy state of sales team and possible improvements, staffing systems e.g adequacy of staff members and skills responsive to business growth, efforts to enhance performance of staff, efforts to create a conducive and professional environment that embeds bank values, efforts to enhance operational efficiency and effectiveness in
customer service delivery and alternative delivery channels. If one keenly cuts across this we can conclude that quite a number of these things we have learnt in the units that we have covered so far ranging from accounting, finance, marketing, Human Resource Management among other units. Therefore if approximately analyzed I can conclude that 80% of what did was related to what I learnt in the university.
Poor communication and feedback system. I would say that there were frequent break down in communication system at place of attachment due to poor network or unstable network in the system that was being used to relay clients information. This created a lot of inconviencies both to clients and workers who had to work overtime because of such failures Under-staffing: Serving clients adequately and finishing work on time was a problem because of less labor force at the firm Lack of motivation to the staff: if one compares the staff re-numeration with the amount work done, it was not really motivating. Workers also worked over-time as late as 9pm but with no extra time allowance which was a really de-motivating experience. Lack of privacy i.e absence of closed door office. The back door offices were open that is the window panes were trans-parent allowing clients see all the transaction under-taken there therefore posing a security threat to the organization which mainly deals with finances.
Interns who have successfully completed their attachment and have proved their worth in their area of specialization should be absorbed back in the organization. This would aid the organization in cutting cost on training, orientation of new employees’ e.t.c Increase the staff. The staff numbers should be increased in the organization to facilitate improvement in service delivery hence profit realization. Aggressive marketing. The organization needs still to do a lot in terms of marketing itself and its products in the republic if it needs to proof its worth in the market. Motivation should be embraced. The employees there need a lot of motivation if the organization is to up its performance in the banking industry Quick service delivery to clients should be looked into consideration and this would be solved by staff increment and improvement in the communication net-work at the
organization. 14.0 Summary and conclusions.
I must acknowledge that going for an attachment was one the most interesting and captivating things in my life. One of the most valuable lessons learnt from the internship is that it is of the essence that one enjoys their job. It is unimaginable that a person should go through so many years of schooling just to end up sulking each and every day of their work – such people were met during the attachment; it is not a desirable state to be in. In most of the cases,the internship served to teach more of what not to do rather than what to do. It clearly brought out the importance of integrating one’s personality and interests with their occupation, although this may not be easy in the light of the highly competitive job market in today’s world. However, it should be noted that enjoying one’s job does not necessarily imply that one has the ideal job they have always envisioned since this may be based on hypothetical beliefs and expectations; rather, it implies finding that job that brings the best out of one’s personality; that occupation that will bring fulfilment and satisfaction and that will lead to a perfection of the human person. In addition to the above, it can be concluded that flexibility in terms of career choice is necessary. It is not guaranteed that one will necessarily end up working in the specific field of study that they have undertaken in their undergraduate program; after all, job dynamics are better learnt on the job itself than in class. It is therefore important that one is open to any viable opportunities that may present themselves, other than the ideal job that may have been envisaged, provided they bring the best out of one’s capabilities.