By Joan Cheong | University Engagement Lead, DBS Innovation Group
Breeding a New Generation of UNI.CORN
May 30, 2016
We all have different experiences transitioning from school to professional life. Some of us might have it all figured out but majority of us graduate from our studies not knowing where we would like our careers to take us. When I first graduated, I found myself drifting from role to role, first beginning at an architecture firm, followed by doing marketing and web design and then becoming a product manager. It wasn’t until I took a bold move to start my own company where I began to learn the kind of skills and mindset was needed to succeed in the working world.
Some of these lessons ranged from adapting quickly to changing business conditions, learning to handle rejection, managing people, working in teams etc, the list goes on. These lessons were things that couldn’t be taught in schools. I had to go out there and experience it for myself. Working on my own startup just accelerated the learning.
And that’s why I decided I wanted to help students ease that transition from school to work by helping to “nurture” entrepreneurship skills and mindsets. Because I believed that even if you don’t end up running your own company, the knowledge you gain will still serve you well in other companies.
Fortunately, the team at DBS Innovation Group has been highly supportive of that (Special thanks to Neal and Cade) and this is why we were organised our first ever UNI.CORN programme.
Through the programme we want to create a meaningful internship experience for students. We want to help them bridge the student-professional gap, by providing them an environment where they’re forced to be independent, work on their own projects and keep an eye on a long-term goals.
Over 12 weeks these unicorns have been issued a projects to address how working life and what banking may look like in the future. They may not have a full solution by the end of the internship, but we hope that the experience they have will put them in good stead for working life whether they choose to be an entrepreneur or not.
Perhaps this is best summed up in the infographic below (courtesy of the world bank). It’s a long ask over the short time they have with us - to develop multifaceted hard and soft skills, knowledge and more importantly, positive mindsets and attitudes that make them valuable wherever they go.
They’ve worked hard to get into the programme, but just like making a transition from school to working life, this is really just the beginning for them. So far, we’ve really been impressed by this first batch of UNI.CORN and we hope to share more news on how they progress so far.
I love everything to do with innovation, human-centric approach, disruptive technologies and I feel a true devotion for user experience design. My passion lies in designing solutions that touches the heart and make lives better.