In a competitive employment market, Citi's Graduate Program is ensuring the bank attracts the best and brightest new graduates.
Just 12 months ago, Sophie Rouse was packing her bags in preparation for six months of study in Scotland. "I was part of a student exchange program", explains Sophie, "which allowed me to complete the final semester of my degree in Scotland".
For the Commerce/Science undergraduate, the prospect of swapping the University of Sydney for Edinburgh University involved plenty of 'unknowns'. But one thing Sophie didn't have to worry about was her future career. Several months earlier, this rising star of the financial world had secured a role at Citi through the bank's Graduate Program.
In Australia's tight labour market, employers face intense competition to attract the cream of each year's crop of graduates. Citi's Graduate Program is proving instrumental in cementing the bank's reputation as an employer of choice.
The program targets major universities across Australia and New Zealand, and is backed by sponsorship of relevant student societies as well as collaboration with relevant faculties and business schools. It's all pitched at recruiting the top students, and with an intake of 25 new grads across Markets, Banking, GTS and O&T in 2011, the program is proving highly successful.
Following on-campus recruitment activity, new grads embark on various paths depending on the area of Citi they work for.
The Markets program involves a one-year rotation giving grads exposure to many desks across the Markets business. The Banking program is a 3.5 year analyst program in which graduates work as generalists across the different franchises. The GTS and Research programs are more project-based. Each program culminates with a five to six week training stint in New York, Shanghai or Singapore.p>Grads in Operations & Technology also rotate throughout the businesses in which they work, and actively participate by getting involved and taking ownership of real projects. It also provides them with the opportunity to work alongside experts in their respective fields, access to senior management groups and mentoring.
"An amazing network of global peers"
Amy Sarra joined Citi in the 2010 graduate intake and is working with Capital Markets Origination. She completed her trip to the Big Apple last year, describing it as "extraordinary experience that saw 300 Citi grads come together from around the world, creating an amazing network of global peers".
The New York trip offered plenty of opportunities for socialising, but activities centre on preparing graduates for their Citi career. Amy explains, "We received a considerable amount of formal training including an intensive accounting course followed by studies on modelling and risk management. In addition to undertaking exams, we were also required to deliver an oral presentation."
A welcoming approach
The prospect of spending time overseas is always appealing but it wasn't the key drawcard for either Amy or Sophie Rouse.
For Sophie, who started in Global Markets earlier this year, "Citi's Graduate Program offered valuable rotation across different aspects of the business, however one of the major points of differentiation was the welcoming feel that accompanied Citi's on-campus interviews."
She notes, "There is a noticeable difference between each of the banks during on-campus interviews, and Citi always made me feel very welcome." She adds that this has extended to valuable support on the job, which Sophie says, "has allowed me to make a real contribution to Citi far sooner than I anticipated."
Citi's worldwide reach was a significant factor behind Amy Sarra’s decision to work for Citi. "It's a global firm with a strong reputation within the industry. I felt that Citi offered maximum career opportunities though I was also attracted by the bank's internal culture and supportive environment."
Currently in her second year with Citi, Amy advises new grads to "make the most of the opportunities offered by Citi, and don't be afraid to ask lots of questions. There are some hugely talented people working here and they are always willing to help."