London, 18th October 2021 – Two months ago the founders of the Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CFTE) realised that internship opportunities were dwindling amidst a pandemic-hit world. Two months later CFTE created one of the largest virtual internships to help students globally get a taste of the booming fintech industry. CFTE helped bridge the digital divide faster, better, cheaper through the Global Fintech Internship (GFI) – a week-long virtual internship from 23rd to 29th August along with leading partners, including – Mastercard, R3, Paypal, Onfido, Chipper Cash and Grayce.
The combination of digital skills and entrepreneurial skills is the winning formula of the modern 21st-century job market. In a highly technologically driven and rapidly changing environment, these skills help people to engage with the modern labour market, regardless of where they are in the world. However, in practice, most students cannot access either.
This is why CFTE chose to create a global internship in Fintech where we could provide students across various countries, backgrounds and gender, the digital skills that are seemingly difficult to attain. CFTE’s impact report aims to explore the impact the organisation managed to create through its Global Fintech Internship (GFI).
How CFTE Trained 1000+ Students in 1 Week
Skilling and Training 1000+ people with technical and soft skills in a period of 1 week, could often be cited as ‘impossible’ across several industries. But the global Fintech Internship proved that helping people build competent skills to bridge the digital divide at scale can be faster, better, cheaper than historically seen. Here’s how we did it:
Building Technical Knowledge
To help get students up to speed on the technicalities of Fintech, CFTE gave them access to online learning material to create a more inclusive and and accessible work experience and training. GFI hosted panellists, professionals and C-Suite executives to lead discussions on the industry, technologies like AI, Blockchain and digital payments, to help studnet get an insider view of practical applications of the technology in finance.
Nurturing Soft Skills
During the week, the interns were also given case studies to work on by set by Mastercard, PayPal, Onfido, Chipper Cash and R3, in diverse groups formed of individuals from across the world. The nature of the case studies was very open-ended, in order to ensure that students could have the opportunity to think outside the box, training their creative thinking, as well as problem solving skills. The task also pushed the interns to develop Teamworking, Communication, Leadership, Time Management skills that are key to be competitively placed for employability in any company.
“After receiving the case study, we were required to do some research and come up with ideas before meeting up with the rest of the team. We all had different ideas, but picking the most suitable solutions required us to use critical thinking when making the decisions.”, Ching Wei Low, Global Fintech Intern Malaysia, Kajang
“I am really impressed that CFTE is able to pull off this amazing program globally, where students got an opportunity to work on different case studies from various companies and learn from industry experts. The students produced high-quality work and I am glad to be involved in the whole process. I’ve also learned a lot!”, Jerry Tso, Senior Director, Head of Singapore Development Center at PayPal.
“It was a great pleasure to participate in the Global Fintech Internship, sharing real-world case studies to give students a unique view into the role of digital identity in fintech. A big thanks to the team and CFTE for organising the programme, helping to bridge the skills gap and creating opportunities for the next generation of fintech experts to learn.”
Clare Joy, Strategy & Expansion Director, Onfido.
Developing Digital Skills
The case studies were designed with our partners to include challenging tasks that would allow students with little to no technical skills to develop them throughout their experience, with the help of experienced mentors as well.
Connecting Learners with mentors
The GFI was supported by 37 mentors, professionals in industries of technology and finance, who chose to help students in their endeavour of training and upskilling themselves for the future workforce. Being mentored by industry insiders is a rare occurrence for most students, as they do not possess the network to reach out to these individuals. This strategy helped interns get a better understanding of problems presented and gave them the support to create creative solutions.
“In these troubling times we were and still living in, CFTE was up to the challenge by creating the Global Internship Experience for undergraduates and graduates to solve real problems in the financial services and gather knowledge and experience about technology applied to FS.
As mentor I can say that was an extraordinary journey supporting teams on their R3 and Onfido assessments and a great opportunity to learn from them. Looking forward to participating in future events.”, Ricardo Arthur Ribeiro, Chief Transformation Officer at Montepio Crédit (GFI Mentor)
“CFTE Global FinTech Internship Experience facilitated the acculturation, performance and career progression of new entrants, high potentials who experience difficulties in gaining a comprehensive understanding of the industry and underlying technologies. This was a great platform to network, interact with leading industry experts who came together to ideate strategies aimed at solving real challenges confronting us today.
“Thank you CFTE for this wonderful opportunity to mentor at the program and bringing together people, diverse cultures and ideas from all across the globe.”, says Rakesh Mukundan, Content writer & Founder at Everythingfintech.in | Former executive at Citi Bank (GFI Mentor)
- The GFI had 1009 interns on board
- The cohort was gender balanced: 48% Female and 52% Male
- 83% of interns on the programme were undergraduates
- Students came from 52 countries
Impact in Numbers
On average, participants reported showing a 72% increase in cognitive skills compared to before interning in the GFI.
On average, participants reported showing a 88% increase in interpersonal and social skills compared to before interning in the GFI.
“What we understood from discussing the struggles of acquiring early work experience was the fact that there was a solid skill gap between where the industries where heading, and what graduates could offer. The lack of internships for students and recent graduates was even further accentuated by the pandemic.
We decided to change that. The dire need for upskilling the youth became our mission. In this first ever impact report by CFTE, you’ll understand the innovative change that can be made to continue upskilling students and graduates on a global scale. Our approach? Organising and hosting a massive online live internship that was made available to over 1000 students across the world. While education is rushing to convert itself into an online endeavour, work training and skill learning was still lacking.” Tram Anh Nguyen and Huy Nguyen Trieu, CFTE’s Co-founders.
CFTE is a global knowledge platform in digital finance that aims to liberalise education by making learning about the biggest technologies and trends in finance accessible to anyone. We help people build skills to transform their careers with courses that go beyond traditional learning. At CFTE you can learn from those steering the biggest developments in the financial sphere – from global CEOs to disruptive entrepreneurs hailing from Starling Bank, UBS, Mastercard, IBM and other large institutions. To help meet every learner’s goals, CFTE offers Specialisations to get certified in any area of digital finance as well as continuous learning material to stay on top of the latest trends in digital finance 365 days a year on THINK. From beginner to master, at CFTE there is something for everyone. Visit our website.
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