Garnering close to 1,000 applicants for its student mentoring and banking 101 programmes not only drove up Citi Singapore's success rate in campus engagement, but it also won the company gold at the Asia Recruitment Awards, Singapore.

In this category for best (in-house) recruitment innovation, the silver was presented to Maybank, while Spencer Ogden Energy and Abbott Laboratories Singapore shared the bronze.

To do things differently, gold-winner Citi Singapore spoke to university partners at SMU, NTU, NUS and SUTD, to discover that while employers are engaged with undergraduates in their penultimate and final years of education, a gap existed with first and second year undergraduate students.

Citi's answer to the gap came in the form of two new campus engagement programmes – the Citi Student Mentorship Programme and the Citi Banking 101 Programme, with the aim of "building bankers for the future".

The first program on mentoring was launched in January 2013, modelled after Citi’s internal career development mentorship programme, to enable student mentees to gain access to an experienced Citibanker for career guidance, industry knowledge, and networking opportunities.

The second programme on industry foundation was implemented in May 2013, held over two weeks during the summer break, inclusive of seminars taught by Citibankers on sixteen banking modules, site visits, soft-skills such as resume writing, and a team project.

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Participants who excelled were offered opportunities to join the Citi Associate Internship programme over summer of the following year, thus ensuring a good pipeline of candidates.

Citi Singapore credits two things in successful execution of both programmes - full support from the senior management team, and collaboration between the HR and various departments across the franchise.

For example, more than 350 Citibankers have volunteered their time for the programmes since 2013.

To date, the mentorship programme has benefited over 400 students across the four local universities, while have pulled into around 1,000 applicants, with a feedback rating of 4.5-4.6 on five from participants.

They have also brought down time and cost of hiring, by narrowing the pipeline of talent and cutting down on rounds of selection owing to work already completed by participants with Citi Singapore.

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