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Bank of Emirates’ Co-Operation Program Report

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Executive Summary

This report details my experiences with the Coop program at the Bank of Emirates, Riyadh. The Coop program lasted 28 weeks, from January 1, 2016, to June 27, 2016. I was assigned to the corporate department as a relationship manager. In this report, I have written about the work I did in the Coop program at the Bank of Emirates throughout my entire internship. The report also describes the objectives of the Coop program, the tasks I accomplished, the problems I faced, the methods I used to solve the problems, my personal work experience, and what I gained from the program overall. I believe that the problems that students face during the Coop program should be addressed by both the company and the university.

Moreover, because the work culture and level of professionalism vary greatly from company to company, the university should set minimum standards for companies that host students in the Coop program so that all students are able to benefit as much as I did.

I hope that this report earns your satisfaction and convinces you that I performed well at my Coop program with the help of my supervisor, other university faculty members, and the knowledge gained from courses I took. In all of my future endeavors, I hope to represent my university in the best way I can.

Introduction

Company Profile

Bank of Emirates is currently considered to be the greatest financial group in the Gulf region as far as resources are concerned, with its holdings of five organizations, eight auxiliaries, and three additional partnerships. The bank also includes Dubai National Bank, which has halted operations under its previous name altogether. Bank of Emirates offices are spread all over the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and throughout the Middle East (Emirates NBD par. 1). Dubai is for all intents and purposes the second capital and the principal commercial city of the United Arab Emirates, so even banks that are centered in Abu Dhabi tend to place a greater volume of business in their Dubai outlets (Emirates NBD par. 2).

The historical backdrop of Bank of Emirates begins in 2007, when the bank initially showed up on the Dubai Fiscal Market. Emirates NBD was formed largely by the merger of Emirates Bank and Dubai National Bank—which were the second and fourth largest banks in the UAE, respectively—to create a more efficient and capable financial institution. Emirates NBD has the greatest asset base in the entire Gulf region with a total of approximately AED 282 billion as its core capital. Beyond the UAE, the bank also has a strong presence in countries around the world, including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, India, and Singapore, as well as the United Kingdom and Jersey Islands (Emirates NBD par. 4).

Emirates NBD owns the following group of companies: Emirates NBD Securities LLC, ETFS, Emirates NBD Private Bank, and Dinner Club UAE. Emirates NBD Securities LLC is a brokerage service provider, whereas ETFS focuses mainly on business banking and local monetary facilities. Emirates NBD Private Bank is tailored for distinguished clients. Last but not least, Dinner Club UAE offers a unique payment system that can be used globally (Emirates NBD par. 5).

Bank of Emirates is divided into the following departments: retail banking, corporate banking, and foreign trade and treasury departments. For my Coop program, I was assigned to the corporate banking department as a relationship manager. This department only deals with companies or institutional clients, offering products such as loans, leases, letters of credit/guarantee, and cash management services.

Operational Network Structure

Emirates NBD is run by a group of very experienced professionals. The key decisions and strategy management of the bank are responsibilities bestowed upon the board of directors, which is comprised of nine individuals headed by a chairperson. The majority of the directors are prominent members of society and proprietors of vast businesses. The management and bank officials are then responsible for executing the strategies and projects communicated by the board. The chief executive officer is helped and upheld by other qualified administrators including senior executive vice presidents, a senior vice president, a vice president, and other supporting officials and staff (Tharwat 8).

To be more specific, the Emirates NBD Board of Directors is represented by the chairman, other prominent members of the local business community, and leaders from various industries. The role of the board includes general strategy and administration, business configuration, budgetary reporting and regulation, internal regulation, endorsement of the yearly report, authorization of payments, and risk management (Tharwat 8).

There are also a number of autonomous, non-official directors on the group’s board. Emirates NBD defines “autonomous” as a person who has no apparent or actual conflict of interest with any investment group or business associates. Additionally, there are four other board panels that meet on a regular basis to oversee the bank’s exercises in the interest of its shareholders (Tharwat 9).

Table 1 List of Emirates NBD Board Members.

Seq. Name Position
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
H.H Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum
Mr. Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim
H.E Khalid Juma Al Majid
Ali Humaid Ali Owais
Mr. Hussain Hassan Mizra Al Sayegh
Mr. Buti Obaid Buti Al Mulla
Mr. Mohamed Hamad Obaid Khamis Al Shedi
Mr. Mohamed Hadi Ahmad Al Hussaini
Mr. Shoaib Mir Hashem Khoory
Chairman
Vice Chairman
Director
Director
Director
Director
Director
Director
Director

As stated above, the management team as a whole oversees the performance of the bank and settles on group-level decisions within its limits of power as determined by the board. Such decisions pertain to the day-to-day management of the bank, its key development, and the execution of decisions made by the board. The senior members of the executive team meet two times per month. The board and the executive team, which is headed by Shayne Nelson, are dedicated to offering sustainable solutions and results to shareholders (Tharwat 9). As evident in Table 2 below, the executive team is quite large owing to the size and scope of the group’s operation.

Table 2 List of Executive Team Members.

Seq. Name Position
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6
7.
8.
9.
10
11.
Shayne Nelson
Subramanian Suryanarayan
Manoj Chawla
Lubna Qassim
Abdulla Qassem
Suvo Sarka
Husam Al Sayed
Kevin Flannery
Aazar Ali Khwaja
Jonathan Morris
Jamal Bin Ghalaita
Group Chief Executive Officer
Group Chief Financial Officer
Group Chief Risk Officer
Group Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Group Chief Operating Officer
Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management
Group Chief Human Resource Officer
Senior Vice President, International
Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Global Markets and Treasury
Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Wholesale Banking
Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Islamic Banking

Products and Services Offered

Bank of Emirates is organized into several service domains, including retail banking, corporate banking, and foreign trade and treasury banking.

Retail Banking

In the retail banking sector, everything revolves around individual buyers and entrepreneurs. Emirates NBD provides an extensive range of products and services through its widespread outlets and its high-tech self-service offerings. Retail banking services include personal accounts, credit card services, plastic card services, remittance services, insurance services (Bancassurance), loan services, payroll services, electronic/online banking services, and small- to medium-business solutions. Emirates NBD ensures that these products and services meet each and every client need, guaranteeing the best offer to every client all through the diverse phases of their financial life cycles (Emirates NBD par. 7).

Corporate Banking

Bank of Emirates provides an all-inclusive bouquet of corporate banking products and services tailored to each and every company. These products and services are only provided to companies or institutional clients and include loans, leases, letters of credit/guarantee, and cash management services. Large corporate banking services are designed for large corporations (both local and international) as well as institutional investors with an extensive array of value-added services. Commercial banking is primarily intended for the growth and success of small- to medium-sized enterprises (Emirates NBD par. 7).

Emirates NBD also offers a broad range of financial leasing products and services. The bank concentrates on large and medium leasing contracts in all segments and commercial ventures. Leases are only accessible to corporate clients within the following industries: machinery and equipment, commercial and commuter vehicles, office equipment, and real estate. Moreover, trade finance services are offered to exporters and importers to enable them to make the most of the numerous prospects available in the international market. Regardless of the specific type of service, Emirates NBD tailors packages to meet the specific needs of clients (Emirates NBD par. 7).

The selection of corporate banking products and services tailored for large companies includes short- and mid-term industrial loans, long-term loans, and commercial housing loans. The small- and medium-business products and services include cash credit hypothecation, cash credit pledges, secured overdrafts, and SOD against work orders (Emirates NBD par. 8).

Foreign Trade and Treasury Banking

Emirates NBD offers a complete range of groundbreaking and exceptional treasury and international market products and services created by a team of professionals who are familiar with both domestic and global markets. These services include foreign exchange services, hedging solutions, investment and financial services (e.g. local and foreign security products), research and strategy, and electronic trading system management (Emirates NBD par. 8).

The electronic trading framework allows clients to diversify their portfolios by adding assets that are not confined to the terms and conditions of the domestic market. Emirates NBD is also known for funding structured projects in the UAE and throughout the Middle East. Other products and services include letters of credit, loans against trust receipts, loans against imported goods, packing cash credit, export development funds, payments against document, and bank guarantees (Emirates NBD par. 9).

Mission, Vision, and Strategic Objectives

Vision

Emirates NBD’s vision is to be universally recognized as the most esteemed financial institution in the UAE and the entire Middle East.

Mission

Emirates NBD’s mission is to make clients’ lives easier by offering day-to-day solutions and the provision of consistent, reliable products and services that can assist them in fulfilling their financial ambitions and goals. The bank makes clients’ lives easier by providing them with convenient access to banking services, assisting them in making informed decisions regarding their economic necessities, and offering effective one-stop banking solutions.

Strategic Objectives

To fulfill its vision and accomplish its mission, Emirates NBD has several strategic objectives:

  • To build shareholders’ worth;
  • To attain monetary value expansion;
  • To pioneer product development within the business sector; and
  • To be the top financial institution in the Middle East in terms of efficiency and market share.

Financial Objective

Emirates NBD has the primary financial objective of attaining more than 20 percent return on stakeholders’ equity.

Group’s Core Values

Emirates NBD holds several core values that serve to guide its interactions with various stakeholders:

  • For clients, the bank seeks to provide considerate services through the development of new products and services, as well as upholding customers’ financial confidentiality.
  • For stakeholders, the bank works to build stakeholders’ worth.
  • For the community, the bank strives to reinforce its corporate values and consider potential ecological and societal threats and incentives.
  • For itself and all stakeholders, the bank embraces cutting-edge technology in all of its operations.

Financial Overview

Thus far, 2016 has been another fruitful year for Bank of Emirates as it has kept reaching new and important milestones. Within this year, and without precedent in the bank’s entire history, its overall resources reached the USD 100 billion mark, its aggregate revenue surpassed AED 15 billion, and its net income surpassed AED 7 billion. These achievements have only strengthened the bank’s position as a leader in the region. Bank of Emirates has continued to realize growth in income and net profit in the midst of uncertainty and challenging conditions within both the international and local environments (Emirates NBD par. 1).

The Emirates NBD Board of Directors has already recommended an increase of 40 percent cash dividend to its shareholders, and the bank’s aggregate income rose by 3 percent to 16.3 million in the first quarter of 2016. This positive change in net income is linked to an enhanced asset blend due to the bank’s successful expansion of Shariah-compliant banking and small-to-medium-enterprise (SME) products, as well as its reduced cost of personal banking aided by several new innovations. Non-interest income increased by a single digit to AED 5 million as a principal fee was equalized (Emirates NBD par. 2).

Credit Ratings

As shown in Table 3 below, Emirates NBD has earned positive credit ratings from major international credit-rating agencies.

Table 3 Emirates NBD Credit Rating.

Credit Rating Agency LT ST Outlook
Moody’s A3 P-2 Stable
Fitch A+ F1 Stable
Capital Intelligence A A1 Stable

Future Prospects

Bank of Emirates is currently implementing the following operations as primary facets of its growth plan:

  1. Continuing regional and global expansion and change;
  2. Expanding the bank’s market share in the Middle East and the rest of the world; and
  3. Enhancing the bank’s product capabilities in the global market.

Objectives

During my Coop experience, the main objective for me was to learn about the role and responsibilities of a customer relationship manager. In my first few weeks, I set the following objectives for myself:

  • To develop and advance skills that will benefit me as an individual;
  • To learn as much as possible about customer relationship management;
  • To put into practice what I had learned in class;
  • To successfully acclimatize to the working environment; and
  • To undertake my tasks and responsibilities as diligently and efficiently as possible.

List of tasks to be accomplished

Within these first few weeks—and throughout my Coop program—I strove to complete the following tasks:

  • Familiarizing myself with the work environment;
  • Learning and carrying out all of the functions of a customer relationship manager;
  • Sharpening my communication and interpersonal skills; and
  • Completing daily office work and submitting effective reports.

The Coop Plan

My goal at Emirates NBD was to get organized and to prepare and learn as much as I could before beginning my professional career. In general, the primary objective of the Coop program is to provide vigorous training and an escalated learning program for new graduates so that they can be good public servants and industry leaders in the future. To help me achieve the goals of the program, my internship at Emirates NBD followed a specific plan: I spent seven months in the corporate banking department as a relationship manager.

This department carries out several key functions of the bank and oversees its daily transactions, and it is also the segment in which the relationship between the bank and its corporate clients begins. In particular, the department is predominantly responsible for initiating and overseeing relationships between the bank and corporate clients within and outside Saudi Arabia.

Figure 1. Summary of Schedule of Activities.

Summary of Schedule of Activities
Corporate Liaison Initiating, maintaining, and developing relationships with corporate clients
Loan Book Management Managing the corporate loan book under the parameters set by the group risk officer
Account Reviews and Loan Approvals Appraising and approving corporate loan applications before presenting them to the risk management department
Financial Advice Providing essential financial counsel for corporate clients regarding new products and services that fit their business models
Research Studying trends and assessing competition to come up with new customer leads and build confidence

Description/Nature of the Job

In this section, I will describe in finer detail the activities with which I was involved during my Coop program. This section essentially includes the following: tasks completed, issues confronted, strategies used, theoretical knowledge and courses utilized, and much more.

Specific Work Responsibility of the Job

In general, corporate banking departments focus on strengthening existing client relationships, attracting new clients through concentrated showcasing attempts, and expanding the scope of savings and organizational contributions. Corporate financial services are offered only to corporate clients and place more emphasis on providing modified financial services such as loans, deposits, and other credit items. The roles of the relationship manager in the corporate banking department include solicitations and corporate liaison, account reviews, research, and financial advice.

Solicitations and Corporate Liaison

In the banking sector, clients are pursued and managed like treasured resources because they are incredibly valuable to the establishment. Rather than simply servicing the financial needs of corporate customers, relationship managers are responsible for starting, maintaining, and developing long-term relationships with these clients. Customer retention is accomplished by keeping profitable customers and making sure that they do not defect to the competition. Customer retention contributes to the development of the business in view of its value as a surrogate for customer loyalty and its well-proven contribution to profitability (Riquelme 438).

In short, a relationship manager in the banking sector is responsible for sales and has specific quotas and set goals to achieve. To this end, my responsibilities involved searching for new business opportunities and aligning them with specific products offered by the bank. My role also involved calling and making appointments with new corporate clients and attending to the existing ones. In addition, the job involved building up new credit extensions and investment accounts for customers, as well as developing lists of client prospects.

Beyond the regular office work, though, my job was also quite enjoyable; I went out with clients for golf outings, dinner meetings, and other networking and relationship-building events. Last but not least, I had to make presentations and prepare spreadsheets and documents that would help me sell company products and services during these meetings.

Account Reviews

Relationship managers in corporate banking departments are always given existing clients to oversee as well as a particular domain or sector to lobby. As a result, part of my work responsibilities as a relationship manager in the corporate department was to carry out account reviews for all my customers from time to time. These reviews were designed to ensure that customers were making the most of the alternatives and to provide extra credit extensions whenever suitable. I had to dissect every customer’s present financial status using detailed spreadsheets and scientific approaches to ensure they were taking advantage of the bank’s products and services to aid the growth and prosperity of their businesses with minimal risks.

These reviews also involved management of the loan book in accordance to the parameters set by the risk management department. The reviews helped determine which clients were eligible for loans and credit facilities such as short-term loans, medium-term loans, long-term loans, and letters of credit and guarantee. Short-term loans are those that do not surpass one year, and corporate clients in need of these loans must be able to meet short-term obligations and demonstrate how the loan will be reimbursed. Sometimes, the bank may request security, surety, or lapse endorsement, especially for foreign subsidiaries of a transnational corporation. The majority of corporate clients use these loans to fund their working capital.

Medium-term loans are available to corporate clients of Emirates NBD in numerous forms, normally between one- to three-year terms. These loans are exceptional due to the fact that they have a fixed interest rate. Medium-term loans are carried out under a facility letter, which sets out the terms that have been reached by the client and the bank. The facility letter covers the term of the loan, the interest rate determinant factors, the reimbursement schedule, and the default prospect.

However, the availability of medium-term loans entirely hinges on market conditions; for instance, when there is a short supply of money and it is more difficult for the bank to provide short-term loans, medium term-term loans are accessible to most corporate clients in the form of premiums. However, at times, there may be challenges in organizing leases or installment credit terms for company assets, which are either immobile or movable at extraordinary cost.

Lastly, Emirates NBD gives long-term loans to corporate clients to boost their core capital. These loans last for more than five years and are often given to fund massive projects or the sale of securities in the global market. Letters of credit, on the other hand, are offered to importers as a surety that the client is able to pay for the goods. Corporate clients who take part in the contracting industry are issued letters of guarantee, which cover roughly 10 percent of the total cost of the project. In case the customer fails to carry out or finish the project, the project owner is paid a similar amount. This letter acts as a form of insurance.

Research

A relationship manager should be well informed, accomplished, and closely familiar with clients’ business situations. When making refined recommendations to corporate clients, the relationship manager should be able to comprehend the client’s business strategy and show how the bank’s products would easily fit into the business model. Whereas many financial institutions prefer to enlist financial experts with a wealth of experience in various industries, it important for the relationship manager to be closely acquainted with the specific industries they are serving.

Such knowledge can only be achieved through constant research on companies and their impacts on various industries. For that reason, my responsibility as a relationship manager also involved studying trends and assessing competition to discover new customers and build confidence with my broad knowledge of the industry.

Financial Advice

Above all, a relationship manager provides essential financial counsel for the bank’s corporate clients. The relationship manager must utilize his or her research findings to understand where the organization most needs assistance.

For example, a relationship manager should be able to tell a client when to change to a different product or when to lease, rather than buy, a new machine or building to take advantage of the existing tax structure. My core responsibility as a relationship manager was to make calls to the clients on my list on a regular basis whenever I had something new to offer. As the relationship grew, I would even record their birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions so that the company could surprise them with a gift. In short, an effective relationship manager knows when their customers need something out of the ordinary and makes the necessary referrals whenever appropriate.

Problem Statement

At the start of my Coop program, I encountered numerous challenges. For instance, my supervisor, who was my senior at the bank, gave me numerous materials to help me with my work, but I could not comprehend them easily. Some of the material contained graphs and very ambiguous information that I had never come across before. The bank also used numerous codes that took me a long time to understand. Furthermore, it was difficult for me to define some concepts in Arabic since most of them had been defined in English in my classes. Many clients came in with financial statements that had been drafted in Arabic, which were very difficult to translate and enter into the company’s database.

Communication was also another problem that I experienced. Without a doubt, communication plays a very significant role in business management and especially customer relationship management. Some employees were very unfriendly to me, and a number of them seemed to feel quite insecure whenever I was around them, perhaps believing that I was competing for their jobs. In addition, I found that it was much more difficult to bond with staff members than it was with fellow students. Last but not least, a number of employees were resistant to new suggestions and concepts, even though they have been proven successful in some of the top institutions.

Strategies for Solving the Problem

First and foremost, whenever I experienced any problem or issue, I looked for assistance from my supervisor and colleagues—and they were of great help. They even gave me a guide book and a digital translator, both of which helped me understand many unfamiliar topics such as the bank codes. In particular, the digital translator facilitated the translation of Arabic words, definitions, and figures to English.

To solve my issues with communication, I applied all of the communication and interpersonal skills I had learned from school to try to bond with the company staff. Moreover, I explained to some of the employees who were insecure with my presence in the company that my intentions were good and that I was only there for academic purposes.

Unfortunately, the issue of resistance to new concepts and methodologies is not new in the banking sector. For this reason, I was not worried whenever my concepts and ideas were not embraced by some employees. In fact, employee resistance has been identified as the main reason why many banks lag behind (Dessler 52). As shown by several notable scholars, there are many reasons for banking employees’ resistance to change; however, the primary cause that stands out is the clash of employee and management interests.

For example, such a clash of interest can be found in terms of banking procedures, such as the ways of discharging duties or executing work procedures. The clash of interest may also occur in regards to goals of the company; for instance, the owner of the bank might have a goal that conflicts with the goals of the employees (York 221).

Whenever I had such experiences, I would first go to my supervisor. Importantly, the bank’s management used numerous motivational techniques to address this kind of situation. Communication also played a significant role in taming such resistance. During my free time, I could engage a few colleagues and explain myself further. I even started a Whatsapp group for my colleagues in which we could discuss such issues and reach an amicable and effective solution. Lastly, I applied a safety valve strategy in which I confronted some of their doubts. The safety valve strategy entails taking into consideration some of the concerns raised and organizing a meeting to deliberate over them. The deliberation involved making amendments where necessary.

Theoretical Knowledge and Courses Used

I have often wondered why I should take psychology, communication, or even elective courses if I hope to eventually work in a financial institution. I found the answer during my Coop program. In fact, I was excited to realize that most of the courses we study in college are actually useful in real-life situations. Working in the top financial institution in the Middle East as a relationship manager requires not only a strong financial background, but also an interpersonal form of knowledge that would help in reaching out to and connecting with other people. Fortunately, the university equipped me with all of these skills. More specifically, the following courses that I studied in university were of great help to me during my Coop program.

Business 101: Introduction to Business Management

In this course, I learned about the fundamental aspects and functions of corporate management. The course also enabled me to understand common terms and expressions used in the business arena. In addition, I learned about the various strategies used by organizations in a process of continuous learning in which the preparation and execution become impossible to distinguish. This course really helped me appreciate the hierarchical differences and responsibilities within our department.

Accounting 101: Introduction to Financial Accounting

In this course, I learned how to review various books of accounts and financial statements. This course was very helpful in managing the corporate loan book, performing account reviews, and reviewing loan approvals. In fact, I regard this course as one of the fundamental courses required for this job.

Business 201: Organizational Behavior

This was another critical course for the customer relations job. The course aided me in understanding the psychology of different corporate clients, the significance of communication between staff, and the importance of teamwork. Because the company is a transnational group, this course was critical in learning how to deal with people from different cultural backgrounds.

Course 202: Computer Science

In the contemporary business environment, successful employees must be tech savvy. For this reason, this course is very important for nearly all students undergoing the Coop program. Without this course, I don’t know how I could have survived this job. This course helped me with completing general data entry tasks and drafting various reports. In addition, my computer knowledge came in handy when I was carrying out market research and company analysis.

Comm 2010 and Comm 401: Communication Skills

In the corporate banking world, employees cannot conduct any business if they are not able to communicate and relate with others. These courses helped me develop and enhance my communication and interpersonal skills, which were very significant because they allowed me to deliver messages more efficiently and to engage my colleagues as well as my clients. These courses also helped me greatly during presentations.

Program Plan, Tasks, and Achievements

First Month

During the first month, I was mostly trying to familiarize myself with the new working environment. I spent a lot of time getting to know more about the company and its operations. I was taken on an office tour and had the opportunity to meet staff members, including executive and senior managers. I tried to consult them on how I could adjust to the bank’s system of work. The senior executive manager of the corporate department was assigned to be my supervisor.

Achievements
  • I met staff members including my colleagues.
  • I learned how the corporate department functions and its command system.
  • I familiarized myself with other departments in the bank.
  • I assessed the list of corporate clients and reviewed the factual memorandum.
  • I carried out research on individual companies, the sectors in which they operate, and their impacts on the industry.
  • I worked with the team on some of the tasks that required teamwork.
New skills
  • The ability to read and analyze factual memorandum
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Research skills
  • Teamwork
Problems encountered
  • Difficulty adjusting to the new environment
  • Difficulty comprehending bank documents
  • Difficulty asking for assistance

Second Month

By the second month, I had already adjusted to the work environment and had familiarized myself with other departments. However, I still had problems understanding and using the bank codes. My first task was the management of the corporate loan book and account reviews, on which I worked alongside my supervisor.

Achievements
  • I identified all the discrepancies in the loan book.
  • I reviewed all corporate client accounts and submitted a report on the same.
  • I wrote daily reports about my work completed each day.
  • I worked with a team on a marketing project.
New skills
  • The ability to write a report based on account information
  • The ability to work with team members from different backgrounds and cultures
  • Handling pressure and meeting deadlines
  • Problem identification skills
Problems encountered
  • I did not have access to the main drive, so I had to ask my colleague for help. Sometimes the help came too late.
  • I was not familiar with the company’s report format.

Third Month

By the third month, I was already familiar with my job description and was being assigned more tasks. I had the opportunity to talk with some of the corporate clients.

Achievements
  • I completed general office work, including data entry and preparation of daily reports.
  • I learned all of the responsibilities of a relationship manager in the corporate department.
  • I called a number of clients.
New skills
  • Enhanced communication and interpersonal skills
Problem encountered
  • Initially, I had a problem answering some of the client’s questions because I was not sure about how to respond.

Fourth Month

In the fourth month, I was already communicating with clients and making new contacts. In addition, I was assigned my own list of clients.

Achievements
  • I excelled at general office work, including data entry and preparation of daily reports.
  • Based on the book reviews, I recommended three clients for short-term loans.
  • I advised a client on a product that matched his business model, and he accepted the advice with much appreciation.
New skills
  • Data entry skills
  • Problem-solving skills
Problem encountered
  • It was very hard to convince the risk management department to agree to the amount of loan that the client wanted.

Fifth Month

The fifth month was very hectic because two of my colleagues were on leave and I had to step in. Moreover, the company was busy carrying out performance appraisals during this time.

Achievements
  • I completed general office work, including data entry and preparation of daily reports.
  • I submitted a report regarding the performance of the clients.
  • I brought in two major clients for the company based on referrals.
New skills
  • Enhanced communication and interpersonal skills
  • Advanced report writing skills
  • Advanced marketing skills
  • Risk management skills
Problem encountered
  • I faced many daily challenges during this month owing to the increased workload. I had to work extra hours to complete my tasks.

Sixth Month

The sixth month was the same as the fifth month because my colleagues who were on leave had not yet returned. I had to carry out market research and industry analysis.

Achievements
  • I continued to produce general office work, including data entry and preparation of daily reports.
  • I successfully completed market research and industry analysis.
New skills
  • Advanced research writing skills
  • Financial management skills
Problem encountered
  • Due to my significantly increased workload, I felt fatigued much of the month.

Seventh Month

In this month, I was winding down my Coop program. My main task during this time was writing a report to both the company and the university regarding my experience at Emirates NBD.

Achievements
  • I finished my general office work, including data entry and preparation of daily reports.
  • I was assigned to do an appraisal report on our department.
  • I came up with a new method of evaluating the performance of each client.
  • I convinced my seniors to put more emphasis on small and medium enterprises (SME), a segment that has been growing very quickly.
  • I interacted with the marketing department.
New skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Comprehensive market research skills
Problems encountered
  • I continued to experience increased workload and fatigue.

Details of Instruments

I used Moody’s Financial Risk Advisor (MRA) to analyze the accounts of various customers seeking loan approvals. This system displays relevant financial statements as a single-page text report that condenses the financial results for a given period.

Data Collection and Analysis

Banks always adhere to certain guidelines when reviewing a loan application from corporate clients. These factors must be appraised before any decision is taken. These factors include:

  • The industry’s performance;
  • The company’s performance with respect to the industry;
  • The creditworthiness of the company;
  • Reimbursement probability;
  • The company’s profit margin; and
  • The company’s operational efficiency and capital structure.

Therefore, my study will be based on desktop research, and the results will be analyzed qualitatively. The analysis helped me gain more knowledge about different clients and the industry. In addition, it helped me further develop my research and report writing skills. Nonetheless, I still need more training on writing departmental reports.

Conclusion and Recommendation

Conclusion

The Coop program gave me an opportunity to apply what I had learned at school into a real-world setting. I was able to showcase my abilities and potential, as well as gain more practical experience and skills. Working on real tasks with the help of my supervisor and colleagues enhanced my understanding of the workplace and improved my overall communication and interpersonal skills. In general, managing multiple assignments and taking full responsibility for various jobs showed me how to overcome different challenges and impediments. In addition, the program expanded my horizons, supplemented my knowledge, and improved my skills.

Although most people would view this report as an end, I view it as a beginning; for me, the Coop program opened the door to new prospects and a promising future. I am very proud of my university for giving me the chance to undertake this Coop program in the best financial institution in the Middle East. With the number of tasks and responsibilities I was assigned, I can confidently say that my Coop program was a success. Given the outstanding support I received and the wonderful colleagues with whom I spent the last 28 weeks, I would like to offer my gratitude to Bank of Emirates.

Recommendation

No undertaking occurs without some kind of hitch, and it would be very helpful for future Coop students if the challenges I faced could be eliminated or minimized. First of all, the university should communicate various challenges facing students to the companies’ training departments. The university should also set minimum standards for participating companies to make sure all students benefit from the Coop program.

I also strongly recommend that students in the business and economic department be assigned to large and prestigious companies like Emirates NBD, where they will never lack tasks, assignments, or experience. Students who have been assigned to small entities cannot fully enjoy such benefits.

Works Cited

Emirates NBD. About Us. Web.

Dessler, Gary. Human resource management, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, 2008. Print.

Kumar, Rajesh and Manuel Fernandez. The largest banking Merger in the Middle East: Emirates Bank International merger with National Bank of Dubai, Dubai: Institute of Management, 2005. Print.

Riquelme, Harnan. “Do consumers know what they want?” Journal of Consumer Marketing 18.5 (2001): pp. 437-448.

Tharwat, Khalek. Emirates NBD: Annual Report 2015. Web.

York, Kenneth. Applied Resource Management: Strategic Issues and Experiential Exercise, New York: Sage Publications, Inc., 2009.Print.

Appendices

Appendix 1 Represents Emirates NBD Financial Highlights

Represents Emirates NBD Financial Highlights Represents Emirates NBD Financial Highlights
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