Three engineers and a lawyer walk into a bank

by Jatin Sehgal | MBA Class of 2018 | Student Stories

As an Indian national with an engineering background, my previous work experiences did not involve dealing much with a multicultural team or with business-related challenges. Working with my diverse classmates on Action Learning projects has pushed me beyond my boundaries.

My summer Action Learning Project team consisted of three engineers from the US and India, as well as a lawyer from Malaysia. Despite not having any experience in the banking industry, we spent the summer working with Citibank Malaysia because the bank wanted people with fresh perspectives.

Our project at Citibank was focused on the digitization process of retail branches. After three to four weeks of working together on our project, we were split up and sent to work in different departments. In the beginning, I didn’t really like working in a separate department. It took a few days of immersing myself in the environment to start enjoying it.

Having been placed in the wealth management department, my work involved a lot of interaction with people. This was, of course, also due to the nature of my project. My work was very dependent on people; I had to learn to approach them and to effectively convey and receive messages in person as well as via phone and email. I also picked up hard skills like financial modelling and market sizing, which were very different from skills needed during my previous Action Learning projects.

At the end of the three months, we presented our ideas to the Head of Consumer Banking for Asia Pacific, who really appreciated our solutions. Looking back at this experience, I feel like I have significantly improved my communications skills and am much more confident, responsive and attentive. ASB has definitely changed me for the better.