Story by Kayode Tokede
Another set of thirty young Nigerian graduates are ready to gain first-hand work experience and employment opportunity in the corporate world under the fourth edition of the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) internship programme and contest, tagged #FCMBFlexxtern.
The participants, who are between the ages of 16 and 25, emerged victorious in an online contest organised by the Bank as part of its youth engagement, capacity building and reward initiatives. This brings to fifty, the number of winners produced by the #FCMBFlexxtern initiative since it was launched in 2016.
Speaking at the event, FCMB’s Group Head, Corporate Affairs, Mr. Diran Olojo, expressed delight at the quality of entries received from contestants and the passion that Nigerian youths demonstrate when given the right opportunity to positively express themselves.
According to him, “it is very fulfilling to see a lot of young Nigerians embrace and heartily participate in the #FCMBFlexxtern initiative. This is important because it gives students and young graduates the opportunity to gain hands-on workplace and business experience.
“We realize that many youths have all it takes to succeed, but without the required mentoring, training and insights, it can be a challenge to achieve results. We are excited that the #FCMBFlexxtern initiative has become a catalyst to fast-track the development of a new generation of professionals”.
Also commenting, the Group Head, Consumer Liability and Segment Management of FCMB, Mr. Shamsideen Fashola, said the Bank recognises the role of youths in building, shaping and driving economic growth.
He added that, “at FCMB, we are passionate about creating opportunities not just for our customers, but all segments of the society. The #FCMBFlexxtern initiative is a value-added offering of our Flexx product for youths. Indeed, this programme is one of the ways we recognise and celebrate the youth as the central force for socio-economic development, and the hope for the future. As a business, we do not take this segment for granted. This informed the development of our Flexx product and proposition four years ago. Certainly, there is more to come from Flexx and FCMB”.
The latest winners (Flexxterns) were inaugurated and presented with certificates at an event on October 31 in Lagos. Each of them will get a 3-month paid internship and career building experience with either FCMB or one of the organisations partnering with the bank on this capacity building initiative.
A graduate of Economics from University of Lagos, Derin Adeosun said, “I am really excited to be part of this initiative. With the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria, it’s difficult for a young graduate like myself not to be anxious about obtaining gainful employment after leaving school. But FCMB has just given me the opportunity of a lifetime to start my career on very strong grounds and I couldn’t be more grateful. This is a Bank that truly understands the plight of the Nigerian youths”.
The thirty beneficiaries also stand a chance of being retained for full employment at the end of their respective internships.
The inauguration provided an opportunity to meet the Flexxterns and introduce them to the organisations they would respectively work with. In attendance were representatives of the partner organisations such as Insight Publicis, Terragon Group, Digiengage and TISV Digital. Other partners were 618 Bees, Lumenave, Sagerock & Associates, Vas2Net, School Kits Limited, Dmastermind as well as Wetherheads.
The 2019 #FCMBFlexxtern contest, which began on September 13 and ended on October 5, was held at Flexxzone, the exclusive microsite built around FCMB’s Flexx proposition and which also provides relevant content to the Flexx target audience on a wide range of areas, including fashion, lifestyle, entrepreneurship. To qualify, interested youths were advised to upload a 45-second video to YouTube with the hashtag #FCMBFlexxtern, explaining why they were the best for the job and invite their friends to vote for them.
At the end of the public voting stage, the 60 entries with the highest number of votes were shortlisted, after which a panel of judges carried out an independent rating of the contestants. This led to the emergence of winners.