Introduction to Organization
Qatar National Bank was established in 1964 as a commercial bank of the country. Shares of the bank are dived into half, owned by the private sector and investment authority. The executive of the bank is composed of Yousef Hussein Kamal who is the Chairman of the board director, other bank directors include, Sheikh Hamad ,Bin Abdullah, Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Sheikh Hamad, Bin Jabor Althani,,Sheikh Hamad Althani , Sheikh Jassim Althani , Mr. Ahmed Alsayd , Mr. Bader Fakhro, Rashid Alhajri, Ali Alsada, Mr. Fahad & Mr. Mansor Almahmoud.The bank operates in 24 countries and has a total of over 7500 staff members. There are 670 ATM machines spread across the bank networks.
At its inception in 1964, the bank was referred to as Qatar international bank until 2004 when the name was changed to Qatar National Bank. Apart from just the change in the name, the bank has also changed a great deal in terms of its operation and reaching out to the needs of the customers. It has improved the economic development of the people in Qatar by encouraging saving and investments. The bank remains to be a source of strength in the country and other regions where branches have been established (Dew & Shoult, 2002, p.111).
Doha international airport was financed by the bank. This has led to improved economic and trade ties between the country and other regions. There are also many projects that have been established by the bank which have uplifted people’s lives. With the establishment of many branches across the world, many people have been employed and hence minimizing on the rate of unemployment. The bank has scaled international heights by having a branch in London and many other areas in the Middle East and North Africa. This hence enhances transactions for travelling customers.
Organization objectives and missions
Qatar National Bank offers one of the best transaction experiences that include advising on project developments, mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt. Their extensive researches capabilities ensure that it gives the most accurate and reliable advise to its clients. For those interested in launching into securities and share index, the bank offers some of the best offers. The bank has different products to benefit both individuals and corporate. Depending on the financial capability and investment interests, QNB has designed products that will suit each need. Its wide coverage and expansion plan has been designed to handle different customers regionally, internationally, locally and per the economic status of the individual (Al-Hassan & Khamis, 2010, p. 29).
The mission of the bank is to provide investment opportunities and solutions across all market platforms and even markets. To achieve this, the bank has invested in experienced and knowledgeable workforce that offers world class services. The mission is to be the most trusted banking institution for customer investment needs.
The objectives of the organization are to work in excellence and improve customer experience ten times more each year. Second is to work in integrity and honesty in all situations. Thirdly, is to ensure transparency in delivery of services and products. 4th is to positively impart the communities around the bank through job creation and general community development. The fifth objective is to encourage innovation and improve on the services currently provided. Excelling in each activity of the bank is the 6th objective of the bank. On number seven, the bank is aimed at building careers by providing a good training ground for its workforce. Last and not least, the bank believes in the value of team work which is also one of its main focuses even as it aspires towards the delivery of services to its customers.
Internship position description
I had the opportunity to work at Qatar National Bank trainee for four weeks in two different positions. The first was customer service help and second, customer care representative. Working at the front office is a position that requires a motivated and skilled person. Being the very first person that the client meets at the bank, the employee reflects much on the image of the bank. The employee also needs to have a good understanding of the products of the bank as the customers will always come to make an inquiry. In short, the position requires people that are detail oriented, cheerful, good at numbers, clean and smart. One also needs to be punctual to serve customers that report earlier.
The bank expected me to work hand in hand with other employees for coordination purposes. Since I was dealing with the customers directly and first hand, I was expected to be familiar with the products of the bank and hence offering the necessary support possible. I hence had to do my own research and study about the products of the bank and their significance. I was allowed to ask questions where I did not understand or refer a client to a person that understood a product better. Computer skills and math aptitude was a mandatory requiring as the work revolved around such skills (Blanchard, 2011, p. 6).
I was also required to adjust and fit into the culture and tradition of the bank. This implied that I had to read through the mission statements, objectives and vision of the company. I was hence to work with dignity and be honest in all undertakings. Apart from just asking questions, I was also expected to positively impact on the performance of the organization by suggesting on the way forward as well as forwarding customer concerns to them.
The first week was strange for me as I adapted to a new working environment. There was a lot to learn and adjust considering I was new at the place. I was able to adjust and even complemented for being a first learner. I was exposed to different working environments as a customer care representative and customer care services. The practical lessons included me being on the machines, learning certain skills as well as assisting customers. I realized that the bank had a shortage of customer care representatives and I was glad I was able to assist and minimize on how long the customers waited. I also learned the value of teamwork, interpersonal skills, adaptability and having good communication skills in order to effectively work in the banking industry. During my first week of training, I learned that customers are very different and one has to be very patient and solve their issues. However much harsh or emotional a customer may be, it is up to the employee to calm them down, understand their issue and try to sort them out. Some of the activities I was engaged in were stamping statements, drafting letters and memos and explaining some terms and services either to customers or colleague.
My second week as an intern and I was slowly familiarizing myself with the environment. I was not as nerves as I was during the first week but again I realized I have to be more careful as I learn more skills. The days are busy due to the number of customers that need to be attended to. The bank has a policy to ensure a customer’s need is addressed within five minutes of waiting. Most of the customers need account opening and acquire a pin code. A number of them are foreigners and basically inquire on how they can open new accounts. The details are given to them by ensuring they produce the necessary documents. Another important skill I learned during the second week is internet banking which is a technology that enables account holders to carry out their transactions anywhere and at whichever time. I also learned that working at the front office require one to be well acquainted with Microsoft office, excel sheets and other banking software. I was able to learn and adapt to them as well as use them to assist customers. Despite the fatigue and pressure experienced at work, it felt great knowing that I had learned and achieved something. Helping people and leaving them feeling satisfied was a great achievement at the end of the day.
In the third week, I was more confident and carried out my work with more ease. By this time, I had a good understanding of the needs of the customers and was able to sort them out faster and without necessarily seeking clarification. My supervisor also gave me an assignment to make a comparison on four banks which I completed as below.
|Current account||+7000 QR||+2000 QR||+4000 QR||+3000 QR|
|Saving account||+5000 QR||+2000 QR||+ 4000 QR||+3000 QR|
|Lowest salary||+ 7000 QR||+2000 QR||+ 4000 QR||+ 3000 QR|
|Withdrawal Limits (ATM)||50,000 QR||10,000QR||10,000 QR||10,000 QR|
|Deposit money (ATM)||√||√||x||x|
|Transfer (telex) fees||15 QR||Depend on the country||15 QR||15 QR – |
Depend on the country
|Cheque book machine||√||x||x||x|
I was also able to help most customers who did not know how to deposit money using the atm. This was a practical lesson as I had to go the ATM with the customer and carry out the process step by step. With this procedure, customers are able to save on time instead of having to queue to carry out the process over the counter. By the end of the week, I had perfected on my interpersonal and motivational skills, I was able to handle more complex issues successfully.
My last week at Qatar National Bank was a hectic one. This was mainly because it was end month and Ramadan was just at the corner. To make matters worse, one of the teller systems was shut down. It was a tough work explaining to the customers and helping them wait or get the services elsewhere. Most of the customers expected to have all their services provided at any bank and it was quite a task explaining to them that they will have to contact specific banks for certain services. My computer and internet skills had improved a great deal and I was able to handle the work load effectively and even with more confident. I also learned to keep a positive mood throughout the day despite some annoying customers that failed to understand. I was also told to research more on the services being provided by the bank and more especially on e-banking as most customers came inquiring on the same. I also had to exercise my writing skills and wrote my supervisor a thank you letter just to appreciate him for allowing me work at the bank for four weeks. Working at QNB was a worth experience I will always cherish.
Intern’s contribution to organization
As an intern at the bank, it was a great experience as I was able to help and boost the work force. Considering a shortage of customer care representative, I was able to step in for customers and therefore enabling them to receive their services faster. I was also able to answer some questions from customers by explaining certain terms. My fresh knowledge also helped me teach my trainers some terms. I did a lot in helping customers open accounts, apply and receive pin codes, direct them to the nearest banks where they can get the necessary assistance and help them deposit money using the ATM. I was also able to assist in stamping of statements, writing memos and sending letters. Assisting old and expectant customers was also one of my greatest responsibilities. I therefore allowed them to be served directly without waiting and immediately refereeing them to a place where they can be assisted further.
Having been complemented of being a fast learner and other computer skills I had adopted, I was able to assist in entering of data in the computer system. This included opening accounts for customers and helping them fill in the necessary details which were reflected on the bank systems. There are also many who wanted to change their personal details such as postal addresses, phone numbers and even pin codes. I was able to guide them through the process and advice them accordingly. It was also a good experience helping foreigners who wanted to open account and dint know how to go about. I facilitated this by guiding them through the requirements and documentation. Relieving my colleagues of the pressure they experienced at work and satisfying the needs of the customer was my greatest joy at the end of the day.
Academic training and organization’s expectation comparison
My academic skills were a vital skill in helping me meet the expectations of the organization. I was able to practice most of the theoretical lessons I learned in class such as handling different types of customers as well as knowing how to talk to them. The terms I used in class and how they apply to the practical working environment were also vital in my work. It would have been difficult to explain to some customers concerning some issues if I did not have the first hand knowledge. There were some customers that understood the terms well and so I dint have to explain, however, others needed detailed explanations which I was able to deliver. Having learned about e-banking and how it enhances transactions, I was able to encourage more customers to adopt the same. I cleared most of the doubts they had on e-banking and advised them on how they can effectively use it without the fear of insecurity.
The courage that I developed and the interpersonal and analytical skills I learned in school kept me motivated. I developed more confident as I realized that most of the things I encountered, I had learned them. The business language I had learned in class was also of great help as it ensured that I communicated to my customers, colleagues and supervisors effectively. I knew how to talk to different categories of people as well as calm down especially when I encountered an irritated customer. Whenever I was required to communicate either verbally, orally or written, I was able to do so without fear as I had the skills from class. Computer skills I learned such as word, PowerPoint and the likes enabled me adapt faster to the systems used in the bank.
Usefulness and merit the internship training
Internship is usually a learning process that transforms one from just a student to an employee. This is usually an opportunity for the student to apply what they learned in class to a real environment and hence helping develop the confidence. Having worked at two different positions, I was made familiar with the happenings in the banking hall and hence knowing how to handle the customer. With this confidence, I will have no issues occupying any of the positions once I am out of college. The internship helped realize that I can manage working independently as I was now acquainted with the various programs and software use in the bank. I was excited when customers showed confidence in me as I handled their issues effectively. It felt like I was already employed there. My colleagues and supervisors were well pleased with me as I adapted faster to the environment. This boosted my morale and made me more effective (Azzam, 2002, p. 84).
Assessment of the organization’s work environment
Very busy working environment, there is a deficit in number of customer care representative. This hence led to longer queues and the employee having a lot of pressure.
The 2nd week
The customers understood what they wanted from the bank and were willing to wait just to be served. Different alternatives were available to customers to make their work easier but most of them were not informed about them.
Good interpersonal and analytical skills are required to effectively handle different customers at the bank. One needs to be sensitive at the customers that visit the bank and try to assist them such as giving priority to the elderly and expectant mothers.
The 4th week
The work load at the end of the month and during important holidays and vacations is tasking. This requires the systems to function well and a motivated workforce to handle the needs. A lot of patience and perseverance is required during this time and a customer care representative has to be careful when handling customers.
Suggestion for program improvement
To improve on the operations of the bank, QNB needs to allow the trainees to work in more sections. The trainee should also be trusted and assisted where necessary. Developing trust towards someone gives them more confidence to work. Any question asked should also not be ignored as they will assist the trainee in answering the same when asked by the customers. The university also needs to give a chance to other students at least once a week where they can learn from the interns’ experience. Allowing the interns to share their experiences will ensure they learn from each other and avoid repeating mistakes. To help the interns achieve more from their experiences, multiple mistakes should never be entertained. This will make them more serious with their work and develop faster learning skills. I greatly appreciate the University for providing theoretical knowledge that is applicable in the working environment.
Having been exposed to QTB, I learned a lot that added to my theoretical knowledge about the bank. It was a good experienced that gave me the confidence to work. I am now looking forward to working for a banking institution and offer the best services ever. For the few weeks I was at the bank, I had analyzed a lot and even made conclusions on what can be done to make the institution better. I have never been this confident about my skills and have realized that I am needed out there to impact and bring change to the community. I thank both the bank and the University for such an Opportunity that has changed my life and perspective.
Al-Hassan, A. & Khamis, M. (2010). The GCC Banking Sector: Topography and Analysis. London: International Monetary Fund
Azzam, H. (2002). The Arab World: Facing the Challenge of the New Millenium. New York: I.B.Tauris.
Blanchard, C. (2011). Qatar: Background and U. S. Relations. New York: DIANE Publishing.
Dew, P. & Shoult, A. (2002). Doing Business With Qatar. Emirates: GMB Publishing Ltd.