What I Learned From Internship at Bank Essay

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Internship at Kookmin Bank

Kookmin Bank was established in 1963, though it took some time for it to become the leading back in South Korea. In 1991, the bank began expanding outside of South Korea, by opening a branch in Luxembourg. Luxembourg was only the first of its international locations, and the bank now has a major international presence. In 2001, Kookmin and H&CB signed a merger agreement, and Jung-Tae Kim was nominated as CEO of the merged bank. Kookmin Bank is highly respected in South Korea and in the international community. When viewed from both asset value and market capitalization angles, Kookmin Bank is the largest bank in South Korea. Furthermore, Kang Chung-Won, the bank's current CEO and former leader of Seoul Bank, has been ranked among the top executives in South Korea. What makes Kookmin Bank such a success story is its emphasis on consumer banking services, which has not lessened even though it has made attempts to expand into foreign exchange and corporate banking. It is consistently ranked among the best banks and best companies, not only due to the strength of its financial services, but also because of its commitment to strong ethics and its welcoming work environment.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Essay on What I Learned From Internship at Bank Assignment

Being a South Korean organization, Kookmin Bank's corporate structure differs somewhat from a traditional American mission statement. In fact, in order to truly understand Kookmin Bank's missions and goals, one has to understand the banking industry in South Korea. Banking in South Korea, and in much of Asia, has traditionally provided a venue for money laundering. While that has not been the primary, or even a stated, goal of most financial institutions, the reality is that financial institutions in South Korea were frequently profiting from laundering activities. However, Kookmin Bank has taken an aggressively anti-laundering position. It performs due diligence, searching for criminal activity, before merging with other financial institutions. Moreover, its mission certainly involves keeping ethics in banking. The bank has instituted several measures to ensure ethical dealing and has made a commitment to ethics that is practically unrivaled by any other major international banking institution. Furthermore, although Kookmin Bank has been happy to expand into other areas and come to prominence as an international bank, it remains, at its heart, a consumer-driven institution. It has implemented several user-friendly services, such as e-banking, and engages in a wide variety of traditional consumer services, including deposit and interest-bearing accounts, credit cards, and consumer loans.

Becoming an Intern

While Kookmin Bank may be a large organization, I found my experience at the organization to be very personal. Like most major corporations, Kookmin Bank has a formal internship program, and I obtained my internship by applying directly to this program. I submitted a resume along with a cover letter explaining why I sought an internship with the bank. I explained that I intended to major in finance and accounting, which was why I was seeking an internship with the bank. My application was selected for an interview, and I was asked to come to the corporate headquarters to begin the interview process. The interview was conducted in group-format, with five individuals engaging in the interview process. After my initial interview, I was asked to complete a background check and then asked in for a second interview, which was conducted with a human resources manager. At that time, I was offered an internship. Kookmin Bank had both paid and unpaid internship positions, and the position that I accepted was an unpaid position.


Kookmin Bank's emphasis on customer service means that they want all of their employees to understand the consumer experience. As a result, I began my internship in a local consumer banking center. There, I shadowed people from each area of the bank. In the local branch in which I worked, the main jobs were tellers, loan officers, and bank managers. I spent one week working with people in each group. No single person was in charge of training me. On the contrary, I was expected to ask questions whenever I had them, with the assurances that those people who were working at the bank would do their best to answer those questions. What I found remarkable is that everyone really did try to make my internship a learning process. From the tellers, I learned how to use banking software to keep track of deposits and withdrawals, automatic check-reading machines, and the money counting machines. From the loan officers, I learned how to submit credit checks and criteria for evaluating loans. From the bank manager, I learned how to smooth over issues with unruly customers, though there was only one customer who actually created any kind of substantial difficulty while I was interning at the local branch.

The fourth week of my internship, I was scheduled to move to corporate headquarters. That move coincided with an already-scheduled ethics training, which I was required to attend. I found this ethic training very interesting. The first thing that I found interesting is that the ethics training was geared at all of the bank's employees. The training literally included people from building maintenance all the way up to the higher levels of the corporation, though it seemed to only include about 10% of the employees at the headquarters. Though I did not ask, I received the impression that the training was staggered so that there would always be sufficient employees to run the business, but also so that all employees would receive regular ethics training. One of the major issues discussed at the ethics training was the law surrounding legal and illegal transactions. However, the ethics training did not stop with a discussion of what was legal and what was illegal. On the contrary, the training discussed some ethical dilemmas that employees might face because of their role as bank employees. These ethical scenarios were not limited to people having direct contact with money. On the contrary, the ethical issues training focused on a broad variety of different issues that one might encounter in different levels of employment at the bank.

The second half of my internship was performed at the corporate office. As at the local branch, there was no single individual in charge of training me. Instead, I spent time with people in various different departments, and was encouraged to approach any individual with questions about the work done there. However, at the corporate office, a person working in human resources was in charge of my training. I would check in with her each morning and receive my assignment for the day. When moving me to a new department, she would accompany me to that department, introduce me to a manager or contact person in that department, and spend time outlining my duties while I was in that department. However, I received my actual job training from the various individuals in the departments.

Activities or Responsibilities

My majors are finance and accounting, so one would assume that an internship at a bank would directly relate to my major. However, I do not think that my internship experience really related to my major in a significant manner. The internship program did a good job of giving me a good overview of Kookmin Bank's general business structure and the responsibilities and rights of members in different branches of the organization. However, the internship program was actually so broadly defined that I felt like a student from any major could have completed the internship program.

One area where I felt as if my major was significant was when I was working at the local branch of the bank with the tellers. A teller's job may seem very simplistic, because it basically involves the addition and subtraction of sums. Moreover, because there are machines to count money and machines to read checks, it seems that a teller does little more than operate basic machinery. However, working with the tellers, I began to see how strong math and accounting skills could really assist someone in that position. What I discovered is that tellers do not need only to ensure that sums come out right, but they also have to be able to trace back problems in the events that sums are not totally correctly. Moreover, I discovered that customers were frequently mistaken in their deposit amounts, so that tellers had to call on their accounting skills multiple times in a day.

Another area that I felt was very relevant to my major was Kookmin Bank's emphasis on ethics. In finance, especially in light of the recent spate of Wall Street scandals, ethics are of critical importance. Furthermore, it seems like the further removed people are from consumer interactions, the more likely they are to fall prey to ethical temptations. This phenomenon may not be true, because it is not something that I have tested in any empirical manner. Even if true, it might be the result of people weighing risks against rewards; or it might be the fact that it is not highly publicized if… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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