26.1% lost their work placement/internship, 29.2% lost their job, 28.2% had their job offer deferred or cancelled. These were the figures of a survey among graduating students conducted by Prospects to analyse the effects of COVID-19 on graduate recruitment. At the Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CFTE), we wanted to make sure that we can help students continue to develop and build skills at the beginning of their careers by allowing them to join the Global Fintech Internship – a week-long internship to work on real-world case studies presented by leading Fintech companies globally including – Mastercard, R3, Paypal, Onfido, Chipper Cash, while developing soft skills with Grayce.

The COVID-19 Pandemic has jolted students into one of the worst job markets. According to the Financial Times, students across the globe have found it very hard to find internships in 2020 and 2021, with only 17% of university students having an internship in the last year. This is a major problem since internships help students acquire important skills, they are a key differentiator for employers and are a stepping stone for students to prepare for their professional lives. 

As some industries crumble under the effect of COVID-19 – closing down employment opportunities, the Fintech industry is booming, and many Fintech companies, big or small, are hiring. However, many students are unaware of the opportunities.

The Global Fintech Internship Experience: Helping students get the internship they deserve
The Global Fintech Internship Experience is designed to bridge the gap between emerging opportunities in fintech and students who are on the lookout for work experience. It is a free one-week programme for students interested in Fintech and is designed to give them insights into the industry, skills from an applied project, and an opportunity to enhance their CVs. 

The programme is designed by CFTE, in collaboration with leading industry players such as Mastercard, R3, Paypal, Onfido, Chipper Cash and Grayce, whose senior leaders present on the programme will provide business cases to students to work on, as well as soft skills development seminars from Grayce. The programme was designed to be open to all students over 18 years old, without any discrimination of gender, educational background or location, helping a large pool of students access this internship.

“As an emerging talent management consultancy, Grayce believes in the value that graduates can bring to businesses. We aim to be the best fast-track developer of emerging talent, enabling improved diversity of thought and delivery in digital transformation and change. We are on a mission to help organisations harness the power of graduate talent and are proud of our long-standing partnerships with leading FinTech organisations.  

We know that graduate job prospects have been heavily impacted by the pandemic. And with EY’s FinTech census revealing that 42% of UK FinTechs are facing a ‘digital skills shortage’, we’re thrilled to partner with CFTE who share our passion for up-skilling young people. We feel a keen responsibility to give the emerging workforce a holistic skillset, combining hard and soft skills, that will set them up for a successful career long-term. The Grayce Team are excited to work with CFTE to help close these skills gaps and kickstart graduate careers on a global scale.”, says a spokesperson from the Grayce Team.

Wiza Jalakasi, VP, Global Developer Relations, who will be a part of the Global Fintech Internship said, “We at Chipper are very excited to be collaborating with CFTE in this year’s Global Fintech Internship programme. The entire industry is quickly growing with an increasing appetite for brilliant talent, and we couldn’t be more delighted to share our experiences and ideas with the student group, further enabling them to better prepare for the opportunities of today and the future. We are keen to discover any individuals with exceptional potential who we can connect to opportunities within Chipper and in the industry at large.”

Clare Joy, Strategy & Expansion Lead at Onfido, who will be joining the week-long programme said, “The fintech industry is booming, yet, there is a significant gap between business demand for digital skills and the number of opportunities available for young people to learn them. At Onfido, we attribute huge importance to internships to close this gap and open the gateway to the future workplace. It’s important that businesses put real world case studies at the heart of the process, to give the most realistic experience to the next generation of fintech experts. We are excited to play a leading role in the Global Fintech Internship and give students from around the world the opportunity to take their first steps in the sector, by applying what they are learning in the lecture hall to the fast-moving business world.”

The Internship programme is also supported by our institutional partners including – Ngee Ann Polytechnic (Singapore), The University of Nairobi,  the University of Ghana, the Students’ Representative Council at the University of Cape Town, UCL Business Society and King’s Banking and Finance Society.
What makes the programme a great learning experience?

The programme is virtual and takes place over one week (23 August to 29 August), with pre-work starting from 16 August. Students will be attending presentations, panel discussions on case studies around the Fintech industry, skills to enter Fintech and the jobs available in digital finance. They will be working in teams of 5 on business cases from leading Fintech companies, and submit a written paper and video presentation at the end of the programme. 
The programme is designed to give students a taste of the booming fintech landscape, allow them to brainstorm solutions to the biggest challenges faced by leading companies across the globe and collaborate with peers from diverse backgrounds, across countries worldwide.

Global Fintech Internship by the numbers

The programme has made a big impact on students since applications opened. Here are some of the statistics:

  • 4,096 applications were made to the Global Fintech Internship
  • We have a diverse applicant pool with 90+ nationalities
  • The talent pool consists of 80% undergrads and 20% Masters and PhDs

Tram Anh Nguyen, Co-founder of CFTE said, “We realised that the pandemic has made it very hard for students to find an internship. CFTE being an educational platform, we were committed to helping students get their first fintech experience, a real taste of the work environment and a stepping stone to fintech opportunities. That’s why together with the global fintech community we have created the Global Fitech Internship, which gives students exposure to the fastest growing area of finance. Regardless of background or experience, we welcomed everyone and anyone to join the programme.”

Huy Nguyen Trieu, Co-founder of CFTE, also added, “Every student deserves an internship. Amid an economic downturn induced by the global pandemic, we at CFTE want to make sure no student is robbed of the opportunity to build the necessary skills to develop in their career. The Global Fintech Internship is a unique opportunity for students to step into the booming Fintech industry at the start of their careers, by immersing themselves in an environment of leading institutions worldwide, where they can learn, develop and build competitive skills to grow.”