Gulf Bank Celebrates Two Groups of Ajyal Graduates
Shaping the Future of Banking
KUWAIT: Gulf Bank proudly held a graduation ceremony for the graduates of its Ajyal - Graduate Development Program on 9 November 2016 at the Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel. The event was organized to celebrate the Ajyal 1 and Ajyal 2 graduates upon successful completion of the program in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
The Ajyal Graduate Development Program is an iconic program developed by Gulf Bank in cooperation with Institute of Banking Studies (IBS) Kuwait, to nurture young Kuwaiti talent early in their career to develop them into ‘holistic bankers’ and prepare them for future leadership positions at the Bank.
The ceremony was to celebrate the successful graduates and recognize the program’s high achievers. It also showcased the Bank’s commitment to providing opportunities for its young Kuwaiti employees, by building a large cadre of Kuwaiti bankers for the benefit of both the Bank and Kuwait.
Commenting on the occasion, Salma Al-Hajjaj, General Manager of Human Resources at Gulf Bank said: “We are very proud to celebrate our first two classes of graduates of our Ajyal (Generations) program. The program is a testament to our commitment to development of young Kuwaitis as well-rounded, highly trained, and motivated banking professionals. I am confident that these graduates will be making excellent contributions to the Bank moving forward, and be making a mark on the banking and financial sectors of Kuwait.”
The event kicked off with a welcome ceremony and entrance of the graduates. Following a short documentary video presentation about the program, the program’s new logo was unveiled, followed by remarks from Gulf Bank’s Senior Executives, and then testimonies from top graduates. Two top performers in each class are honored and they are: for the 2014-2015 program: Ali Al-Zankwai and Shahad Darweesh; and for the 205-2016 program: Yousef Al Jeeran and Rima Sulaiman.
Al-Hajjaj also noted the pride the Bank has for the Ajyal program and for its legacy saying: “We are extremely proud of this outstanding program that is designed to include 9months’ of intensive training covering every facet of banking from the basic principles of banking; financial economics; banking laws and regulations; corporate and retail finance, to risk management, anti-money-laundering, banking ethics and customer orientation. It also enhances participants’ critical, analytical and reflective thinking ability, in addition to exposing them to creativity, presentation skills, customer service orientation, and understanding of corporate social responsibility.”
The selection process for the Ajyal is as follows: Kuwaiti employees who have worked at the Bank for no less than one year, but no more than three years can apply online. After the initial screening, the candidates must successfully complete a series of assessment tests, starting with language proficiencies, followed by numerical and analytical ability, psychometrics, and group discussions. Each stage of selection is based on elimination and only those who successfully complete each stage advance onwards. The final step is an interview with a panel of Gulf Bank executives.
The program begins with modules of classroom learning and these form the main part of the training. These sessions take place over the course of seven-months and include insights from distinguished international and local faculty. Then, a 3-day boot camp course focuses on challenging mindsets, creating self-awareness, and building character. A 2-day navigation workshop is also conducted to help employees identify their strengths and values. Following this, exams take place. Local field training, and then an international assignment follow. During the program trainees are assigned a mentor who is a Senior Executive of the Bank, which helps them gain a better understanding of the workplace and the industry. The trainees then graduate are placed in different departments in the Bank, based on their personal preferences and the Bank’s needs.