Gulf Bank Cel­e­brates Two Groups of Ajyal Grad­u­ates

Shap­ing the Fu­ture of Bank­ing

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL - Salma Al-Ha­j­jaj

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.

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