Citibank switches on to bright students

September 26, 1997

STUDENTS from Peru, Vietnam and London are this year studying for a masters in the United States thanks to funding from Citibank, which has sponsored five Fulbright scholarships to the country's business schools.

The bank, the largest American bank in Britain, got involved with Fulbright three years ago after it heard that Government funding for the scholarships had been reduced.

"Citibank has always been committed to programmes which support the exchange and movement of people from different environments. We believe it creates a broader experience for students," said Peter Thorp, vice president of educational programmes at the bank.

Candidates interested in sponsorship must be planning to study for a masters in international affairs or economics during their two years in the US.

The bank puts no other conditions on its sponsorship. Students receive $25,000 as an award and do not have to agree to work for the company at the end of their course.

"Students may look super in the written package but in person they may not be at all interested in financial services. I no more expect the recipient of the award to work for us than for anybody else. But it does give us a greater opportunity than others to talk to the candidate," said Thorp.

This is one reason why the Citicorp Foundation, which owns Citibank, sponsors the candidates.

"It gives us access to bright, interesting people from an employment point of view and increases awareness all over the world of what the Citicorp Foundation is all about."

Once the students have been selected for sponsorship, Citibank's recruitment team will talk to them about employment.

"During the summer after the first year of their masters course we can offer them employment as an intern. We talk to them beforehand and if our interests come together we will offer them a non-contractual job for the holiday in their home country or anywhere in Citibank."

If this is successful then the student could be offered a job at the end of the course.

The bank knows what it is looking for in a candidate. It wants students who have excelled academically but in addition those who have a range of other skills. "We are looking for people who have shown excellence in their academic achievements and have a level of personal accomplishment. They must have qualities which give us an idea of their potential going forwards," said Thorp.

"If they don't end up working for us we just hope they'll end up as a good ambassador for their country or a good customer."

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