As a global bank with a long-standing presence in the Gulf States, BNP Paribas is uniquely placed to offer promising graduates from the region the opportunity to accumulate the skills and experience needed to operate in an international financial environment.
The Bank s Middle East and Africa (MEA) Graduate Secondee Programme aims to enhance talent in the region and promote diversity across the Bank, offering high-potential graduates from the Gulf States the opportunity to gain valuable experience.
The programme is open to graduates with degrees in banking and finance, information technology, accounting or economics who display strong communication and analytical skills, an ability to adapt and a strong passion to forge a career in the banking sector.
Successful candidates are offered a 24-month placement in a location and department relevant to their qualifications and interests, providing them with an opportunity to learn through practical experience and from senior colleagues.
MEA Graduate Secondee Programme: A view from Salman Alhammadi.
Salman currently works in the Bank as part of the BNP Paribas Graduate Secondee Programme, based in the Kingdom of Bahrain
What is your background (age, educational background, interests) and what has attracted you to a career in banking? I m 25. I graduated with a BBA from Emory University, Majoring in Finance, Consulting and Risk Management. What attracts me to a career in the banking industry is being exposed to different industries and clients on a daily basis. Working for an international institution such as BNP Paribas, I get to interact with various clients from across the region as well as different BNP Paribas employees across the globe. The people I interact with come from diverse backgrounds and are all very smart.
In addition to that, the level of autonomy and responsibility that was given to me from an early stage, even during my interview process, was astonishing. The learning curve in the very beginning was very steep. But the environment is very stimulating and there are numerous venues to continue my education.
How did you find out about the BNP Paribas Graduate Secondee programme and how did you manage to enter it? I found out about it by networking with existing employees of BNP Paribas Bahrain.
In which departments of the Bank did you work, and what did you accomplish during the programme? I worked in Debt Capital Markets. On a personal level, the year I ve spent in BNP Paribas has helped me build my character. It has significantly increased my skills as well as contributed significantly to my learning. On a broader level, I was fully involved in executing all the DCM deals that came out of the region since 2013. This gave me exposure to the industry and that particular line of business from the very start.
What was the biggest challenge of the programme? How did you deal with it? Shortly after I joined BNP Paribas, a member of the DCM team left the Bank, and I was given a lot of responsibility and autonomy from a very early stage in my career. I had to hit the ground running, make sure that I asked the right questions, understand exactly what I was doing, and how it would benefit BNP Paribas clients.
Do you still want to pursue a career in banking? If yes, in what area and why? Of course, if I was offered the opportunity, I would pursue a career in the Debt Capital Markets. The learning opportunities within this area are never-ending. Every time we work for a client, we must have a complete understanding of the client s business, which presents a never-ending learning curve via exposure to multiple industries within the MEA region.
What is the main thing you learned about BNP Paribas during the programme? BNP Paribas is a very ethical and responsible bank. I have experienced this first-hand throughout all the deal executions thus far. BNP Paribas respects the rules and regulations of the trade. Moreover, the teamwork that exists between different departments and across countries is unrivalled. I truly feel like I belong to one big team rather than a single small team within a large organisation
197A R E S P O N S I B L E B A N K