Year 13 - Commerce Week: Day 3

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The third day of Commerce Week was headed by Colin Johnson and Mr Gamble who led us to Danske Bank. We were given a taste of how the bank operates through a variety of presentations and talks. The team was very fortunate to meet and hear the advice of Kevin Kingston, Chief Executive of Danske Bank.  Mr Kingston helped to explain that banks have a fundamental role in creating a sound and stable environment in Northern Ireland. He provided key statistics which highlight that Danske Bank are providing for 1 out of 4 first time buyers in Northern Ireland. This was an exceptional presentation and much appreciated; Kevin took time out of a very busy schedule to meet with us and provide an insight into his role within the bank.

A number of presentations followed this, the first given by Corporate Strategy Manager Felicity Ross who explained her main responsibility: forward planning and developing a strategy for the company. The second speaker was Clive Harper, a past pupil of RBAI and the Senior Manager in the Credit Department. He explained his role and the importance of ‘credit’, which allows the bank to function.  The third speaker was Head of Marketing, Nicola McCleery whose main focus is to anticipate consumer demand and implement plans to secure a prominent presence in the advertising frenzy of the contemporary business landscape. The fourth and last presentation was given by representatives of the IT Department, Peter Gourley and Zoe Bambrick.  Both speakers gave an explanation of their role within the bank, which included development of apps such as ‘Danske Life’.  Interestingly, statistics show that approximately 10 hours of the average 12 hour day is spent searching through media.

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Overall, the experience in Danske Bank was extremely insightful, showing the bank’s role in today’s society.  It certainly highlighted Danske Bank’s drive and ability to adapt to the ever-changing ways of banking in this new age of ‘Digital Banking’.  I would personally like to thank everyone at Danske Bank for their efforts and commitment in making this a memorable visit and ensured that our time at Danske went smoothly and was as enjoyable as possible.

Next on the agenda was a visit to commercial property consultants, Osborne King.  Here, we met Martin McDowell, another past pupil of RBAI who gave us a task which encouraged classic inter-house competition!  It involved a combined team of Dill and Pirrie who took on a collection of Larmor, Stevenson, Jones and Kelvin representatives. The teams were given an hour to carry out a task - to pitch a viable collection of properties to the judges.  The competition was fierce but the eventual winners were Dill/Pirrie. This task allowed us to express our analytical, presentation and speech preparation skills, all of which helped us to gain an insight into the various processes at Osborne King.

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In summary, day three of the Commerce Week was an exceptional experience and very enjoyable.  Getting an insight into how each of the very different businesses operate has definitely motivated and inspired us all to follow one of these career paths.

Aaron Winters 13D

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