National Australia Bank creating opportunities for New Colombo Plan scholars

18 May 2017

The National Australia Bank’s (NAB) partnership with the New Colombo Plan (NCP) is deepening its relationship with Australian universities, the community and government by mentoring scholars and students who may one day become industry leaders.  

“The NAB is pleased to be able to support the New Colombo Plan, which supports thousands of Australian undergraduates to study and intern in the Asia Pacific every year,” said Angela Mentis, NCP Business Champion and Chief Customer Officer, Business & Private Banking.

“Upon graduation, these young Australians are bringing greater language and cross-cultural skills and experience of working in our region to the Australian workforce.

“That is why the NAB has been pleased to provide internships to New Colombo Plan students in multiple Asian locations.”

The NCP is included in the NAB’s Regional Internship Policy and Approach and its Australia in Asia Strategy. NAB has extended its summer internships from universities in Singapore, Hong Kong and China by offering internships to NCP scholars and select mobility program partners at its branches in China (Shanghai), Hong Kong, India (Mumbai), Japan, and Singapore. 

The NCP experience has worked well for NAB’s offices hosting NCP internships. “It’s great to have such enthusiastic students,” said Mr Kohei Tsushima, General Manager of NAB Japan.

“They are very smart, fast learners and it’s nice to have an exchange of ideas from Australian students contributing to the NAB culture and office in Japan.

“In fact, we are all learning from each other.”

The NAB takes interns from many disciplines including finance, international business, law, commerce, education, the arts, marketing, international relations, accounting, agribusiness science and management. They are exposed to a challenging range of operations including global institutional banking, marketing, business, income and investment solutions, legal and risk, private wealth, country management and operations, and internal audit.

New Colombo Plan scholars and mobility students have had high praise for their NCP NAB experiences.

“The NAB’s internship program attracts Australian and Singaporean students and allowed me to form invaluable friendships that helped me settle into a new country and work environment. This experience helped shape my career aspirations,’ said Rebecca Lawrence 2016 University of Western Australia NCP Scholar to Singapore.


Rebecca sitting at her office desk
University of Western Australia NCP Scholar Rebecca Lawrence during her NAB internship in Singapore.

“It has been a pleasure to work with some of the best in the industry and learn from their wealth of experience. Being in the dealing room, watching my mentor and his team, allowed me to see how the market reacts and adds a real dynamic you cannot find in the classroom,’ said Luke Bennett, 2016 Curtin University of Technology student, Singapore.

“The work at NAB was new, challenging, and provided me with an important perspective on how practical economic conditions affects the way a bank operates and ultimately how we can lend to them,” said Patrick Gonzalez, 2016 Macquarie University student, Hong Kong.

“Every member of the Hong Kong Business Banking team has taken the time to sit down and work with us. They have shared their wisdom and advice on work and gone above and beyond by helping us enjoy life outside work in Hong Kong too,” said Michelle Zhang and Samantha Wong, 2017 University of New South Wales.

Patrick Gan (2014 NCP Scholar, Western Sydney University, Japan) said: “I gained first-hand experience in the day-to-day work in Japan, opportunities to speak to and learn from industry professionals and, most importantly, an increased drive to directly contribute to the Australia-Japan relationship.”

NAB mentors, like Gavan Duffy in Tokyo, also see the value of investing time and effort in mentoring students like Patrick: “With our feedback he was able to write quicker, sharper reports for us acknowledging the balance that we need to make with risk versus reward. His final report is a strong piece of work that we will be able to leverage for future interns into our team. He will be a better candidate in the workforce after his internship. This is a great way to support younger people into the workforce, and also provides us with the valuable market knowledge on suitable candidates should a position become available on or around graduation.”


Seven people standing in front of National Australia Bank sign
NCP Mobility Program students from the University of NSW with the NAB Business Team in Hong Kong.


Last Updated: 18 May 2017
Interns standing in front of lifts and an NAB poster
NCP student Patrick Gonzalez, from Macquarie University, with other finance interns honing their professional skills during an NAB internship.

Luke sitting at his office desk
Luke Bennett, from Curtin University of Technology, benefited from the mentoring he received at NAB as part of his NCP Mobility Program in Singapore.