SMU and Citi Ventures to offer experiential learning in FinTech

Singapore Management University (SMU) and Citi Ventures have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to offer the Citi® University Partnerships in Innovation & Discovery (CUPID) programme to SMU’s students. Participating students will get to earn one credit unit towards their undergraduate degree upon successful completion of the programme. This partnership marks the first time that CUPID is extending the programme to a university in Asia. 

The CUPID programme was officially launched in January 2018 in the United States as a joint initiative between Citi Ventures and the Citi Human Resources team to build a pipeline of new and diverse talent to foster innovation and accelerate financial services solutions within the bank. Since its launch, the CUPID programme has engaged more than 1,200 students from 20 universities in the United States, Europe and Canada. These universities include Cornell University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University (Stern) and Stanford University, just to name a few.

The CUPID programme at SMU will officially commence in January 2020 and will run through the 15-week term. Students taking the Financial Technology Project Experience module, an SMU-X course which combines academic with experiential learning, will have the opportunity to participate in the programme. The module is part of the Financial Technology track in the Bachelor of Science (Information Systems) degree programme.

These students will be paired with mentors from Citi Ventures and SMU faculty and will work on a variety of technology-related projects that may include developing new product ideas, crafting unique customer experience solutions, and building functional prototypes leveraging blockchain, machine learning and artificial intelligence, among other technologies. 

SMU President Professor Lily Kong said, “As the burgeoning Fintech sector continues to expand in Singapore and across the world, it is set to become a significant employer of talent in the future. Besides Fintech start-ups, established financial institutions have also been looking to recruit more talent with skills in web development and data analytics, as they enhance their digital banking offerings and capabilities. Given this backdrop, SMU is delighted to partner with Citi Ventures to provide experiential learning to our students through the CUPID programme. Our students will be able work in teams to apply their classroom knowledge to real-world challenges faced by financial institutions. These include opportunities to work on improving customer onboarding though digital channels, reducing transaction cycle times and error rates, and increasing product marketing yields though real-time customer analytics. Students will be able to gain valuable experience and a better understanding of the demands and opportunities in the Fintech industry.”

Citi’s Head of Operations and Technology for Asia Pacific Vikram Subrahmanyam said, “We are delighted to extend Citi Ventures’ highly regarded CUPID programme to Asia and offer SMU’s undergraduate students the opportunity to work with a global bank with more than 200 years of history. In addition to gaining practical insights into the various businesses and complexity of banking, the students will also get hands-on experience in discovering and developing innovative solutions that transform the future of financial services. In return, we look forward to tapping on some of the brightest minds of these students to help us build better solutions that meet our clients’ rapidly evolving needs.”