Team Black Ops conquers 2018 NCB Innovation Internship Challenge

Team Black Ops emerged victor at the recent National Commercial Bank (NCB) Innovation Internship Final Pitch event, bringing to life cutting-edge solutions geared towards optimising the efficiency of operations at NCB subsidiary, Advantage General Insurance Company (AGIC).

This year, the grueling 5-week Innovation Internship for university students sought to generate solutions to be added to the backlog of the bank’s Agile Labs. These exist to enhance customer experience through the development of technological solutions.

Comprising University of the West Indies, Mona students, Cheser Adams, Jo-Gianna Hall, Jesse James, and Shawn Miller along with Howard University student, Marlon Brooks, Black Ops won the Excellence Award for Best Recommendations, walking away with trophies and US$3,000. Miller also took home the Research Guru and Team Player Awards for finding the most research data to support his team’s presentations and consistently motivating his team and pulling them together throughout the competition.

Black Ops worked along with 10 other interns to map  customer journeys, identify pain points for each journey, develop customer personas and conduct stakeholder analyses for three of NCB’s subsidiaries: NCB Capital Markets (NCBCM), NCB Insurance Company (NCBIC) and AGIC.

“I am delighted because they really did an excellent job identifying the pain points and with a little tweaking we can really find the right solutions,” said Ruth Cummings, AGIC Vice President, Channel Management and Underwriting, and member of the panel of judges.

The winning pitch which also won Team Excellence Award for Best Pain Point Analyses and Problem Definition, presented an online insurance solution dubbed, UX, UI, U. According to James, this customer-centric approach to auto insurance will assist AGIC clients in buying and renewing insurance online, as well as reporting claims with more efficiency, expediency and ease. With a three-tiered approach to insurance, including in-branch digital upgrades, online insurance transaction solutions and usage-based insurance solutions, the team believes its solution can solve a serious issue for the insurance giant.

Other pitches included online investment banking using a virtual banking system, and online self-service life and health insurance solutions.

With more than 2,000 applications worldwide, the third annual Innovation Internship organised by NCB’s Innovation team returned with the same vision, but a different format.

“This year we moved from the individual-centric approach and we put the interns in teams and exposed them to the agile way of working, like designing thinking process mapping and they came up with some powerful solutions and really insightful presentations. They gave us ideas based on what a totally different generation and demographic would like. This is important because understanding how they see the world is crucial for the future of our business,” Nadeen Matthews Blair, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer said.

Matthews Blair commended the teams for their cutting-edge solutions and explained that this internship aligns with the NCB Financial Group’s resolve to gather innovative solutions from various sources, not just internally.

But beyond the benefit for NCB, the interns admit that they too have profited from the programme.

“I think that the NCB Innovation Internship programme is unparalleled. Our having access to the same resources that people in high positions, who make decisions have was impressive. Jamaica is going through a pivotal moment in its economic growth and I’ve seen how NCB is undergoing strategies to adjust to that and appeal to a changing demographic,” said Brooks, who studies Spanish and Economics in the United States.

Team Black Ops conquers 2018 NCB Innovation Internship Challenge 1
(L-R) Nadeen Matthews, Chief Digital Marketing Officer, NCB, celebrates with the 2018 NCB Innovation Internship participants at the final pitch ceremony held recently at the NCB Atrium in Kingston. Also photographed is Kerry-Ann Gordon (second right), program coordinator for the internship. This year’s internship cohort was divided into three teams of five to identify pain points, ideate and pitch solutions that would improve customer experience of NCB subsidiaries: NCB Capital Markets, NCB Insurance Company and Advantage General Insurance Company.
Team Black Ops conquers 2018 NCB Innovation Internship Challenge 2
(L-R) Juleen Gentles and Ryan Grant of team Fort Knox move the vote of thanks after the Final Pitch ceremony of the third annual NCB Innovation Internship held recently. The two vibrant university students participated in a 5-week internship along with 13 other students, who sought to generate solutions to be added to the backlog of NCB’s Agile Labs. Grant and Gentles’ team developed solutions for NCB Capital Markets, and though not the victors, the duo received individual ‘fun awards’ with Grant taking home the Research Guru award and Gentles claiming both the Team Player award and Life of the Party award for congeniality.
Team Black Ops conquers 2018 NCB Innovation Internship Challenge 3
Janielle Stewart of team CIO explains her team’s solution to the pain points they found with the NCB Insurance Company. Stewart was one of 15 university students who participated in the third NCB Innovation Internship Programme which recently culminated in a pitch presentation at The Atrium. The winning team, Black Ops received US$3,000.
Team Black Ops conquers 2018 NCB Innovation Internship Challenge 4
Ruth Cummings AGIC Vice President, Channel Management and Underwriting and member of the panel of judges seeks clarification on a point during the final pitch presentations of the NCB Innovation Internship programme. The initiative organised by NCB’s Innovation team saw university students learning the agile way of working to develop solutions for pain points of NCB subsidiaries: NCBCM, NCBIC and AGIC.
Team Black Ops conquers 2018 NCB Innovation Internship Challenge 5
Ruth Cummings, shares lens with team Black Ops which presented the winning solution for her company, AGIC. The victorious team comprised: (l-r) Howard University student, Marlon Brooks, 20; University of the West Indies, Mona students, Cheser Adams, 21; Jesse James, 19; Shawn Miller, 20 and Jo-Gianna Hall, 20 who are here photographed along with Senior Assistant General Manager – Strategy and Transformation Program, NCB Gabrielle Banbury Kelly. The team also won Team Excellence Award for Best Pain Point Analyses and Problem Definition for its online insurance solution dubbed, UX, UI, U. This customer-centric approach to auto insurance is projected to assist AGIC clients in buying and renewing insurance online, as well as reporting claims with more efficiency, expediency and ease.