Anne Osir completed the IB Diploma Programme at St. Mary’s School in Nairobi, Kenya. She is currently a Senior Corporate Relationship Manager at KCB Bank Kenya, Ltd. She supports the banking needs of new and existing corporate clients, analyses credit risk, and offers financing solutions. Here, she reflects on the skills she gained during her IB studies and how they contributed to her success at university and in her career.
Why did you originally decide to pursue an IB diploma?
I wanted to go to university abroad and I knew the IB diploma was accepted by most universities. Students received credits at some of the top universities. It also meant that I did not have to do a pre-university course before starting university. In addition, there was the option of getting a scholarship with good grades.
How did you shape your IB diploma studies to your interests?
I had the option to choose various subject combinations according to my interests and academic strengths, which ultimately led to my university degree and banking career. Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) also improved my interpersonal and communication skills. In terms of courses, I believe Economics was most valuable to me.
Who inspired you most as an IB student?
My economics teacher left a strong impression on me. He taught me to be more inquisitive and made learning really fun and easy, with current examples that showed me how the course was relevant. He was also our careers master and was readily available to discuss various concerns that I had about choosing a university.
Did the extended essay, TOK, or CAS prepare you for university?
The extended essay showed me how to research and organize information, then summarize all of it to write papers. It also enabled me to be confident in discussing various issues with my professors when preparing papers and giving presentations. Having done lengthy papers before, I did not find it stressful when I got to writing them at university. I still use these skills today when preparing credit papers. The skills also come in handy when preparing and conducting business meetings with team members and company executives. CAS made me more outgoing and social, and taught me how to work in a team. Surprisingly, it also gave me a lot of experience to put on my CV when looking for a job while at university.
Tell us about your current work with KCB?
I joined KCB Bank KenyaLtd as a management trainee and did job rotations in various departments around the Bank. I gravitated towards this role because of the various departments, Corporate Banking was the most challenging and matched my personality. It offered me the opportunity to interact with clients daily, give customized financing solutions, and work with other departments in the bank.
What advice do you have for current IB students that are thinking about a career like yours?
Banking is interesting and very challenging. You should be open-minded, confident, trustworthy and always hungry to learn. One has to pay attention to detail, be solution- oriented, and be customer-centric as this is often the only thing that differentiates you from other bankers. Banking is not just about counting and keeping money. There are a host of other departments, like legal and marketing, that support conventional bankers and could be of interest.