Center of Excellence in Finance (CEF)
Having been established within Sabancı University with our founding sponsorship in 2016, the Center of Excellence in Finance (CEF) has been serving the purpose of turning fundamental knowledge into applications that can be used in real life by bringing together academicians, finance market actors, and investors. CEF continued to be a bridge between academia, the financial sector, policymakers, and the real economy with its certificate programs, seminars, and research reports published throughout 2020. The certificate programs that CEF maintained online in 2020 included the most well-known specialists in their fields such as Prof. Özgür Demirtaş and Dr. Mahfi Eğilmez. As part of the seminar series, Cristina Dolan, CEO of Inside Chains, gave a talk titled “Covid-19, Finance Technologies, and SMEs” while Finance Professor Alex Edmans from London Business School delivered a presentation titled “Responsible Companies in a Time of Crisis”.
Akbank Unichallenge+ Digital Student Jobs Training Camp
In cooperation with IAB Turkey (Interactive Advertising Association) that operates in 47 countries for the development of digital marketing communications, we have been organizing Akbank Unichallenge+ Digital Student Jobs Training Camp for three years. With “Akbank Unichallenge+”, we offer to 3rd- and 4th-year university students a two-week training program designed to prepare fresh graduates for the digital sector. Participants create projects while exploring the digital world for two weeks, participate in teamwork activities along with the lessons and have the opportunity to chat with prominent figures of the digital world. We held the camp online this year due to the pandemic.
On the other hand, we received 530 applications from 105 universities in 45 cities to the online Unichallenge Express that we implemented for the first time at the beginning of the pandemic.
In order to contribute to the development and education of university students, we launched the AI Academy within the scope of our cooperation with Microsoft. As a bank with advanced technological infrastructure in terms of data science and artificial intelligence, we believe that we can provide new opportunities in this field to university students, together with a significant technology company like Microsoft. Within the frame of the training program, we aim to increase students’ solid grasp of the basic concepts of artificial intelligence. At the same time, we aim to support them in developing a model in the Microsoft Azure Machine Learning environment by benefiting from open sample data sets, improving their applied skills, and gaining a business perspective. Receiving applications from approximately 900 university students, the AI Academy provided training on the foundations of artificial intelligence technology to 30 university students for 2 months. We believe that we will contribute to the training of future data scientists with our Artificial Intelligence Academy project, which we initiated with Microsoft and attracts a great deal of attention from young people.
Collaboration with E-Bursum
We commenced an important collaboration with E-Bursum (My e-Scholarship), a social enterprise platform that reaches hundreds of thousands of young people with the aim of presenting the scholarship system to students through a democratic model. Within the scope of the project, we have facilitated young people’s access to educational scholarships to ensure a timely and comfortable process since September. Within the frame of our cooperation, we organized with young people training and workshops on future competencies such as artificial intelligence, innovation, and design through Akbank Academy while they were still students. In addition to supporting young people in fields such as internships, recruitment, future working models, we also provided consultancy to young people to enable them to make use of opportunities suitable for them. We aim to make a permanent difference in the education life of young people by supporting the e-Bursum social enterprise. By cooperating with a social enterprise active in the field of education, we aim to bring corporate opportunities to young people with a focus on social benefits.
Akbank Children: Heroes of the Economy
We implemented the “Akbank Economy’s Heroes: Children” Project in 2012 with an aim to increase financial literacy and to incentivize savings. Within the scope of the program, which aims to reach children while they are forming their permanent habits, we created special project contents such as a website, event-specific board game, posters on savings, and certificates. Through this project, we intend to raise awareness in children about savings, together with Akbank Volunteers.
Akbank Thinking Club
With the intention of providing a creative platform to the young generations, thinking together with the youth, and co-creating value for the future of Turkey, we established “Akbank Thinking Club” in 2008. Students joining this thinking club, which is open to all 3rd-year university students in Turkey, prepare projects on the selected theme of the relevant year. These projects are then evaluated by a special jury composed of academicians, experts, and top-echelon executives of Akbank, and the owner of the best project is awarded a Harvard University Summer School scholarship. Akbank Think Tank, which has so far sent a total of its 32 members to the Harvard Summer School, continues its activities non-stop.
The Family-Owned Business Academy
“Akbank Family-owned Companies Academy” organized for the first time in 2004 in cooperation with Sabancı University Executive Development Unit (EDU) has been held for the 14th time so far. With this Academy, we aim to increase the competitiveness of companies, to ensure their healthy growth, and to give support to their sustainability and institutionalization efforts. Within these training activities, a great many subjects from strategic management to business development and innovation, from institutionalization to finance, and from good governance practices in companies to legal issues and human resources management are handled. This program is put into practice not only for Akbank customers but also for distributors and resellers upon demand of the leading companies of the sector.