RBC amplifies tech skills to attract top interns

This article was originally published in The Globe and Mail as part of RBC’s recognition as one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People

“Students and new grads are a critical part of building our future and we want them to do challenging and meaningful work while at RBC," says Sumit Oberai
Melody Sun was already excited to have been selected for a four-month summer internship program with RBC when a package arrived not long before her start date in May 2022.

Inside were a T-shirt, water bottle and other goodies bearing the Amplify logo. Amplify is RBC’s intensive, technology-focused program where Sun and other post-secondary students and graduates would soon have opportunities to develop in-demand professional, technical and creative skills while tackling meaningful challenges.

“I had been accepted into the Amplify program following a unique interview process and had lots of contact with RBC about what I could expect once I started,” says Sun, who has a post-graduate degree in data analytics. “But receiving that package made it real. I couldn’t wait to get going!”

Since its introduction in 2016, Amplify has grown from 32 students to cohorts of more than 70 in recent years. The interns — a.k.a. Amplifiers — work in cross-functional teams of four, including a business analyst and, depending on the skill set required for each team’s challenge, varying numbers of developers and data engineers.
Sumit Oberai, senior vice president of digital technology and long-time Amplify sponsor, emphasizes that the students are asked to solve real business challenges identified and brought forward by leaders across RBC’s lines of business, such as Personal & Commercial Banking, Capital Markets and Insurance.

“These are not mundane problems,” Oberai says. “These are high-level, open-ended challenges. Team members need to be creative, analytical thinkers who can work together, challenge the status quo and build an innovative solution from the ground up.”

Amplify benefits participants
Photo: Amplify benefits participants and sponsors like Melody (left) and Sumit (right)
Amplify benefits participants
Photo: RBC has adopted more than
half of the solutions the Amplify
​​​​​​​teams have devised