Ms. Sumaiya Binte Atique, the Associate Manager of Learning and Development at City Bank Limited, is a high-achieving professional with a history of academic excellence and impactful contributions to various organizations. With dual majors in Human Resource Management and Marketing from East West University, she excelled at Rahimafrooz Superstores Limited and Apex Footwear Limited. At City Bank, Sumaiya spearheads competency-based learning initiatives after successfully establishing a coaching counseling culture. Known for her innovative training methods, she is an avid reader and active listener, embodying a commitment to continuous learning and a dedication to making a positive impact on the world through personalized and effective professional development programs.
Let’s learn about her journey.
Ms. Sumaiya Binte Atique: Started my schooling from an amazing school called ‘YWCA Girls’ High School’, and this school has taught me so many things in life that today whoever I am, I am because I was part of that school. In 2007, I completed my SSC from that school with a GPA of 5 and a general grade government scholarship. I was very poor at mathematics and all my teachers feared that I would fail miserably at SSC, my parents were very worried but I not only achieved GPA of 5 in my SSC but also received a general grade government scholarship.
After that, I was admitted to Dhaka City College, in 2009, and I passed my HSC with another GPA of 5. In my time, Business Studies was not that popular field to study, everyone was after Science, I was one of those people who chose to study Business Studies and challenged everyone that I would one day prove everyone wrong and become successful in this field.
With that motto in life, after completing my HSC I tried to get admitted to IBA, DU. Even though my English and Analytical Ability was outstanding, I was poor in mathematics and because of that, I didn’t get a chance in IBA. So, I decided to study at East West University. In BBA, I have two majors Human Resource Management and Marketing. Then I did my internship at Rahimafrooz Superstores Limited, and that internship journey was the milestone of my professional success. The culture of Rahimafrooz was so unique and world-class that I wanted to join there, and I was even offered a job in Marketing by that time CEO, but my parents were adamant and asked me to complete my MBA.
Being a good student definitely has its own perks, I received the highest level waiver from East West University and completed my MBA in only 01 year 3 months. Oh forgot, my BBA with dual major was completed in only 3.5 years. I was in such a hurry to start my life in the real world!!
I was still studying MBA, and one day I went to shopping in Agora (Rahimafrooz Superstores Ltd. That time). While I was shopping I met the CFO of that company and he asked me about what I was doing these days, and said there’s an open position in HR and if I was interested then I can drop my CV. I dropped my CV, and was soon called for a written exam, I was the highest scorer in the written exam and was called for an interview. In the interview board apart from Head of HR, all of them knew me as I was intern in the same company in 2013. They were answering on my behalf, you know when she was BBA student three of articles were published in Financial Express and our Chairman was impressed by her and wrote to her, she was the first intern who did internship in both Marketing and HR and our European CEO was so impressed, and Head of HR was surprised and without even answering one question in the board I was hired.
I stayed 3.5 years in Rahimafrooz Superstores Limited, and I was one of the HIPO employees over there, and in my 3.5 years of career I worked in the Recruitment, Employee Engagement, Organizational Development, Talent Management and Training Department. During my tenure in Rahimafrooz I also received three major certification (Professional), GLA 360 Certification from Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Center Coaching, Mastery of Self through Neuro Linguistic Programing and Emotional Intelligence from Sensei International Limited (I have to write an entire article to share about these three-certification story, so skipping it).
After Rahimafrooz, I joined in Apex Footwaer Limited, I stayed there in another 3 years, and here I kept few milestones, I developed the first Leadership Academy in Apex, launched the first Management Trainee Program there, and developed competency-based learning framework.
After that I joined in The City Bank Limited in 2022. After joining there my very first project was to arrange the first ever ‘Leadership Excellence’ program for the top management. It was a remarkable experience for me and the training team. Then I was handed over the most critical project of my life to establish coaching counseling culture across the City Bank, and my one year of effort came to a grand success, and now City Bank has a well-established coaching counseling culture for the employees who are going off-track and with the help of this culture we can bring them to on-track.
Currently, I am in Learning and Development team, and here working in the new project of establishing competency-based learning need across the City Bank.
Just yesterday, my ex-colleague of Apex Footwear Limited complimented me saying, I have never seen anyone like you. The way you used to design and deliver training was really different. Your method is simple, ‘going deep into the problem, and coming up with solution’. And I believe this is the best way to describe how I design any training program. I diagnose the problem, and then develop the training to best fit to solve the problem, I do not do any tick-mark exercise.
For delivering training, my ex-boss Hafiz Al Ahad (former Head of HR at Rahimafrooz Superstores Limited, currently Head of HR at LankaBangla Finance Limited) once told me, ‘Your workshops are like ‘once upon a time stories…. It start with stories and then we all become the part of the story and started to play and when it ends we left the workshop with magical moments and memories’.
And this is actually my secret recipe to develop and deliver any effective training programs.
Currently I am working with competency-based learning need assessment across the bank, and my best approach to assess and address the need of learning and development need of various department is coaching technique. It is not a training technique but rather an interactive conversation where my stakeholders (internal) himself or herself come across his or her team’s development need. Here, I use NLP tools and mindfulness techniques to make the conversation interactive and effective.
I think, it was my first training program, that I designed and delivered for City Bank. It was for our Citytouch team, I designed a training on ‘Effective Business Communication’. Like my any other program, it was not only a training session rather a playshop (concept is here people play, listen to stories and have fun and on that process learn), after training response was very good but what I was not expecting is that around 8-9 months later I went to Motijheel where our Citytouch team sits (went there for a different meeting but meanwhile pay a visit to them), and all of them started to share to me how well communicated they have become after session, and even started to share the techniques I have taught them during the session. It was one of the proud moments for me.
I am a great reader, I read a lot, and in variety of topics, and watch lots of movies, documentaries etc. I principle in life is simple everything you do and learn can be used in training program if you know how to link it.
One of my core soft-skills is that I am an active listener, and I love to reach at the core of the problem, and another thing I don’t just develop training program, my motto in life is that to serve the world, and make it better than I found. So whenever, anyone asks me to design and develop any training program, I start diagnosis, what happened, what do you want to achieve after this training, what message would you like deliver these questions I often ask, and also have an analysis of the participants and what they are expecting. Based on this gathered information, and relevant issues research I develop my program. So, my every training program is customized to the need of my client.
Tough time never lasts but tough people do….so keep going no matter what, success will come ….and have faith in Allah.
The most outstanding achievement of your life as of now:
Establishing ‘Coaching Counseling Culture’ in The City Bank Limited.
The greatest philosopher in your view:
Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (swt.), peace be upon him.
Diana, Princess of Wales.
Name the most influential books you have read:
Love by Leo Buscaglia, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House Series, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arther Golden.
Your greatest fear:
Fear of not living a purposeful life.
Best piece of advice you’ve received:
Don’t compare yourself with others, you are you, and you are created to become you.
You in only three words:
Chase every dream.
- Hard Skills: Problem Solving, Writing, Designing, Management, Leadership.
- Soft Skills: Ability to conceptualize big picture, analytical, good in communication and active listener, Practice Neuro Linguistic Programming
Prayer For The Human Civilization:
Do good, and it will return abundant.
The InCAP: Thank you, Ms. Sumaiya Binte Atique! It’s a glittering conversation with you!
Ms. Sumaiya Binte Atique: My pleasure! Wish you all the best! Thank you.
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