Intern Hackathons provide invaluable ideas for our charity partners

Published July 15, 2021 | 5 min read

Capital Markets interns support charities for annual hackathon challenge

Last month, over 50 Capital Markets UK summer interns took part in our annual charity ‘Hackathon’ challenge. This initiative has been developed to challenge our summer interns by bringing fresh strategic and tactical ideas to some of RBC’s charity partnerships.

The hackathons took place virtually, where interns were set a range of challenges to work through in small groups over a couple of days and then presented their ideas back to a panel of representatives from each charity and RBC’s campus recruitment team.

Global Markets interns supported Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT), a beneficiary of our annual RBC Charity Day for the Kids since 2015. Interns were challenged to ‘hack’ one of two problems: What role can the third sector play in upskilling, motivating and recruiting long term and sustainable young philanthropists and entrepreneurs; and how can TCT best use technology to keep engaged with the young people they support.

image of Laura Pearce

“We are delighted to have worked with this year’s interns on the hackathon challenge. As with many charities, coronavirus has impacted TCT immensely so this was an ideal opportunity to allow interns to collaborate and feed into strategic projects that will make a difference to young people with cancer. The ideas, presentations and enthusiasm were infectious and will feed into strategic plans going forward. Thank you interns and thank you RBC for all the support.” Laura Pearce, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Teenage Cancer Trust.

Global Investment Banking interns supported The Childhood Trust, London’s child poverty charity. The Childhood Trust was included in RBC’s Christmas Appeal last December and to further our support were selected to take part in this year’s hackathon. The interns were tasked with two challenges, one of which was to focus on how The Childhood Trust can engage the next generation of donors, focusing specifically on how they can drive brand awareness and grow donor support amongst the Millennial/Gen Z demographic.

image of Jo Lindley

Jo Lindley, Head of Strategic Partnerships at The Childhood Trust, said, “My colleagues and I at The Childhood Trust were delighted to have been invited to participate in RBC’s Intern Hackathon and were bowled over by the quality of the ideas put forward. These ranged from social media concepts (#TransformationTuesday, #HeartsandArts), employee engagement mechanisms, to a celebrity-led podcast programme and much more. As a small, tightly resourced team, it was invaluable to be able to access fresh thinking via a Millennial/Gen Z lens, and we are already progressing some of these ideas. Thank you RBC for this great opportunity!”

The hashtag #transformationtuesday is now in action on the charity’s social media channels to promote their ‘Decorate a Child’s Life’ initiative on a regular basis.

Functions interns supported Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity (GOSH), RBC’s longest standing charity partner in the UK. With this year’s RBC Race for the Kids going virtual for a second year, GOSH tasked the interns to come up with creative ideas on how to engage the corporate community and RBC employees to sign-up and fundraise for Race and how GOSH can better connect participants to the hospital and it’s vital work.

image of Jess Roberts

“We were so excited to be invited to take part in the RBC Intern Hackathon”, commented Jess Roberts, Senior Partnerships Manager at GOSH Charity. “With RBC Race for the Kids planning in full swing, it was a brilliant opportunity to generate new ideas to make this year’s event an even greater success. Thank you again to the interns for taking on our challenges with such energy and creativity. You’ve come up with some brilliant ideas, which we’re looking forward to taking forward in the coming weeks.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the charity sector. Ideas from our interns on how charities can develop key strategic areas to recover and grow is invaluable during this time. Fabian De Prey, Head of Derivative Sales and Structuring and Teenage Cancer Trust Champion, said “It is fabulous to organise such events as RBC’s culture is at the centre of how we operate. Not only is giving back to communities core to our values but being able to support our partner charities in every way in these difficult times is critical”.

Hear from our interns about what the experience meant to them!