A new mentorship programme run by Citi Singapore is giving students the chance to work with bank staff to get a better feel for financial sector jobs.

Unlike other attachments and internships, the scheme assigns mentors to 140 undergraduates from National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University (SMU).

They have been dishing out career advice over meals, phone conversations and even text messages since the five-month programme began in January.

The 123 mentors, who range from assistant vice-presidents to managing directors, volunteered their time for the initiative.

They "are more of a big brother or sister" to the students, said Citi human resource director Evangeline Chua at a media briefing on the programme yesterday.

Second-year SMU student Ong Si Hao, who is studying economics and finance, said the mentorship is an enriching experience.

"The most valuable lesson I've learnt is to always source for opportunities. Do something that others aren't doing so I can differentiate myself," said the 22-year-old who is mentored by Mr Winston Lim, the head of bancassurance.

Citi's managing director and head of human resources, Ms Moira Lynam, said the programme will set the firm apart during recruitment.

"It'll be a differentiating factor to local graduates who will have had the opportunity to know about our corporate culture."

The 140 students come from different faculties and were picked from 400 applications. The scheme is open to Singaporeans and foreigners. Applications for the second intake will start in the last quarter of this year.