AIB organised for the Build a Bank teams from AVS, Coláiste, Magh Ene, Grange and Carrick, to go to Dundrum to visit The LAB on Tuesday the 31st of January. Only 3 of us went from Coláiste Áine, Grace and me cause Kelly, Ríonach and Katie were way that day with school. Ms.Conlon also came with us.
They bus arrived at the school at 8:10, we were welcomed onto the bus by Sharon, who works in AIB in Carrick and is Carricks mentor. Carrick and AVS were already on the bus. We then picked up Maigh Ene and Grange, we were on the road by 8:45. We were given AIB bags with a bottle of water, an AIB pen and a AIB notebook inside. We were also given sweets and crisps on the way up. We stopped outside Mullingar for food and a toilet break at 10:25. I wasn’t hungry so I got a hot chocolate, which was very nice!! We were back on the road to Dublin at 10:55. We finally arrived in Dundrum at 12:15: Everyone headed for the LAB which was on the first floor. Darragh and Sharon spoke to the workers at the LAB, they weren’t ready for us till 1 so we had 30 minutes to go around to some of the shops.
I stayed with Grace and Áine, we went to Lifestyle sports and JD sports, the next thing we knew it was 1 and we were back at The LAB. We were split up into groups, Colaiste, Maigh Ene and Grange were in one group and Carrick and AVS were in another. Our tour guide was Jack (I think). He first asked us a few questions about our school bank. He then talked about the The LAB. The LAB stands for Learning About Banking. It is not like normal bank cause everything is digitalis-ed, there is no reception or lodgement or withdrawal counter with a staff member, it also doesn’t have big security doors, and everything is tried and tested in the LAB before it is brought into the AIB branches all over Ireland. He then talked about the interior of the LAB, the walls are all white as it welcomes people in and it also makes them feel like the are in a safe place and the are secure. The speakers in LAB are different from any other speakers, the only work if you stand in a certain position, if you move at all to your left or your right you no longer hear what the speakers are saying e.g mortgages. IF you want to hear about online banking you move to another speaker and only you can hear it. He then should us the lodgement and withdrawal machines, next thing was the bank phone – you can use the phone to order a card, set up online banking, ask question about your accounts… the walls were the phone where are sound proof. The next machine we seen was the kiosk machine, here you can check your bank accounts, see your balance, transfer over money… this machine is kind of like the speakers only you can see your accounts no one can look over your shoulder as the screen is blurry. Then Jack brought us over to the two Mac Books people can come in and do online shopping, set up bank accounts and many other things. The Mac Books are on moving tables, so in the evening the tables are pushed in and a shutter is pulled down as there is no shutter over the main part of The LAB. Jack brought us to the back of the LAB here was the business section, credit card machines, bar-code reader, built-in credit card machine to a tablet were you can pay staffs wages and check stock busimnes are able to buy this equiment. AIB came out with a watch before Apple came out on there apple watch, on the AIB watch you can check your balance and transfer over money. On the back wall of the LAB was a big screen, it is used for when big business people come over to see the LAB from America China and England, the screen is also used for when big things are happening , Jack told us that the 6 nations would be on the screen. The corner of the screen was a play area for children.To the other side of the back wall were four small rooms with doors were people could go in and talk to AIB staff membeners in private. We then went up stairs, there was two conference rooms that business people can reserve out conferneces. One room had a round table with about 20 chairs and a screen which people can use to Skype people (in America).. so the can alos be at the meeting. Then there was a smaller room with a table and it would fit about 4-6 people, you can ring people and video call them in the other part of the world in this room.
We were finished out tour just before 2, we then went out to the front of the LAB were we took pictures. We then had till 4:15 to get lunch and to go around the shops before we head home. Áine and Grace went to McDonald’s for lunch I had my own lunch with me so I ate mine while they had theirs. We had just under 2 hours left, we first went to Hollister, I got a white Hollister t-shirt, we then went to JD sports, Elverys, Zara and plenty other shops. I got frilly socks in Topshops and I also get stuff in Pennys and before we knew it was 4:10 and we head back to the entrance of Dundrum. When everyone was their he head to the bus and we were back on the road at 4:30. We stopped in Grange for a toilet break and we were arrived back at Colaiste at 8:30.
I had a really good day and I learned a lot from the LAB, that I will take back to our school bank.