Student projects are often made to imitate a real-world application, but several Bellevue East High School FBLA students recently wrapped up a project with real-world impact.
The Future Business Leaders of America students partnered with the Bank of Nebraska to both learn about the banking business and have created a student checking account.
“It is going to be an ongoing account with our bank, in a large part due to the (students’) participation,” said Diana Porter, the Bellevue branch manager for Bank of Nebraska.
Porter said the students had to participate in a variety of aspects of banking, including learning about marketing and the bank’s marketing regulations and surveying other high-school students and competing banks. The end result was opening a new account with Bank of Nebraska.
Additionally, Porter said the students learned a variety of other applicable business lessons like professional attire, interviewing skills and ways to find a career path.
“It’s a great opportunity,” said Colin Hensel, the student group’s president. “Most times people don’t get a diverse representation of the whole business field.”
Hensel said through partnering with Bank of Nebraska, he and his fellow classmates were able to get a more full view of the banking world.
“It’s a big eye opening experience for us all,” he said.
The FBLA group gained valuable experience, Hensel said, especially in creating the account. The group members had to survey their peers to find such information as how many students had accounts or what sort of services do students look for in accounts.
Andrew Werner, the FBLA chapter sponsor, said the project has been a great growing experience for the students. He said it was “outstanding” to see the students go from knowing very little about banking to finishing the project.
Werner said Bank of Nebraska has been very helpful in educating his FBLA students and encouraging them throughout the endeavor. The bank itself, however, learned a thing or two as well.
“This partnership has been invaluable,” Porter said.
The branch manager said the experience has taught the bank what the next generation of members find important, such as mobile banking and the ease of access to their accounts.
“It helps us stay with what new customer needs are,” she said. “It’s ever changing.”
To celebrate the students’ work, the Bank of Nebraska held a bank meeting breakfast Wednesday with the students at its 140th Street and West Center Road location.
In addition to breakfast and a presentation from the FBLA students, the bank provided further lessons for the students on such topics as Internet security, operation processes and interview skills.
Hensel’s father, Bellevue Chamber of Commerce Vice President Kevin Hensel, was a guest speaker on professional image.
He was a 2013 nominee for best dressed in the Strictly Business Magazine.
Porter said further information on the new account created by the students can be found by calling the Bellevue branch at 402-537-2600 or visiting the bank at 923 Galvin Road during regular business hours.