The Academies of Nashville could not be successful without the hard work and efforts of our business partners and community supporters. In a recent interview with the City Paper, Paul Johnson, CEO of the US Community Credit Union, spoke about the importance of being involved in the schools. We would like to thank the US Community Credit Union for their continued support and congratulate them on their successes through the McGavock High School USCCU Academy of Business and Finance.
“The student-run branch at McGavock High School represents an important partnership between US Community Credit Union and Metro Public Schools. One of the major goals of our volunteer board of directors is to give back to the communities we serve by educating young adults on financial literacy. In 2011, the USCCU volunteer board of directors decided to become a partner by sponsoring the McGavock High School Academy of Business and Finance. Since April of 2011, our credit union has contributed over 1,900 hours of in-kind service to McGavock High School. Our monetary contributions since April of 2011 total $91,184. However, the most important contribution is the real-live work and banking experience we are able to provide the students at McGavock. Plus, we’re expanding our financial literacy program to the four McGavock High feeder middle schools.”
By participating in the dual credit and dual enrollment program, students in the Academies of Nashville can take college-level courses and earn credits while still in high school. Through strategic partnerships, the Academies of Nashville offer a wide range of opportunities to earn credit for courses in business-related subjects at Nashville State Community College (NSCC) and Volunteer State Community College (VSCC).
McGavock High School is proud of it innovative partnership with U.S. Community Credit Union to give students real-world learning opportunities and authentic work experience. Students at McGavock in the Academy of Business and Finance learn financial principles in the classroom and then have the ability to apply their skills and knowledge in job shadowing, internships, and working at the fully-functioning branch of U.S. Community Credit Union in their school. In this post, Academy Ambassador Aaron H. writes about the skills he learned during the summer internship and how they have impacted his learning and put him on the right path toward being college- and career-ready.
It’s one thing to make an A on a test, but it’s another thing to get an A because you are building skills in a profession. At McGavock High School, we are implementing new ways of learning that will prepare students for the working life outside of school. One way that we are doing this is by giving students the opportunity to go off campus and spend time working with a partner company. I have personally experienced a summer-long internship with U.S. Community Credit Union.
The process of being selected for this internship was a great experience in itself. I had to apply for the job, just like in a real-life scenario. After filling out the application I had to wait for the call telling me when my interview was. While waiting for the interview, we had our business partners from Gaylord Opryland Hotel visit all the applicants and train us on how to interview and what the interviewer looks for. They gave us the skills to interview, and I took the skills I had been taught into my interview. After the interview process, there was another wait to see who got accepted for the job.
I was one of the ten students that were selected to take this summer-long internship. We began the training process for the internship the first week of June. The whole week we learned about different policies and regulations that were set into place. When handling over $25,000.00 dollars a day, there are many rules that are set into place. After learning the rules on how to handle different situations in the credit union, we began going out to the branches and seeing how a branch runs. You learn everything from who goes in the vault, who opens accounts, and what each person’s role is. The week after training, we were assigned to a branch and we shadowed a teller at that branch. That was another week of the internship. The third week of June, we were assigned to a drawer and were watched for one day to make sure we were doing things right. After just two and a half weeks, we became one of them. We were being used as tellers and being looked at as family.
It was as if we were just thrown into a lake, and you either float or they hold you above the water. There was no chance at failure because they were always motivating you and were always quizzing you on what you have to do. For the remainder of the summer we put the skills that we learned to the test. The internship was the training that we needed so that we could succeed in running the branch of U.S. Community Credit Union that operates in our school. After the summer was over, we became the only workers and had to rely on our own knowledge to be successful. The internship was an amazing experience because it immersed me in what I want to do. I want to be an accountant and this was a tool that will help me understand finance and money much better. The internship was the greatest thing that I have ever done with school.
McGavock High School‘s US Community Credit Union Academy of Business and Finance prides itself on opening up hands-on experience and real-world learning opportunities for students. Last week, Joseph M. wrote about his summer internship with US Community Credit Union. In this post, Joseph writes about his job shadowing experience at Cedarstone Bank after being named the Finance Student of the Month for January 2012.
Joseph of McGavock job shadows at Cedarstone Bank in January
I am an ambassador from McGavock’s Hospitality and Finance Academy, specifically the Banking and Finance pathway. This made me eligible to become the Cedarstone Bank’s McGavock Finance Student of the Month for January 2012. On January 12, 2012, a representative from Cedarstone Bank came to McGavock and presented me with a certificate; then I got to spend the day with him. This is what my day was like.
Willie McDonald from Cedarstone Bank arrived at 8:15 and took me back to the branch on Lebanon Road. I am also part of US Community Credit Union, so it was interesting to see the different points of view that a bank and a credit union have. I got to sit down with Melynda Bounds and she talked about loans and other procedures. Then I got to observe the tellers and see the differences in their systems and how they do things. I really enjoyed listening to them and talking about what each type of institution offers.
Then I got sit down and talk with Mr. McDonald. He has been in the banking industry for sixty-three years and fifty-five of them have been in Donelson. He has been involved in all kinds of committees and boards to help better his community and become more involved. The Tennessee House of Representatives even named him Honorary Mayor of Donelson. We talked for a while and he shared a few nuggets of wisdom.
Later, I got to go to the Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce luncheon. This was an awesome experience for me because I got to meet and talk to a number of important people in our community… people like the president of Summit Medical Center and the Operations Director for The Hermitage. This also gave me insight into what is going around me and the decisions that are being made that affect me. The keynote speaker was the president of Hands on Nashville, and I really enjoyed listening to him talk about how our community is volunteering and getting involved.
I ended my day by going on a service call with Mrs. Bounds. I learned about the three kinds of service calls; a cold call, where she has never met a person from the business; a warm call, where she has worked with the person before and is trying to get their business’s account; and a retention call, where the business is already a customer and she is checking in on them to see if everything is okay. I went on a retention call where we just talked with the customer and built a stronger relationship with them.
I want to thank The Academies of Nashville and Cedarstone Bank for giving me these opportunities and allowing me to learn things skills that go with academics. I also appreciate the opportunity to be more involved in my community. The Academies have enriched my high school experience and have made me a more well-rounded person.
Freshmen at Maplewood High School‘s Academy of Business and Consumer Services are setting their sites on the future. A new partnership between the school and Fifth Third Bank has opened the door for dynamic learning and training opportunities for students and teachers. Principal Ron Woodard is excited about this new relationship with the financial institution: “Fifth Third is a highly respected corporation that takes great pride in serving its community [. . .] the bank will provide extensive training on financial literacy for our students and community members. This will be such as asset for our community.”
Students from the Academy of Business and Consumer Services will learn about financial literacy and have the chance to participate in job shadowing at the bank in departments such as retail, mortgage, and commercial banking. The most ambitious goal of the partnership, however, is to create a college savings program for all freshmen. Leaders at Maplewood and Fifth Third Bank hope to set up a system that will allow every freshman to open a college savings account during their first year of high school. Fifth Third’s Community Reinvestment Act executive for Tennessee, Luis Parodi, believes the new relationship will contribute to the economic prosperity of the mid-state area: “Given the current economic state and unemployment concerns, people are becoming more aware of their personal accountability for their financial future. Volunteering our time to provide financial education gives us a chance to empower people with knowledge to make the right choices.”
At McGavock High School, five diverse academies provide students with real-world learning opportunities in fields as varied as communications, Web design, aviation, transportation, tourism, hospitality, business management, and healthcare.
The US Community Credit Union Academy of Business and Finance
Through an exciting partnership with US Community Credit Union, the Academy of Business and Finance operates a fully functioning credit union branch inside McGavock High Schools. Students who work in the branch learn about banking operations and customer service while their peers can come to the branch to deposit money and learn how to better manage their personal finances.
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