Huntington, Ind.— For graduates trying to land their first post-college job, a practicum or internship experience on the resume could be the key. The Huntington College Enterprise Resource Center (ERC) is helping students find those real-world experiences by matching them with local businesses. For senior Ross Luckett, a business management and small business major, a January internship with Bippus State Bank provided that key opportunity.
During his time with the bank, Luckett helped prepare reports for the Board of Directors, collected minutes from all the meetings for an FDIC examination of the bank, and worked on loan analysis. Luckett, who has a minor in managing information systems, also worked on the bank’s new computer system, gaining beneficial experience on its mainframe program. With the system being new to both Luckett and the bank employees, understanding how to use it was one of his more challenging tasks, but also one of his most valuable contributions to the employees of the bank. Eventually he mastered the new system and was able to write reports and pull information that would later be used to look at accounts.
Luckett said his Huntington College business classes prepared him well for tackling these challenges. “The sheer breadth of the classes that the Business Department offers allows a student to get a good feel for the business world before you ever enter into it,” Luckett said. “Therefore, when I began working at Bippus State Bank, I was able to get my bearings and fit in quickly.”
Bank President Ryan Warner and Vice President John Easterday both helped Luckett make that transition to the workplace. He gladly took advantage of the opportunity to draw from their business knowledge. “Anytime you have the opportunity to work with such professional people in business, you should learn something, and these two men were extremely willing to share their wisdom with me.”
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Luckett said one of his most surprising lessons was learning about the relationship between the farming community and the banking industry. “I didn’t realize how much information was available to farmers or the amount of information required to prepare a loan for them,” Luckett said. “There is a lot that goes into the equation, especially since a lot of farmers store what they produce and sell it at different times. This all surprised me, but it was a lot of fun learning about it.”
His January experience not only taught Luckett about the ins and outs of banking, but also provided insight into future opportunities. “It has definitely opened my eyes to a lot of possibilities,” Luckett said. “I was there to focus on learning about the lending, but I was able to experience a lot of the facets of the bank. So instead of learning only one thing, I learned about most of the skills required in banking and the different jobs that are associated with the lending services of the bank.”
The Huntington College Enterprise Resource Center identifies, implements and evaluates experiential learning opportunities in the area community. The ERC acts as a “connector” between the college and area businesses, not-for-profit organizations, social service agencies, churches and local governments to provide meaningful “real-world” experiences for Huntington College students with a wide range of majors and interests while helping these community entities to grow and prosper.