Four senior finance students - Chris Hresko, Jesse Kizewski, Eric Lamm and Sam Moore - are representing the Rawls College and the Texas Tech School of Banking in the 2016 Community Bank Case Study Competition, hosted by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS). The team, which is led by faculty advisor Dr. Scott Hein, is competing against 30 other business schools from across the nation to conduct original case studies that assess the impact of a particular community bank's small business lending efforts while evaluating the institution's management decisions and financial performance.
"I think the real value that the students will gain from this experience is that they will learn more about the inner workings of a bank and how one particular bank operates, and the students will be able to study this in detail," Dr. Hein said. "From a business perspective, it will also help the bank by providing an evaluation of what they're doing in small lending."
For this competition, the team is working alongside AIM Bank, headquartered in Levelland, and two of its executive members and Texas Tech alumni, Jeremy Ferrell (B.B.A. Finance and Economics, 1998) and Jonathan Hill (B.B.A. Finance, 2004). Three of the students, Chris, Jesse and Sam, approached Dr. Hein about the competition after taking his Management of Financial Institutions (FIN 4323) course last semester, where they learned the underlying principles of community banks and how the banks operate. Eric was recommended to the team by Dr. Mark Moore.
Each student was awarded a $500 scholarship by the School of Banking for their initiative. Although this competition does not count toward course credit, students still saw the value of applying their classroom education toward a real-world scenario.
"Dr. Hein's class last semester was interesting, so this competition was naturally appealing," Jesse said. "I think this provides all of us a great opportunity to get out of the classroom and actually apply what we're learning."
"This competition gives us a chance to look more in-depth at community banks. It's a rewarding experience to take what we've learned from our professors and see how actual banks incorporate it," Sam said.
Throughout the semester, the team has held weekly meetings with Dr. Hein to have brainstorming sessions, gather data and analyze AIM Bank's small business lending practices. They then need to create a 25-page case study and 10-minute video which discusses their findings, breaks down the bank's procedures and offers recommendations for the future.
In addition to the actual in-depth analysis of community banks, this competition provides each student with the chance to network with industry professionals and highlight this experience when applying for jobs after graduation.
"This competition and the work we've done is something we could display on a resume. It will show to potential employers that we are not only interested in this topic, but we're also actively trying to better ourselves and our knowledge of the industry," Chris said.
"While we're obviously trying to win the competition, I think we can all be proud that we came together to do this and gain a deeper understanding of community banks and lending," Eric said. "This semester has been rewarding, and we're excited to submit."
The competition submission deadline is May 2, and the winners will be announced in late May. If the team were to win, each student would receive a $1,000 CSBS scholarship, an opportunity to present their case study at the CSBS-Federal Reserve Community Banking in the 21st Century Research and Policy Conference and have their work published at the conference. The teams are judged by industry leaders, finance professors and CSBS representatives.
About the Students
Chris Hresko is a senior finance major, who is set to graduate with his bachelor's degree in May 2016. Chris has gathered real-world experience through a job as an administrative assistant for the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals. In addition to maintaining a spot on the Dean's List in spring 2013 and 2014 and the President's List in fall 2012, Chris is a member of the Business Evaluation Club, Financial Management Association and Financial Advisors and Analyst Society of Texas Tech. He also takes on the roles of scholarship chair and lodge chair for Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. Chris' various extracurricular activities and coursework have helped prepare him for success in the financial industry.
Eric Lamm is a senior finance major, with a minor in accounting, who is expected to graduate with his bachelor's degree in May 2017. While completing his education, Eric has been highly active both in and out of school. Through hard work and determination in the classroom, he succeeded in earning a place on the Dean's List in spring 2013 and 2014. Eric also has dedicated much of his spare time to help set up and manage various marathons, including two "mudathons," in the Indianapolis area. Eric's activities in and out of the classroom have given him the hands-on experience he needs to become a successful professional following his upcoming graduation.
Jesse Kizewski is a senior finance major, who will graduate with his bachelor's degree in May 2016. While pursuing his degree, Jesse has been highly involved in organizations at both the Rawls College and Texas Tech. He has also been a member of the Financial Management Association since fall 2014. Upon graduation, Jesse will attend the Texas Tech University School of Law, where he will pursue a concentration in Business Law and Corporate Finance.
Sam Moore is a senior finance major with the Rawls College, who is on track to graduate with his bachelor's degree in May 2016. Throughout his time at Texas Tech, Sam has discovered a passion for the finance world by staying actively involved in his coursework and extracurricular activities. In addition to maintaining a spot on the Dean's List from fall 2012 to spring 2014, Sam has gathered real-world experience through a teller position with First United Bank and a file clerk job with Craig, Terrill, Hale, and Grantham, LLP. In school, he is involved in a number of research projects, including a financial statement analysis project for Franklin Electric Co. Sam also functions as the Vice President of Tech's chapter of the American Society of Appraisers and as one of multiple Senior Traders for the Texas Tech Foreign Exchange Traders. With his work experience in and out of school, Sam is set to become a successful professional in the financial industry upon his graduation from the Rawls College.