Immersion Week success story: PNC Bank

February 2017

Elizabeth Jenike

Cincinnati Immersion Week was a rousing success for both the students and companies.

Just to recap: The Cincinnati Immersion Week program is a five-day opportunity that takes place in the heart of the Queen City and features visits to Fortune 500 companies including P&G, Luxottica, PNC Bank, Macy's and LPK. The goal of the program is to connect students with global brands and marketers/business practitioners, allowing them to build networks with Miami alumni and learn about the career opportunities each area has to offer.

One of the most enlightening visits the students made was to PNC Bank. The opportunity here was for the participants to see how PNC works within the community and to demystify what a bank actually does. “It’s not just a financial organization,” stressed Doug Adams, senior vice president and team leader at PNC, “it’s a vital part of the community that helps build support for customers and the community simultaneously, striving to make it a better place to live and work.

“My job is a new field trip every day,” Doug continued. “So we wanted the students to see what we do day in and day out.”

This included trips to Music Hall, which PNC is helping to renovate, and Great American Ball Park. PNC’s support of these icons of the Cincinnati community was something that Doug wanted to stress.

Seeing Cincinnati in a new light

Marketing freshman Will Reverman, one of the team members in the PNC group, was impressed that he was able to find such a vibrant startup culture right in his own backyard. He grew up in Cincinnati, so he didn’t exactly expect to learn anything new.

“Startup companies are popping up all over the place and doing very well. I never knew Cincinnati had such a great connection between all its companies, big and small, and it was awesome to see that they all care about each other.” Will said. “There are very few places, if any, that have a startup culture like Cincinnati, so who knows, I might even decide to try and get a job here and enjoy the wonderful culture they’ve built.

“This experience really pushed me into looking for a job in a startup or a budding organization. There are so many great opportunities with those companies to help build them into something exciting and new and that’s what I would love to do with my career.”

Project: Virtual Wallet

The benefits of Immersion Week don’t stop at the student level. Cincinnati Immersion Week partners like PNC also receive a valuable experience through this opportunity to host FSB students. A great example is the presentations that student teams gave to the companies they visited.

One student team focused on PNC Bank. Their project dealt with the issue of reaching the next generation of banking customers - those young people who have grown up with mobile technologies - with the help of financial technology, or “fintech.” In an insightful presentation, the students took a look at PNC’s Virtual Wallet product and made suggestions on how to modify it in order to get more engagement from users. One suggestion was to create a “Budget Buddy” app that would send notifications to the smartphones of millennials who might not be as familiar with creating a successful budget.

“I believe that our Innovation team will take some of the case team’s ideas and consider implementing them in our Virtual Wallet product in the future,” Doug said. “Overall, it was the icing on the cake to the overall Immersion process!”

This ties into the biggest benefit of these kinds of partnerships for the companies themselves, according to FSB Director of Corporate Relations, Dave Leurck, who noted, “The Farmer School doesn’t limit student-corporate interaction to just career fair or having companies come to class - our students are actually going to them, and through these visits, the organizations get to spotlight themselves and the work they’re doing in the overall culture.”

Immersion Week participants in Cincinnati Music Hall