Students present their project to Fifth Third Bank employees
Students present their project to Fifth Third Bank employees Photo: Jay Murdock
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FYIC students, projects showcased at Fifth Third HQ

Eight teams travel to Cincinnati to show off their projects

The First-Year Integrated Core took its show on the road last week, bringing the top groups from the Fall 2018 cohort to Fifth Third Bank’s headquarters in downtown Cincinnati to show off their ideas to Fifth Third executives and employees. The trip was the culmination of the semester-long project that the students tackled for the financial company, which looked for ways to engage and assist underserved groups in society.

"Our engagement with students, especially across the innovation team, is one of the most important pillars in how we engage with our community and build the collaborative ecosystem we're looking for,” Fifth Third Bancorp senior VP of design and innovation Joel Kashuba explained. “The students come out with some really fresh thinking, and I think that's an amazing point in working with them. It really lends a perspective we may not get with our years and years in the banking industry and financial industry.”

After a tour of Fifth Third Bank’s own innovation spaces, the students gave poster presentations to interested Fifth Third employees, who asked questions, gave advice, and complimented the students’ work. "This was such a great experience, honestly. Getting feedback from all of these Fifth Third employees was probably one of the most beneficial things we've done with this project so far,” freshman Shelby Hatcher said. “They seem to be really excited and energized about our ideas, so it's exciting.”

“A couple of employees talked about how they would spin our idea to make it more realistic and be able to implement it tomorrow if they wanted to,” freshman Carl Schoellman noted. “To me, that's really cool. It makes it feel like our work is valuable and they're taking it seriously."

Freshman Olivia Wyles said the experience helped her see that there’s more to banking than tellers and ATMs. “I've always had kind of a narrow view of what banks were, how they function, but coming in here, walking around here, gives me a whole new idea of what goes on in a bank, the fact that innovation is going on is so exciting,” she said.

Kashuba and the students said that the experience was a great one for everyone involved.  "I think the students get some great exposure to some real-life activities going on in a large corporation, seeing the atmosphere we work in,” Kashuba explained. “That perspective for our executives here is also eye-opening for them as well. I think both parties get something really amazing out of it."

“We are getting the opportunity to talk to people in the real world and see how our ideas actually play out and how realistic they are,” Wyles pointed out. “They get to see what the next generation is working on, what they're doing, how they can use our ideas to stimulate theirs. I think we both get a lot out of it."

See more photos from the trip on our Facebook page