By Liz Warren-Pederson
In a partnership with Vantage West Credit Union, pre-business students in the Eller Leadership and Integrity Training for Excellence (ELITE) program participated in a case competition designed to boost their financial literacy.
The student teams were asked to play the role of loan officers assessing applications. “When I began the Vantage West challenge I had no idea where to begin or what to expect,” said pre-business student Lauren Cohrs. The teams delved into the documentations that Vantage West provided.
“We just tried to put ourselves into the shoes of loan officers and think about what they would do and how they would evaluate clients,” said pre-business student Catherine Cromwell.
“We researched different factors that loan officers would take into consideration when approving or denying loans,” Cohrs added. “The day of the presentation was nerve-wracking, knowing we would be giving our presentation to experts on a topic we were only beginners at. But we walked into the room with confidence and gave a clear delivery.”
Cohrs’ and Cromwell’s teams took top honors in their respective divisions.
“This was a great way to teach financial literacy, because students will now think twice when opening credit cards and making financial decisions that will impact their credit scores,” said Pam Perry, associate dean of undergraduate programs. She coordinated with Vantage West CEO Robert Ramirez to set up the experience for the students.
“This experience really helped me learn how to collaborate with groups and think outside the box,” Cohrs said. “It also showed me that sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone in order to learn something new!”
Both Cohrs and Cromwell applied for the ELITE program when they entered the UA to take advantage of opportunities to get involved and challenge themselves through competitions like the Vantage West financial literacy case.
“The events, challenges, and learning experiences were a great selling point for me on joining the program,” Cohrs said.
“Participating in ELITE definitely helped me get more accustomed to Eller,” said Cromwell. “It demonstrates what school is going to be like once I am professionally admitted.”
Learn more about Eller College undergraduate involvement opportunities, including the ELITE program, Eller Leadership Board, and more.