Alternate content for script Text Only VersionSkip to Main Content

Business Students Compete in National Community Bank Case Study Competition

Katie DuBoff - April 21, 2021

Rosemont is one of 39 higher education institutions in the United States to compete

Rosemont is one of 13 Pennsylvania colleges and universities to compete in the 2021 Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) Community Bank Case Study Competition.

The Community Bank Case Study Competition offers undergraduate students in all fields of study an opportunity to gain valuable first-hand knowledge of the banking industry. Student teams partner with local community banks to conduct original case studies. For the 2021 competition, each team will examine how community banks have responded to two major forces that impacted the nation this year: (1) the COVID-19 pandemic, and (2) a renewed commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Nine Rosemont students are divided into two teams - one team with Asian Bank and one team with The Bryn Mawr Trust Company. 

For the students who are participating, the semester-long competition has helped them gain valuable hands-on experience. 

"This experienced has honed my professional skills and enabled me to collaborate with some of school’s best business students," said Marlon Sharpton '21. "The thing I enjoyed most was putting what I learned in my under grad courses to the test. This experienced has taught me not only how to analyze financial information, but about the intricate details about what goes on in the daily operations of a community bank. After I graduate with a business degree, I plan to assert myself into the business world as an accountant." 

“I am very fortunate to share this experience with some great friends and great people who have made this internship so enjoyable,” said Chris Briner ‘21, an Accounting major. “What I enjoy most about the internship is having the opportunity to work with three fellow classmates who are amazing people and hard workers, striving to be great business people one day. I am learning basic, day-to-day operations in banks as well as better understanding financial statements as I have been studying Bryn Mawr Trust’s for a couple of months now.”

The student teams are competing for an academic scholarship, an opportunity to present their case study at the annual CSBS-Federal Reserve Community Banking in the 21st Century Research and Policy Conference, and publication in a journal of academic research.

Students have been working since January on developing research reports for both Asian Bank and Bryn Mawr Trust. Case studies are due May 17. The teams will undergo three rounds of judging, with the top three teams announced on June 17.

Ken Romanowski, adjunct faculty in the Business Department, is an advisor and mentor on this project for the second year in a row. 

“This is a real team effort,” said Romanowski. “The students are seeing behind-the-scenes bank operations that others don't often see. They are interacting with important people in each institution who are willing to share their knowledge and expertise. I’m so glad to be part of the process.”

New this year is that the Business Department has partnered with the Communications Department. Business students have the opportunity to understand banking policy, protocol, compliance, and operations while communications students studying video production have the chance to use real-life material to produce and film a documentary video as the students work across disciplines.

Talaya Martin-Smith ’21, is a communications student who is involved in producing the documentary.

“I have enjoyed everything about this experience so far,” said Martin-Smith. “As I continue to work on this assignment with classmates, I am learning a lot about what it takes to operate a bank and the challenges that come along with it as well. Due to the pandemic, businesses were forced to shut down and it created many barriers, but they learned how to work around them to create the best customer experience.”

Faculty advisors Christine Hagedorn and Brittney Nix-Crawford are working with Romanowski to support the student teams this semester.

“We value the opportunity to engage our students in hands-on project-based learning where they can apply course content to real-life projects,” said Christine Hagedorn, Assistant Professor and Discipline Coordinator of the Business Department. “Working with two community banks has allowed our students to develop relationships with banking executives, to hear about what it takes to run a bank operation, the kind of knowledge and skills needed, and the challenges and opportunities. This experience is one our students will always remember not only for the learning about banking and community banking but being part of a team of students who work hard together to create something that never before existed. There is so much pride in that kind of undertaking and so much personal growth and self-confidence can come from an experience like this.”

Professor Nix-Crawford echoes this sentiment and the value it has brought to communications students.

“I have always been a firm believer that real experience starts with real-life opportunities and you should never pass one up,” said Brittney Nix-Crawford, Assistant Professor of Communications and Discipline Chair of Communications. “I also think this gives students an opportunity to work with others on something meaningful. I truly believe opportunities like this are a gift and I thank Prof. Hagedorn for including Communications students when these opportunities arise.”

Briner notes the experience will help translate directly to his career goals.

“Understanding the numbers and picking up trends from the financial statements will give me experience and knowledge needed for me to continue my business career after graduation,” said Briner. “I plan to get my MBA after graduation at Rosemont College while playing my last year of basketball as well. After obtaining my MBA, I will enter the workforce and start studying to get my CPA to become a Certified Public Accountant.”