The challenge is an initiative which encourages secondary schools across Northern Ireland to open and run their own bank for a year. In each participating school, a team of six student ‘bankers’ adopt specific Bank roles and are tasked with running their own business designed to encourage classmates to explore new ways to bank and save. Students are judged on their overall business plan and their effective use of technology, customer engagement and marketing strategies.
Students interested in being part of the School Bank Team will be interviewed for one of six positions and will receive feedback on their performances. The experience will improve students’ CV writing skills and interview techniques.
Speaking about the benefits of the competition, Geoff Hooks Regional Director First Trust Bank said, “The School Bank Challenge is a really positive experience for students, teachers and First Trust Bank staff who work continuously with schools throughout the year to develop their business ideas. The challenge develops students’ skill sets and gives them an important insight into running a business. During the year, they consider all aspects, from shaping their business plan to delivering their marketing strategy, budgeting, customer recruitment and retention. We have been very impressed by the quality of the teams from all participating schools.
The Build a Bank programme links directly to the Business Curriculum and is an excellent, practical preparation for learning about running a business.
Participating students will be involved in all aspects of banking such as sourcing new customers for their bank, encouraging regular savings, providing ongoing customer service and keeping accurate financial records – in fact everything it takes to run a bank!
From these activities, students will learn:
⦁ Financial Education
⦁ Presentation Skills
⦁ Business Plan Development
⦁ Marketing Techniques
⦁ Leadership and Teamwork
⦁ Digital Innovation
⦁ Customer Relationship Management
⦁ Interview Experience
2016/17 Build a Bank Team: The Bank of Royals
Manager: Rebekah Cuthbertson
Chief Operating Officer: Chelsea McCullagh
Marketing Manager: Shanelle Crozier
Financial Controller: Sam Balcomber
Customer Service Advisor: Michael Rooney
Media Executive: Darragh Byrne