TCU’s Partnership with MSBA Program
Author: Marshall King
How TCU Benefits From Partnership
Mitch Speer has come to view the students from the Notre Dame Master of Science in Business Analytics program in a way he didn’t expect.
As manager of business intelligence and business transformation for Teachers Credit Union, he expected some benefit by sponsoring students working on their capstone projects each spring.
The credit union in northern Indiana and southern Michigan, with nearly 60 locations and more than 300,000 members, provided data sets for use in these projects.
“We found this as a mutual partnership. We could provide real-world, practical data sets to students.”
But over the four years the credit union worked with students, he has come to see them as valuable independent consultants. After several months of working with data, they present finding that are both informative and remarkable, he said.
Helping Solve Issues and Preparing Findings
Students meet with individuals who serve as sponsors and mentors. TCU’s employees describe problems, how they do business and what’s important. As students work with data sets that mask individuals’ private information. In some cases, international students learn about credit union and banking operations in the United States as they prepare their findings.
“Directly, the problems we’ve given them have revolved around membership conversion propensity models,” Speer said.
TCU asked Notre Dame’s students to look at converting customers who have one touchpoint, such as those who have a car loan, to full-fledged members. That resulted in a list of several hundred customers who were most likely to become members and a subsequent outreach campaign from retail specialists at TCU.
In another project, students looked at member attrition. Keeping and growing member relationships is a central goal of all credit unions. While, historically, that has been viewed through a deposit relationship lens, the students shed light on how valuable the loan relationship is to members staying with the credit union. “This was a piece that surprised us a little bit and found us wanting to learn more,” said Speer.
Students present their findings to members of Speer’s team as well as several executives. That interaction is often vibrant as TCU’s staff ask questions and dive more deeply into the data and findings.
The skill and unique perspectives of the students resulted in insights that have helped the financial institution. “It’s been fun to hear that third-party perspective of students groups,” he said. “It’s been very fruitful.”
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Topics: Applied Projects, MSBA