By Stella Connell
University of Mississippi business students gained insights into how banks make money, ensure positive customer experiences and connect with local communities, among other topics, at an inaugural “Behind-the-Scenes” experience hosted by Trustmark National Bank.
The event, held Nov. 2 at Trustmark’s Jackson headquarters, included students from five universities: UM, Alcorn State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi State University and the University of Southern Mississippi. The students were business majors with a minimum GPA of 2.5.
“The goal of Trustmark corporate was to partner with universities to give students interested in corporate finance, banking and wealth management the opportunity to learn more about these roles in a corporate bank setting,” said Amy Jo Carpenter, career planning specialist at the Ole Miss School of Business Administration. “I believe that good information helps make good decisions, and this type of event offers firsthand knowledge about fields you cannot learn in the classroom.”
The event was conceived by Rita Floyd, director of organizational development for Trustmark, to better educate business students on how financial services companies operate and the various types of employment opportunities available after graduation.
“I recruit for our management training program and corporate internship program, and we have seen a decline in interest over the years,” Floyd said. “So I felt we needed this opportunity to showcase what we have to offer.”
The students, staff, and faculty received a glimpse of Trustmark’s culture, financial operations, core values and vision. The bank’s size and strength demonstrates a regional powerhouse – approaching $14 billion in total assets – with a broad scope of financial services offered and range of career options.
The day included speakers and panelists representing various lines within the banking industry, such as general banking, insurance, wealth management, mortgage, risk management and lending. Trustmark CEO Jerry Host joined the students for lunch.
“Hearing personal experiences of associates and executives from Trustmark was extremely valuable,” said Jared Tubertini, a junior banking and finance major from Jackson. “I learned there are many facets of Trustmark that help the company perform at a high level.”
The industry experts who presented, all Trustmark associates, were Joe Gibbs, Brian Johnson, Heath Jordan, Brooke Meeks, Melanie Morgan, Chase Ogden, Jim Outlaw, Tom Owens, LaRoy Savage and Breck Tyler.
“In this eye-opening and educational experience, I learned that Trustmark is not just a bank, but a financial institution that provides many different services for its clients,” said Aldyn Ewing, a sophomore management major from Covington, Louisiana. “I can see myself working for this company because of the multiple opportunities for advancement and growth that they offer.”
“The Trustmark event was a great opportunity to pair classroom and professional knowledge,” said Jeremiah Morgan, a junior from Jackson majoring in management information systems and finance. “We learned about the application of solutions in business and how to effectively communicate the outcomes.”
Celebrating its 129th anniversary, Trustmark continues to expand with locations in Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
“Based on the comments from students as they were leaving, I would say (the event) was a success and something that we will host again,” Floyd said. “We might even possibly try to do this twice a year: once in the fall and once in the spring.”