President of REGIONAL Federal Credit Union Jill Banning (Right) shakes hands with CCSJ EEON Associate Jesse Fuerte (Left).
The Enterprise Expansion Opportunity Network program at Calumet College of St. Joseph is an excellent example of what College President Dr. Amy McCormack calls “Community as Campus.”
EEON establishes relationships with local businesses to provide a rich learning experience to students outside of the classroom.
The EEON program benefits the student, EEON partners, and the Northwest Indiana community.
This program is mutually beneficial because the partner receives free labor and the associate receives experience in their field and a modest income to cover expenses.
EEON associates can train on campus or with community partners and are paid through the program and at no cost to the EEON partner.
Students can accumulate up to 150 hours of experience per semester and 300 hours per academic year.
Although not all majors require an internship for graduation, every potential CCSJ graduate can benefit from real life experience in their chosen career field. The experience can confirm future aspirations or change career goals entirely.
As an accounting major, I was matched with REGIONAL Federal Credit Union and placed in their Accounting/Lending department.
A credit union offers many of the same services that a regular bank offers such as checking and savings accounts, debit/credit cards, and access to loans.
A credit union differs from a regular bank because they are a non-profit organization and are characterized by the level of service they provide to members, who are technically shareholders of the organization.
My responsibilities at REGIONAL have included entering data from lending reports to spreadsheets. This information is used to determine the growth of existing products and services. This information is also analyzed to determine which products are performing poorly and why.
I have also been balancing automated clearing house (ACH) and draft transactions. The automated clearing house transactions are incoming and outgoing wire transfers. Draft balancing refers to money in existing accounts that is transferred out at the end of the business day so that it can earn interest. The money is then returned to the credit union and made available to members in the morning.
The most important thing is to make sure that debits equal credits. If they don’t, then we must determine why.
Sometimes the accounts may not balance due to something simple like a human error in data entry. Other times it may be because a transaction is still pending. Figuring out why the accounts don’t balance can be a tedious process. I enjoy ACH and draft balancing because it feels like I’m figuring out a monetary puzzle.
An important task that I have also been working on is verifying that wire transfers were conducted in accordance with federal laws and regulations. Receivers of outgoing wire transfers are checked against a treasury department database to ensure that the receivers are not barred from receiving funds. People that are typically barred from receiving wire transfers are people with a criminal history and politically exposed persons.
This program has been beneficial for my career development because it allows me to apply the fundamentals learned in the classroom to real world situations. This internship has allowed me to gain valuable accounting experience, which I can use to bolster my resume. The effort and dedication I have displayed in my assigned tasks will be useful when it comes time to request references for future employment.
Dino Ramirez is the EEON coordinator and his office is located in the Academic Advising Department in room 100B. Prospective associates must be in their junior year, complete an application package, and maintain a 3.0 GPA among other requirements.
To learn more about the EEON program or to complete an application please visit their website (http://www.ccsj.edu/cms/ccsjeeon/).
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