Wisconsin-area college students recently had the opportunity to participate in the RMA Wisconsin Chapter’s first Commercial Lending Case Competition. Held at the University of Wisconsin’s Madison School of Business on April 6, 2019, the event included six teams of students representing five schools: the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Marquette University, and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
RMA Wisconsin Chapter President Melissa Torres shared her excitement that the chapter successfully organized the event, which will be held annually. “Our chapter has cultivated relationships with the universities throughout our state. In conversations with these contacts, we kept hearing that they would encourage their students to participate in an event like this if we held it,” Torres said. As a result of much planning by chapter members and support from Laura Ridner, RMA Associate Director of Chapter Development, and T.J. Parker, RMA Relationship Manager for the Midwest, the event was widely attended and well received by area university students and professors.
Students were presented a commercial lending case to analyze. Competing for $3,500 in prize money, the student teams prepared a written loan proposal and presented to a panel of judges who acted as both loan committee and borrower panel. The judges’ panel consisted of Parker; Jack Wixted, RMA Scholarship Foundation Board Member; Karmin Garstecki of Business Lending Partners; and Gary Ross, Adjunct Professor, Carroll University.
At the end of the day, the team from the University of Wisconsin-Madison took the first place prize of $2,000. Second place prize of $1,000 was awarded to Marquette University, and the $500 third place prize went to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Corporate sponsors that helped support the competition included State Bank of Cross Plains, River Cities Bank, Johnson Bank, Wisconsin Bankers Association, and Wisconsin Bank and Trust.
“Our corporate sponsors, RMA HQ staff, and supporters talked with the students and their faculty about careers in banking, work ethic, and maintaining the motivation it took to take part in this event,” said Torres.
The participating students and universities provided positive feedback to the chapter. One student shared, “Because of the competition, and how well my team did, I was offered an internship at a local bank.”