Ever wondered how banks decide which businesses qualify for loans—and which do not? Are you curious about credit memos? Do you want to try your hand at writing a uniform credit analysis? Or perhaps you’re considering a career in credit assessment at a retail bank but not sure what it’s really like. A handful of Lundquist College seniors had the chance to explore these topics—along with the opportunity to get hands-on practice evaluating loans themselves—in last fall’s Credit Finance Group course.
Taught by instructor of finance Jon Moulton ’82, PhD ’95, and now in its second year, the course fills a gap that was created when retail banks disbanded their internal training programs several years ago. One of its goals is to enable graduates to bypass what’s nicknamed “teller’s row”—the traditional entry point into retail banking—and start immediately in credit assessment positions.
After covering the basics in the term’s first half, students spent the rest of the term in teams of three working through a credit analysis project. By the end of the term, each group had created a full-fledged credit memo, which the students can use as portfolio pieces to show prospective employers.
During upcoming terms this winter and spring, students will hone the skills they gained by continuing to perform credit assessments. They will also spend at least a day at one of several Eugene-area banks, getting a sense of the full spectrum of positions the field offers. Student memberships in the Risk Management Association’s Eugene-Springfield chapter will give students the chance to begin building their professional networks.
One of the many elements that make the Lundquist College stand out among its peers is the practical knowledge students gain in courses to jumpstart their careers. At the same time, courses like these supply students with the intellectual groundwork that they can refer to again and again as their careers advance.
“No other university in the region is doing this level of credit analysis training,” said Moulton.
Students will have a chance to explore careers in risk assessment and many other financial fields at the college's Careers in Banking and Wealth Management event on January 21.