Management Students Help CU In Planning

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Hudson Valley FCU here has introduced a new component into its planning process by inviting students at the Marist College School of Management to submit research papers on the future of the credit union industry.

To entice the students, it offered a $1,000 prize, which was won by a senior from Medina, Minn.

"One of the goals of our future planning committee is to get a fresh perspective on the industry,'' said Paul Stull, HVFCU's VP of marketing. "I think we got that as well as a number of other things.''

Stull said the competition also educated many students about the possibilities of a career in the credit union industry and forged a "nice relationship" between the CU and its local college.

Most surprising, Stull said, was that many students had no knowledge of CUs prior to the competition. But, through research that included interviewing key management officials and writing papers limited to 10 pages, they learned quite a bit, he said. "The contest was an excellent opportunity for students to learn more about the credit union industry and employment opportunities within it," he said.

The contest required students write about one of two topics, "Growth Opportunities for Credit Unions in the Hudson Valley," or "The Competitive Landscape of Financial Services in the Hudson Valley." It was promoted with the help of two Marist College faculty members and judged by those professors and HVFCU CEO Mary D. Madden.

The $1.7-billion HVFCU has a community charter.

Stull said it was particularly interesting and helpful to get the insights of this specific demographic and see how they will influence the future of the financial industry.

Stull said the planning committee intends to take into consideration some of the ideas pitched in the research papers.

In addition, he said, the committee plans to offer similar contests to other area colleges. "You can hire an awful lot of consultants, but they can't give us what we got from the students," Stull said. "It's a creative idea, and for low dollars."

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