Second 'Real World Makeover' Targets Michigan State Students

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After a successful run last year, Michigan State University FCU has launched its second "Real World Makeover" contest, targeting some 6,000 students about to graduate.

Two winners have received a $5,000 package that included a new professional wardrobe, hairstyle and makeover, tax filing service and advice, four hours of professional coaching, a class ring and a $500 MCSFUC VISA spending spree.

Joyce M. Banish, MSUFCU Marketing VP, said the CU has invested about $25,000 on the promotion that includes television commercials (including one that aired during "American Idol"), radio spots and a booklet with coupons from participating vendors.

"This year a lot of retailers put in discount coupons," Banish said, adding that after proving their success last year, MCUFCU was able to attract a couple of national chains, including Talbots and Jos. A Bank Clothiers, which provided professional wardrobes. One of last year's favorite prizes-professional coaching from Aspire Collaborative Services, LLC-was offered again.

"The young man that won last year used all the business planning services he won and liked the Aspire Collaborative service so much that his brother signed up for it," Banish said.

Other goodies included financial services from Sovereign Group, Smith Barney, tax filing services for 2006 from Simplified Tax, dress shoes from Cobblers Bench, Spartan jewelry from Wheat Jewelers, and makeover and hairstyle with Douglas J. Salon.

The $1.2-billion MSUFCU is the world's largest university-based CU with more than 124,000 members worldwide.

While it was impossible to measure the number of loans brought in as a result of last years' contest, Banish said the CU did notice that more graduating seniors kept their memberships active. "And, of course, that's one of the goals," she said.

"Many graduates are not prepared to make changes to their appearance as they leave the campus atmosphere and begin their new professional careers," Banish added.

This year's Real World Makeover contest kicked off before an audience of 200 students at the MSU Senior Class Council Manners and Etiquette Dinner at the Kellogg Center. Students were invited to submit a headshot and full body shot along with an application that reveals grade point average, organizational activities and a statement on why they deserve the makeover.

Banish noted the two winning students were featured on Lansing's Fox 47 network.

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