The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business and First Tennessee Bank partnered this September to offer a seminar in financial literacy over a dinner sponsored by the bank.
Isheeta Mistry, a Haslam junior studying supply chain management and marketing with a collateral in international business, says the seminar was an eye-opening opportunity to learn about finance and banking from a personal perspective.
“I definitely learned that I should start saving and make a list every time I spend so that I can know where my money is going!” Mistry says.
Janice Branch Hall, coordinator of academic support and engagement in Haslam’s Office of Diversity & Community Relations, says the seminar was designed to provide students with an opportunity for personal development.
“Our students are positioned to be very successful and will need the skills to develop healthy financial habits,” Branch Hall says. “It was a real pleasure to see the eagerness of the students and their drive to become informed about their finances.”
Ben Altom, a vice president of financial wellness and customer acquisition at First Tennessee, says half of the material covered in the seminar related to financial literacy, while the other half related to professional development.
“Money is a very taboo topic, so we’ve got to have fun with it,” Altom says. “We’ve got to break down the barrier of personal finance being stressful and difficult to talk about, and just open up.”
Altom added the seminar held at Haslam was the start of First Tennessee’s “Backpack to Briefcase” series, which will be available at colleges and universities throughout the state. The program seeks to provide students with information about the connections between personal spending habits and financial growth.
“It’s exciting that we have a room full of students hungry to learn this material,” Altom says. “We want to be able to provide resources so they know what they’re doing with their money when they walk out of here.”