SAFE INTERNS TRANSFORM INTO CU SUPERHEROES
North Highlands, Calif. August 5, 2011 – This July, ten high school interns embarked on an adventure at SAFE Credit Union's Corporate Headquarters. Students from Rio Linda and Mesa Verde High Schools spent one month over their summer break preparing to open their own student-run campus branches. The students were given the opportunity to experience every major facet of the credit union, with an emphasis on branch operations, member service, and marketing. Many credit unions support campus branches, but few are as highly involved as SAFE. The depth and breadth of SAFE's program gives student leaders a real-world view of credit union operations, from which they develop accountability for the success of their branch.
In the marketing department, the students were tasked with developing a campaign to inform and enlighten their peers. They learned to channel their creative energies into a clear strategy. High school branch promotions are uniquely designed to communicate to, and meet the financial needs of, high school students. Allowing student leaders to fully immerse in the corporate environment, create their own business plan, and take their newfound knowledge back to campus, are essential factors to the program's success.
"The internships are equally rewarding for students and SAFE management," said Paul Hersek, Vice President of Marketing at SAFE. "Interns learn to analyze their marketing opportunities and build comprehensive strategies. We learn face-to-face how Gen Y thinks about their money."
On the last day of their internship, SAFE hosted a celebration luncheon where the students delivered a presentation to their parents, SAFE's Executive Team, and District Superintendants, and high school principals and administrators. This year, the students presented their marketing plan and a superhero-themed campaign, complete with a "Savingsman" mascot, capes, and masks. They are enthusiastic about their mission to help their peers "save their savings" by establishing good money-management habits and taking advantage of unique products, such as Perfect Cents Savings®. SAFE's free Perfect Cents Savings program rounds debit card transactions up to the nearest dollar and automatically transfers the excess from checking to savings. As part of the Savingsman promotion, SAFE will match up to $100 of Perfect Cents Savings transfers for each student – providing even more incentive to save.
Under the supervision of school and SAFE advisors, the students will run and manage their branch's day-to-day operations. Branch staffers are responsible for accepting membership applications, deposits, and loan payments, as well as sharing the benefits of making regular savings contributions with fellow students and faculty. Since the Rio Linda High School location opened in 2005, the branch has reinforced the importance of fiscal responsibility and financial literacy. SAFE is committed to providing innovative products, services, and educational resources to meet the needs of young members.
Established in 1940, SAFE Credit Union maintains assets in excess of $1.6 billion and serves more than 150,000 members through 21 branches in the greater Sacramento region.