By Lucas Johnson
Tennessee State University partnered with Regions Bank on Thursday to help students better manage their money, and give them a “reality check” about life.
Representatives from Regions, a longtime partner with TSU, held a financial literacy workshop for students in the university’s College of Business. The students participated in an interactive activity to learn about building and balancing a budget, as well as being prepared for unexpected expenses that could affect a budget. Called the Reality Check, students were assigned a role and then had to select real-life options that would directly impact that person’s budget. The challenge was to complete the experience with a budget surplus.
“This event is part of our professional development series,” said Marlo Wilt, director of public service in the College of Business. “We think it is important for our students to be financially healthy. So, we invited Regions to come and do this series. We want our students. as they move out into the workforce, to know how to balance a budget and take care of their money.”
Jonathan Mercer, a junior business management major from Nashville, said the workshop was beneficial.
“It helped me realize just how important a budget is,” said Mercer. “To keep track of everything that’s going on, you need a budget, and one on paper.”
Sophomore Tekayla Turner agreed. The Detroit, Michigan, native is majoring in business administration with a concentration in hospitality, and hopes to one day own a hotel.
“In high school, we didn’t learn about budgeting and finances,” said Turner. “When I got to college, I was like, huh? So, this is important. We all need to learn about budgeting, and how to manage our money.”
Dr. Reynard McMIllian, an assistant professor in the Department of Accounting, said the College of Business wants to make basic financial literacy a strength of all its business students.
“We want them to have that foundation so they can walk out of Tennessee State University, not only with a degree, but with a plan on how to make that degree work in their favor,” said McMillian.
Andrew Singleton, an assistant vice president and branch manager with Regions, was one of the officials who worked with the students. He said the company holds programs like Reality Check in high regard.
“Regions Bank is all about financial literacy and financial education,” said Singleton. “So, anytime we have an opportunity to get in front of our youth, our future, it’s extremely important to us.”
TSU has continued to make financial literacy a priority. Last month, money management was one of the main topics at a workshop hosted by a group of TSU students, along with the university’s Women’s Center.
Seanne Wilson, director of the Women’s Center, said the workshop was one of the many programs the center provides to empower young women, as well as young men, to think about how they spend their money.
“I wish when I was in college, someone had talked to me about wealth management, saving money, and not spending unwisely,” said Wilson. “Now, I want to be proactive and help them understand the value of money and not be reckless in spending it.”