USC students compete in SIFE USA Regional
On Monday, March 21, 2011, University of South Carolina Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) competed in the SIFE USA Regional Competition held in Charlotte, NC. USC SIFE faced twenty-seven SIFE teams from other universities around the Southeast. Seven members, Marisa Tassello (President), Sean Frady (Vice President), Alexa Jacobs (Secretary), Matthew Tassello, Drake Orman, Grace Mozingo, and Cynthia Amick, led by faculty advisor, Dr. Marianne Bickle, represented USC’s team.
USC SIFE, which was dormant since 2008, reactivated in Fall 2010. After extensive research, planning, and dedication from team members, USC SIFE completed three service learning projects, which consisted of two short presentations accompanied by brochures and a lecture series, based on the theme, “Financial Planning and Responsibility.” At the SIFE USA Regional Competition, the team was required to present a 24-minute multimedia presentation documenting their service projects and their impact on the campus and local community.
The full-day Regional Competition in Charlotte did not end with the team’s presentation, however. The competition, which was sponsored by Lowe’s Home Improvement, also hosted a job fair with representatives from companies such as AFLAC, Nabisco, Walgreens, Finish Line, Entenmann’s, and Wells Fargo, just to name a few. The team spent the afternoon learning about SIFE sponsors, networks, going on interviews, and viewing other SIFE teams’ presentations. After the job fair and morning presentations, a Lowe’s hosted a luncheon that provided the team with the chance to sit and speak in-depth with job fair representatives and members from other SIFE teams. The competition commenced with several speeches from the sponsors and an awards ceremony.
The USC SIFE team may not have walked away with an award this year, but they still left feeling like winners. “The SIFE USA Regional Competition was filled with a wonderful positive energy! As rookies, we learned a great deal from this experience and are confident that we will return with what it takes to win next year,” Marisa Tassello (President).
After the experience of the SIFE USA Regional Competition in Charlotte, the USC SIFE team has gained insight to their strengths and weaknesses. They will spend the remainder of Spring semester focusing on improvements and plans for the 2011-2012 school year.
SIFE’s Lecture Series brings Carolina Collegiate Federal Credit Union
Helen Powel l, Vice President of Human Resources/Business Development, at Carolina Collegiate Federal Credit Union spoke to students on Tuesday March 1, 2011. Helen spoke to approximately 50 students on “Tips for Financial Responsibility.” She opened her presentation by reminding students that “you can be controlled by your money or you can control your money.”
Tip #1: Empower yourself by asking questions.
Students should ask the financial representative questions. Questions include: Is there a fee for using my ATM? Helen says never – ever - pay a surcharge for using your money! What are the various types of accounts available to me? Don’t let a financial manager select the account for you. You help make informed decisions based on your needs.
Tip #2: Financial institutions make mistakes.
Communicate with your institution. Call them when you believe a mistake has occurred. Get the name of the person you are speaking with. Document the date of the conversation. When a mistake occurs, call the institution immediately. If you lose your debit card, contact your institution immediately; don’t wait one hour.
Tip#3: Create and maintain a budget.
At all times, know how much money you are spending. This also means that you need to have a list of monthly activities and expenditures. Cut out bad spending habits and reallocate those funds to create a savings account. Remember “It isn’t about how much money you have - - it’s how you take care of it.”
Tip #4: You are your credit history.
Your credit history is your financial institution. Keep your monthly debt obligations below 10% of your monthly net worth (after taxes). Credit card is a four letter word; credit cards are only a loan. You must pay back all the money - - with interest.
The Carolina Collegiate
Federal Credit Union locations:
710 Pulaski Street and 4480 Rosewood Dr.