The Montana banking community has partnered with the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship to meet a demand for well-trained graduates interested in careers in banking. The program consists of internships, curriculum oriented toward community banking, scholarships for students interested in careers in banking, guest speakers, and industry events.

Click here for the official press release announcing this new partnership.

Montana Independent Bankers Association offered the initial start-up funds for the program. We have since received additional start-up funds from Montana Bankers Association and Big Sky Western Bank who were also instrumental in the early vision and development of the program. Other banks across the state provided additional support, making this program truly a state-wide effort.

The following banking organizations are participating in the program:

  • American Bank
  • Bank of Bozeman
  • Farmers State Bank
  • First Community Bank
  • First Interstate Bank
  • First Security Bank
  • First State Bank, Malta
  • Montana Bankers Association
  • Montana Independent Bankers Association
  • Opportunity Bank
  • Pioneer Federal Savings and Loan
  • Stockman Bank



A key part of the program is an intensive, state-wide internship program to facilitate hands-on experiences for business students. The internships are paid, and they also earn academic credit for the interns.


2018 Community Banking Interns
The 2018 interns (L-R: Sidney Schwan, Janae Hayes, Hailey Blackwell, Andrea Fairchild, Meagan Minas, and Blake Mattfeldt) with advisor, Tim Harvey.

Meagan Minas, Glacier Bank internship

Glacier Bank: Meagan Minas (left) with VP Jill Jacobsen and bank president Bob Nystuen.

In summer 2017, eight interns were placed with Montana banks.

2017 banking internship co-hort
Six of the 2017 summer interns with advisor, Tim Harvey.

Photos of the students at their internships, summer 2017:

Stephen Murray at summer internship
Opportunity Bank: Bert Bartle, Myia Morris, Laura Rogers, Chelsea Vander Vos, Stephen Murray (intern), and Lee Oldenburger

Alex Picicci at summer internship
First Security Bank: Alex Picicci presented with a "Solution for Improvement" award

Tevan Rembe at summer internship
Big Sky Western Bank: Shawn Bleile, Tevan Rembe (intern), Jolene Barcus, Cory Kellogg, and bank president Jim Ness

The interns and their advisor, Tim Harvey, also spent a day out playing golf and networking. (L-R: Stephen Murray, Tim Harvey and Alex Picicci)

2017 intern golf outing

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Guest Speakers:

Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis came to campus as a guest speaker.

President Cruzado speaks before Neel Kashkari event  Neel Kashkari and Larry R. Simkins


Senator Jon Tester served as the program's first guest speaker. On September 22, he talked about bank regulatory reform. He currently serves on the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee.

Guest Speaker: Senator Tester

Diana Holshue, Director of Branch Operations and Regional Outreach, presented "Steering the Economy: The Outlook for the Employment and Interest Rates" on November 8.

Guest Speaker: Diana Holshue

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BFIN-458, Commercial Bank Management, has been designed with community banking in mind. The course focuses on the career skills needed for entry-level bankers and future bank managers. Students learn cash flow analysis, commercial and consumer lending, lien perfection, banking laws and regulations, bank financial management, and bank financial analysis. The course is primarily intended for seniors, but it may also be taken by second-semester juniors in preparation for summer banking internships.

Advisory Committee:

In late 2017, an advisory committee consisting of both industry and MSU representatives was formed to help guide the future direction of the program. Members of the Advisory Committee:

    • Gordon Johnson, American Bank
    • Clinton Gerst, Bank of Bozeman
    • Jim Ness, Big Sky Western Bank
    • Shann Scott, First Interstate Bank
    • Kalli Ryti, First Security Bank
    • Tom Christnacht, First Security Bank of Deer Lodge
    • Bob Galt, First State Bank of Malta
    • Steve Turkiewicz, Montana Bankers Association
    • Jim Brown, Montana Independent Bankers
    • Bert Bartle, Opportunity Bank
    • Phil Willett, Pioneer Federal Savings Bank
    • Travis Wright, Stockman Bank

Future Plans:

There are plans for speakers, industry events, and enhanced curriculum development focused on community banking. The program may also periodically offer professional development geared toward community banking.

Contact Information:

If you have questions regarding the program content, internships, or curriculum, please contact: Tim Harvey,, 406-994-6200

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the program or have sponsorship questions, please contact: Jackie Sather,, 406-994-6766

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