Montana State University

MSU business college to partner with Montana banks on enhanced internship program and banking curriculum

February 6, 2017 -- From MSU News Service

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Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN — A need for a program with more emphasis on banking has resulted in a partnership between Montana State University’s Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship and the Montana banking community.
Current MSU alumni and professionals in the banking industry have expressed an increased demand for a well-trained source of graduates interested in entering this profession, according to Kregg Aytes, dean of the college. To meet the demand, the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship will work with the banking community over the next few years to develop and offer more extensive coursework relevant to these banks, including a course focused on community banking. It will also develop an intensive, state-wide internship program to facilitate hands-on experiences for business students interested in banking, Aytes said.
To help fund the efforts, Montana Independent Bankers Association (MIB) has donated the lead gift to further develop and enhance the banking curriculum at the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship.
“Montana Independent Bankers Association is pleased to provide the initial seed money for the program,” said Jim Brown, MIB executive director. “MIB is particularly excited about that portion of the program that (develops) a statewide internship program for those students involved.  The internship program will bring students from the classroom into participating community banks, where the students will begin building hands-on knowledge of the industry.”
Senior finance student Cody Siems piloted the internship program last summer with Stockman Bank in Miles City.
“Interning with Stockman Bank opened my eyes to the opportunities in community banking, giving me a leg up in respect to my understanding of finance and on my career outlook,” Siems said.
Faculty say they also see value in this type of programming. 
“This collaboration between the Jabs college and Montana’s banking community is a win-win from my perspective,” said Gary Caton, MSU associate professor of finance. “My students get formal access to great job opportunities in Montana, while Montana’s banks get formal access to bright, eager university graduates.”
Future plans for the Community Banking Program include providing ongoing educational and professional development opportunities for Montana bankers to facilitate the long-term sustainability of the banking community and Montana’s economy, Aytes said.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with our Montana banks and appreciate the lead gift from the Montana Independent Bankers Association,” he said. “The program will expose our students to great careers here in Montana and prepare them to be strong contributors to both the banks where they will work and to the communities in which they live. We couldn’t do this without the assistance from the banks.” 
To participate in this collaborative effort, please contact Jackie Sather, senior director of development with the MSU Alumni Foundation, at or (406) 994-6766.
The MSU Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship offers four undergraduate options of study, including accounting, finance, management and marketing, as well as five minors, including accounting, business administration, entrepreneurship and small business management, finance and international business. The college also offers a master of professional accountancy degree, a business certificate and entrepreneurship certificate.

Contact: Jackie Sather, senior development director, MSU Alumni Foundation, (406) 994-6766 or