Terry students work with Truist to mold the future of FinTech

Students work with executives to build better customer service and client management experiences for Truist
Students pitch a customer service solution to Truist executives during an immersive learning experience at Studio 225

UGA’s Terry College of Business students tackle realistic case studies in their classes every day but recently had the chance to work with IT leaders at Truist, IBM, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and FlowX.AI to solve real-world challenges facing the banking and financial sectors.

Six teams of Terry College Management Information Systems (MIS) and FinTech Certificate students spent Oct. 13-14 at UGA’s Studio 225 in an immersive learning experience created and hosted by Truist.

“Truist is committed to dedicating a portion of our time to empower the next generation of business leaders by providing them with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in an ever-evolving business environment,” said Dan Stephenson, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Truist.

During the two-day experience, students worked with professionals from Truist, IBM, AWS and FLOWX to build omni-channel client and teammate experiences that introduce operational effectiveness and efficiencies for financial advisors and agents within the Truist Contact Center (TCC). Students engaged in an informal agile build process, utilizing a hybrid no-code / traditional code platforms.

“I enjoyed this event because it gave me some insight into how professionals work in the workplace and how I can better tailor my studies to prepare me to better work with a team in a workplace setting and speak in front of other professionals,” said Finley Ross, a third-year management information systems student.

Ross was one of 45 highly qualified MIS and Fintech certificate students who applied to participate. Company representatives from FlowX.ai, a novel code-free platform allowing non-developers to build applications, provided training to the students. They also learned to integrate voice and chat systems from Amazon Web Services.

Then the students were issued their challenges.

One of the use cases provided in this challenge was to create innovative ways to ensure Truist clients received the support they needed while ensuring secure and automated controls are applied across all digital products. The students were tasked to design solutions that allowed clients a seamless customer service experience from the call center to chat services to branch representatives. They also wanted to use call data to understand why people called customer service, how to guide some of them to self-service options and how to improve self-service options to help reduce call volumes and hold times.

Truist’s customer service representatives field a substantial volume of client calls annually and each call lasts an average of 12 minutes. Cutting down the number of calls allow customers to obtain quicker service which improves their overall customer experience.

“They went through the design thinking process to creatively think about a solution to the problem and what that application should look like, identified the requirements of that application and then developed that application using the low code platform,” said management information systems professor Hugh Watson, who recruited students for the program.

The environment was collaborative, and students worked faster than they would on school assignments. This is what made this immersive experience truly valuable, said Ryan Dyals, a third-year management information system major with an area of emphasis in data analytics.

“You have to think and really prioritize exactly what your group is doing and work with the other team as well because we have to integrate our solutions at the end,” Dyals said. “You’re working in separate teams, but you also have to keep track of their work along the way so when it comes together, you do not just have separate parts that don’t connect.”

Watson partnered with Bob Trotter, senior lecturer in the Terry FinTech Certificate Program, and MIS professor and C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry Chair of Business Administration Jerry Kane and MIS department head Maric Boudreau to organize the event.

“Working with Truist on Campus wasn’t just about tackling a business problem. It was about mixing what we learn in class with real-world know-how,” Kane said.   “It shows how committed MIS is making sure our students are ready to take on challenges and lead in the real world.” 

This fall’s immersive experience is part of a wide-ranging effort on behalf of Truist to prepare students for emerging jobs in financial technology. To learn more about how Truist is creating solutions for the future of banking, visit www.truist.com/innovation-technology-center. 

For more information about partnering with the UGA Terry College of Business Department of Management Information Systems visit terry.uga.edu/MIS.