CTCB Financial Management College
Forging Financial Talents with Guaranteed Employment
Pursuing a “boutique” educational esthetic, the CTCB Financial Management College’s assurance of employment after graduation has helped yield impressive recruitment numbers.
Forging Financial Talents with Guaranteed EmploymentBy Rebecca Lin
From CommonWealth Magazine (vol. 617 )
“Graduation guarantees employment.” This simple slogan has captured people’s attention and fancy, and helped revive a dying school.
Noon arrives and music begins to softly play. “When ‘We Are Family’ starts playing, everyone knows it’s 12 o’clock…lunch time,” says school president Shih Kuang-hsun with a laugh. The sign at the gate on Taijiang Boulevard in Tainan, with Chinese characters against China Trust’s trademark jade green background, reads China Trust Commercial Bank Financial Management College.
The college rose from the remains of the Hsingkuo Management Institute, an institution shut down by the Ministry of Education due to a combination of poor recruitment and the sale of student enrollment. After taking over operations, the CTBC Charity Foundation changed the name to the CTBC Financial Management College, and it has proven its mettle with excellent student recruitment within just two years.
Last year, eyeing the promise of generous scholarship money and employment prospects at CTCB upon graduation, over 1,300 candidates vied for 150 places. Meanwhile, over 140 applicants competed for 15 places in the new financial management graduate institute, and all of those who were accepted matriculated.
Helping the Disadvantaged
Right from the outset of student recruitment, the institution set the direction of aiding disadvantaged people and training skilled personnel. Shih made visits to over 50 high schools and vocational schools around Taiwan, establishing strategic alliances with institutions like Tainan First High School, Tainan Girls High School, and Taipei First Girls High School, encouraging the recommendation of underprivileged students while at the same time recruiting outstanding students. “We stress our quality as a small yet excellent school, dedicated to training international financial professionals. So we treat every student like a future bank manager,” says Shih, outlining the school’s clear objectives.
Tsai Tung-hsuan, sporting glasses and a fashionable flat-top hairdo, scored a 71 on his college entrance exam, yet decided to matriculate at CTCB Financial Management College. “At first I had designs on pre-med, but when I saw they offered scholarships and overseas internships (at CTCB FMC), I thought I might try a different route,” he relates. After spending his senior year as an exchange student at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania through a joint program, he is preparing to gain some work experience at China Trust before making further decisions on his future.
Given its emphasis on training financial professionals, all of the CTBC Financial Management Institute’s courses are designed with practical hands-on experience in mind. Each department must maintain communications with CTCB’s hiring department while planning curriculum and course structures. Taking the example of the Department of Business and Economic Law, the curriculum committee includes CTCB’s legal counsel, human resources executives, and training department executives, who draw up the curriculum structure together with the department director and college president at the start of the academic year in line with their area of expertise.
“The curriculum outline the teachers design is sent for external review and recommendations,” reports Cheng Chin-che, Head of Business and Economic Law Department. Cheng adds that managers and professors working together can stimulate each other to create better course designs, including signing a memorandum of understanding with the Tainan Administrative Enforcement Agency, and taking administrative law students for study trips. “Financial industry personnel need to know how to deal with government debts,” he says.
“It’s rare in Taiwan’s academic realm to ask the customer what they want. But we want to ask first,” says Shih, referring to the financial sector as “the customer“ which is in high demand for qualified personnel. With this in mind, students in the school’s current departments, namely the Department of Banking and Finance, the Department of Business and Economic Law, and the Department of Business Administration, must obtain nine professional certifications and licenses before they can graduate.
'Boutique' Approach to Training
In order to conform to the financial industry climate, the college works especially hard at training students’ broad-level skills, going so far as to make golf and tennis required physical education courses and hiring professional coaches to train them.
Still, since everything is measured against the standards of the finance industry, the CTCB Financial Management College is often labeled by the academic realm as a “vocational training center,” by which definition it would not qualify as a college or university.
This does not bother Shih in the least. “Running a vocational training center is too easy. Why would we make ourselves work so hard?” he asks. The college looks to train future managers, people with the skills to work independently to become real bankers, not just at Chinatrust but at banks all over the world. “We want to be a boutique, not a buffet,” he adds.
The CTCB Financial Management College has set a goal of reaching 1,200 students, and does not pursue the multi-disciplinary approach of a general university. Whether or not the institution can become a new model for future colleges and universities remains to be seen.
Translated from the Chinese by David Toman
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