School Bank

Build a Bank Challenge

Building Better Bankers at St. Fergal’s:
“It would be so nice if something would make sense for a change.”(Alice). This is the quote from ‘Alice in Wonderland’, by Lewis Carroll that inspired St. Fergal’s students to accept the AIB ‘Build a Bank’ challenge this year. It is an enjoyable and exciting way for Transition Year students to run their own School Bank, with the support of AIB, and learn about managing their own business.

This would not have been possible without the expert guidance of their Business Studies teacher, Ms. Aishling Phelan who said “This is the first year that St. Fergal’s have participated in this competition. The Bank itself is a wonderful and enriching learning experience for the students involved.” The team of six students successful at interview decided to market their school bank based on an Alice in Wonderland theme. “Wonderbank” held its first open day in St. Fergal’s on Dec 7th 2011.

The school bank ‘staff’ generated a lot of buzz as they dressed in character to promote the concept and encourage students to open an AIB bank account. This successful day was crucial to advertising the official launch. Costumes and creativity were at their best as Bank Manager Colm Stapleton became ‘The Mad Hatter’, Assistant Bank Manager Ruth Hyland- ‘Alice’, Sales and Marketing Executive Aoife Bergin-‘Queen of Hearts’, Auditor Aine Moynan-‘Playing Card’ and two Tellers: Emmet Wall and Christine Fitzpatrick played the twins ‘Twiddle Dom’ and ‘Twiddle Dee’. On February 8th, the school gym was transformed into a ‘Mad Hatters Tea Party’ with students, staff, AIB representatives and special guest Tipperary Goalkeeper Brendan Cummins all enjoying the treats and cakes made by TY students and school staff.

AIB representative Lisa Warren provided full training for each of the positions within the School Bank Team. Lisa has been a huge support to the students and commented “St. Fergal’s Wonderbank staff have impressed; their dedication and ambition is worthy of mention. They have engaged in everything from sourcing new customers and opening AIB accounts to encouraging regular savings and exploring new ways to bank, such as AIB Phone & Internet Banking. Their fresh, positive attitude has been an inspiration to us all.”

St. Fergal’s like all of the other participating schools in the AIB Build a Bank Challenge qualified to compete at 1 of 5 exhibition based Regional Finals in Leopardstown Racecourse on the 9th March. Each bank had to prepare a business plan and create a small exhibition on the running of their bank. “Wonderbank” Staff were interviewed by a team of adjudicators at the event. 10 teams out of 40 made it to the semi-finals and were required to make a 2 minute present