“The professors at Franciscan have high expectations—they want students to do their best with whatever project they’re working on,” says Michael Blankenberger ’12. It’s a lesson that transitions outside the classroom, too, he points out. “After you graduate, you can’t just fluff it either.”
As a finance major, Michael certainly worked hard to live up to those high expectations.
Throughout his four years at Franciscan, Michael participated in the University’s chapter of Students in Free Enterprise (now known as Enactus). During his senior year, the SIFE team developed Project Bootstraps, which helped entrepreneurs start new businesses and expand existing ones, and the SIFE Entrepreneurial Alliance, which paired students with local entrepreneurs to observe the day-to-day workings of hometown businesses. The team also sponsored several fundraising projects for both local and international charities and helped the Steubenville community with several cleanup projects.
Michael served on the group’s presentation team, responsible for summarizing and presenting the students’ business efforts. Franciscan’s team placed first in regional competition that year and traveled to Kansas City, Missouri, for the national contest.
“SIFE taught me to be more community oriented and to look for opportunities to help people,” he says. “It was a great learning experience.”
During his junior year, Michael held an internship with the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, working on a local beautification project and helping to make Steubenville a more inviting place for businesses. In his senior year, an on-campus job assisting with business transactions in the Office of Evangelization provided even more on-the-job learning experiences.
Out in the job force now, Michael still strives to excel.
A retirement plan services investment specialist with Old National Bank in Evansville, Indiana, Michael helps clients shore up their financial future and manages retirement plans. He also does background research on investments and performance reporting. And the public speaking and presentation skills he sharpened through SIFE come in handy when he leads seminars and helps plan investment committee meetings for human resource departments.
Michael hasn’t stopped working hard: This fall he’ll begin online graduate studies with Indiana University Kelley School of Business.