Truist, UNC Charlotte partner on immersive cybersecurity challenge

Truist Immersive Learning Challenge
Thursday, June 1, 2023
Students learn from senior leaders, tech executives.

UNC Charlotte and Truist Financial Corporation recently collaborated on a two-day learning experience to educate students on cybersecurity challenges of fraud claims and related financial crimes.

"Truist Financial is committed to our purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. One way we are doing that is by helping to train the next generation of business leaders, arming them with the knowledge and skills they will need to excel in an ever-changing business landscape. This unique partnership gives UNC Charlotte students tactical training along with an understanding of how innovative software can fuel business outcomes," said Dan Stephenson, Truist divisional chief information officer. 

Students partnering with Truist teammatesDuring the Truist Immersive Learning Experience, held March 31-April 1 at the Truist Innovation and Technology Center in Uptown Charlotte, students partnered with Truist teammates and executives, and senior leaders from IBM, FlOWX.AI and AWS to solve real-world business challenges using the latest in "low code/no code" technology. 

Through the hands-on program, students learned through experimentation, allowing them to conceptualize and then create enterprise-grade software solutions all without writing a single line of code. 

"During the sessions, students learned new ways to think about building solutions that solve business problems. The program also helped students network and build connections with business professionals," said Faith Neale, associate professor of risk management and insurance in the Belk College of Business who worked closely with Truist on the first-of-its-kind experience. 

Business professionals flew in from as far as Romania to be part of the event, Neale said.

A total of 49 Charlotte graduate and undergraduate students from the Belk College of Business and the College of Computing and Informatics participated along with faculty from the colleges. The students represented several majors, including MBA, master’s in mathematical finance, and bachelor’s in computer science, marketing and finance.  

The session concluded with students working in groups to build enterprise-grade software solutions for a complex business process using no-code accelerators, and integrating technologies from AWS into the solution to improve the client experience. 

Speakers at the session included UNC Charlotte alumni who are part of the executive leadership team at Truist: Dontá Wilson ‘97, chief retail and small business banking officer and secretary of UNC Charlotte’s Board of Trustees; and Scott Case ‘00 MBA, chief information officer. 

"I was thrilled to be selected to participate in the Truist Immersive Learning Experience," said Winter Ginocchio, a junior finance major pursuing a concentration in risk management and insurance. "What made the event truly memorable was the chance to learn from experienced professionals and discover the little tricks and details that make the difference between average and outstanding outcomes. It was amazing to see how our teamwork, combined with the expertise of our mentors, led to the creation of some truly innovative solutions."

Financial services technology is one of the fastest growing job sectors in the Charlotte region. A recent survey placed Charlotte No. 9 in the world for the startup fintech ecosystem. 

The Immersive Learning Experience is just one example of how UNC Charlotte and Charlotte-based Truist partner to support students. 

Truist invests $5.3 million in UNC Charlotte to launch Truist Institute for Student Success