Chase opened a new branch of its bank on Cal Poly’s campus Friday with a ribbon cutting ceremony on the first floor of the University Union (UU). The ceremony featured Chase executives, Cal Poly administrators and Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) leaders.
Branch manager and Cal Poly alumnus Jonathan Krumholz opened the morning’s events with a speech on Chase’s goals for Cal Poly. Krumholz, who graduated with a business degree in marketing in 2005, said he is excited about giving back to the university he attended.
“The students are number one when it comes to this branch,” he said. “Being such a great university, I feel privileged as a former business student to help students in the situation I used to be in.”
Krumholz wants to tailor the branch to students’ needs, meaning Chase is here to help everyone from upperclassmen who already know about banking to freshmen who have never had an account before, he said.
“It’s kind of been my project,” he said. “I’ve been trying to figure out what students want here, and that’s what I’m trying to bring.”
Chase will offer services to all students, clubs and faculty, and Krumholz said it will be the branch’s goal to put them first.
Cal Poly vice president for administration and finance Larry Kelley said he expects that chance to be fully utilized.
“It’s a great full-service bank opportunity for both students and clubs,” he said. “Clubs and organizations could use it for depositing money and record keeping.”
Chase media relations manager Gary Kishner said the building space, which was formerly occupied by Sesloc Credit Union, is optimal for the bank.
“Our real estate team is constantly looking for locations where the branch would do well,” he said. “It was a good opportunity to add another branch in San Luis Obispo, but it also provides us an opportunity to provide banking to students.”
Students were the clear focus for Krumholz at the ceremony. He said it is the branch’s job to not only service them, but also educate them in basic finance, such as how to balance a checkbook or manage an account.
“Being outside of a textbook and doing something will give you more knowledge than any textbook would,” he said.
Krumholz said the “Learn By Doing” philosophy at Cal Poly prepared him for a career in finance. Learning to communicate, he said, was perhaps the most valuable part of his education and is something that Cal Poly could put more focus on.
“The thing that helped me the most was communicating outside the classroom, doing projects where we were engaged in conversation with other students, faculty and businesspeople,” he said. “It’s important to speak to one another, to get outside of our comfort zone. (Cal Poly) could add more interactivity outside the textbook, and work on public speaking.”
ASI president Kiyana Tabrizi said she is happy with the 10-month turnaround time from Sesloc leaving the UU in December to Chase opening yesterday.
“This place looks amazing,” she said. “I think it’s vital for the students. Like (Krumholz) said, it’s important to know how to balance our checkbooks and have a handle on our finances.”
Students who use Chase are now able to access their bank in a central location. Previously, the only Chase ATM on campus was located behind Campus Market.
Civil engineering freshman Nick Oleskowicz is one such Chase customer. He said he is excited to see Chase in the UU.
“I think it’s great,” Oleskowicz said of the branch opening on campus. “I just moved here from Chicago, and I just opened up a new account. It’s nice to have Chase here.”
Sesloc customers, however, were upset to see the credit union leave.
“I’m actually kind of bummed out it’s not a credit union anymore,” earth science sophomore Tom Ferber said. “I used a credit union, and now, I have nowhere to deposit my money. But I hear it’s a good bank, so that’s cool.”