Conestoga news

August 21, 2019 2:12 PM

Partnership provides students with on-campus banking services

A new partnership between Conestoga and RBC has led to an expansion of the student services offered at the college. This week, RBC opened an ONCampus branch at the college’s Doon campus which will provide students with access to banking support and advice year-round.

Conestoga College - RBC ONCampus August 2019.jpg
RBC has opened an ONCampus branch at Conestoga's Doon campus to provide students with banking services year-round. Pictured: RBC employees Keegan Hanna and Michael Hotchkiss.

The ONCampus branch is fully functional, for the exception of cash transactions, and provides a casual, welcoming space for students and employees. The branch also features phone charging stations and iPads that are available for use during operating hours: Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Michael Hotchkiss, RBC ONCampus manager at Conestoga, said the format is designed to support students during what can be a challenging and stressful time, and explained that RBC specialists are trained to deliver advice around every aspect of student life, from balancing budgets to being future ready.

Over the last three years, RBC has launched 12 other ONCampus branches at post-secondary institutions across Canada. Conestoga is the first college in Ontario to host one; it is physically located in the main building of the Doon campus in 2E08, but will serve students at all campuses.

“It’s about engagement and it’s about supporting students,” said Ancillary Services director Adam Hustwitt about the partnership. “Banking services is a piece that the college couldn’t provide directly so we looked to partnerships and how they might work on our campuses. It was important to find a partner that could serve all of our locations.”

“It’s a priority for RBC as well to ensure the student experience is consistent across all campuses,” added Hotchkiss. “We are fully mobile and have workshops, programs and orientation events that we’ll deliver across the Conestoga community.”

The branch is supported by three full-time employees, and 12 support staff who are all Conestoga alumni. Hotchkiss said care was taken in selecting staff - one member of the team is a Conestoga graduate who was enrolled as an international student. He speaks four languages which Hotchkiss said will help serve the college’s diverse student population.

“We’ve listened to what students are requesting from our traditional branches,” added Hotchkiss. “They want a physical presence that’s welcoming and approachable so you won’t find any of us in a suit or tie. Students can also reach us through a number of different channels - we’re available by text, email and phone. We’re here to simplify the process and provide advice and we’ve heard from dozens of students already. They like having the support and knowing they can drop by or contact us any time.”

The ONCampus branch will also deliver workshops for students covering topics that include cyber fraud, building student credit, budgeting, and banking in Canada, which is designed for international students.

Students and employees are invited to drop by the RBC branch during Orientation to meet branch employees and use the RBC photo booth. RBC representatives will also participate in the college’s Start Smart orientation for international students on the following days:

  • Doon: August 26 to 30 and September 3 to 6 in the multipurpose room in the Recreational Centre from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Waterloo: August 26 to 30 and September 3 to 6 on the second floor of the G & A wings
  • Brantford: August 26 in the CSI lounge at 274 Colborne Street; additional days will be added as needed

Conestoga's Ancillary Services team serves the college’s students, employees and community members. Along with the RBC OnCampus partnership, Ancillary Services operates the Conestoga Bookstores, the ONE Card Office, International English Language Testing Services (IELTS), and partners with other vendors such as M&T Print Shop and Mobelease (cell phone repairs and plans) across all campuses to enhance the student experience.