July 3, 2018

A New Partnership Between Columbia College and Optus Bank will provide more banking and educational opportunities to the Columbia community

(Columbia, SC) Columbia College and Optus Bank have established an eight month internship program designed to provide a unique opportunity for women to gain rich experiences in the world of banking.  In addition to learning the skills of a banker, the interns will learn how a mission focused bank can change the lives of people and communities by empowering them to build sustainable wealth.  This partnership is deeply rooted in the social justice mission of each institution.
Dr. Robin Rosenthal, Columbia College Provost, said, “We are thrilled to be partnering with Optus Bank in an endeavor that will teach our interns both about banking, and about how to incorporate a social justice mission into their future career, whether it be banking or another career the student chooses.”
This internship program was constructed to strengthen leadership skills, professionalism, community engagement, while also creating advocates for equity and solidarity.  This program will enable students to transition smoothly from the academic world into the working world with real field experience. Students will be exposed to banking focused on ethical and mission oriented practices combined with fiscal discipline and rigor.
“Optus Bank and Columbia College share a similar vision and mission—encourage equity among all populations in the Columbia area—so this was a natural partnership” said Optus Bank President and CEO, Dominik Mjartan.  “Employing students from Columbia College will help further the mission of both institutions, and create a bigger pipeline of female leaders in banking.”
Optus Bank, formerly known as South Carolina Community Bank, launched their official rebranding on July 1st.  This new brand embraces the historical focus and mission of creating wealth-building opportunities for everyone, regardless of background, privilege, or zip code.  The bank and new brand are underscored by new leadership, new financial strength, and new products and services that will help us better accomplish our mission and carry it forward into a bright future.
Columbia College has been in the midst of change for the last couple of years.  While the college is not rebranding, the faculty and staff have been reflecting on the history and traditions to better position the college for growth and sustainability.  Continuing to build community partnerships, and allowing access to educational opportunities for all community members will allow Columbia College to persevere in the ever changing world of higher education.     
“The success of the college is dependent on the success of the community.  Our job as community members and as an institution of higher education is to educate, support, and help create opportunities for growth and sustainability in the community” said Carol Moore, President of Columbia College.  “The natural partnership with Optus Bank puts us one step closer to an inclusive community that will thrive.”

Optus Bank
Left to right: Dominik Mjartan, Optus Bank President and CEO, Calandra Burgess, Columbia College student, Robin Rosenthal, Columbia College Provost, Tamara Burk, Columbia College Professor, Madeleine Schep, Columbia College Professor, Nigel Smith, Columbia College Career Coach.


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