Alumni Caruso and Loveland Serve as Keynotes for Finance Seminar

Posted on 3/2/2018 9:09:41 AM

On February 26, 2018, Daniel Lawson’s Seminar in Finance 422 class had the opportunity to hear from Breanne Loveland and Joseph Caruso, who described their experiences working for PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

Loveland, a senior finance specialist for PNC Merchant Services, is a recent IUP alumna. She graduated summa cum laude in 2015 and received her Bachelor of Science degree in finance with the very impressive GPA of 3.93. During her time here at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Loveland was a recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award, was portfolio manager for the Student Managed Investment Portfolio Organization, and was a member of the highly selective Phi Eta Sigma Honors Fraternity.

Caruso, who is responsible for financial oversight of Community Affairs and Regional Presidents for PNC, is another proud IUP alumnus, receiving both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the university in 1988 and 1995, respectively, majoring in human resource management and minoring in economics.

Breanne Loveland and Joseph Caruso with Daniel Lawson and students

During the presentation, Loveland and Caruso discussed various aspects of their careers working for PNC in their respective positions in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. PNC Financial Services Group is the fifth or sixth largest bank in the United States. Naturally, being such a goliath of a financial institution, there are many different positions within the bank that offer their own unique and rewarding opportunities for those looking for a career in the world of finance.

The first speaker to present was Caruso. It was apparent almost immediately that Caruso is passionate about both his career and PNC. Caruso discussed many topics, the first being his daily schedule, which consists of various tasks such as budgeting, forecasting, risk management, revenue and sales reporting, or assisting with quarterly business meetings. Further, Caruso discussed something he feels very strongly about—community affairs. PNC is involved with a number of different charitable programs, including its own PNC Grow Up Great.

PNC Grow Up Great is an initiative focused on early education and economic growth. It is a $350-million program that has, in the last 10 years, improved the school readiness of over 3 million children from birth to age five. PNC is also involved with targeted community growth programs to promote the development of low-income areas by offering housing, workforce training, and business development.

Next, Caruso talked about what it means to be a regional president. A regional president for PNC is essentially the “CEO of the market” and is entrusted with the authority to make market specific decisions for PNC with the intention of fostering the small-town community feel of a smaller bank, despite PNC’s objectively large banking stature. This topic segued into how this regional presence allows for major sponsorship deals with sports teams and other organizations, such as PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina, Ganassi Race car and gear, and the backdrop for Mike Tomlin, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ head coach, during his press conferences.

The last subject Caruso spoke about was the qualities PNC desires in a new employee. In addition to the typical college grades and community service, which all qualified candidates should possess, Caruso mentioned some intangible distinguishing factors such as leadership skills and other types of traits that are difficult to teach to someone.

Loveland wrapped up the second half of the presentation. She talked first about how PNC compares to other big names in the industry in categories such as overall satisfaction, ease of doing business, brand image, and technology. Although PNC is at the top or near the top of all of these metrics, the one category that PNC is particularly proud of is their ATM Index Performance, and the reason for this pride flowed into her second topic smoothly. Loveland spoke about how ATMs of today are rapidly evolving along with the banking system as a whole. Tellers who withdraw and deposit money are becoming rapidly antiquated and replaced by increasingly sophisticated ATMs; thus, one of the most important aspects of Loveland’s career is helping decide the proper locations for these ATMs to maximize customer convenience and boost clientele.

Her presentation concluded with a short excel spreadsheet example of how PNC makes decisions for what to offer to businesses in an attempt to get them to put a PNC ATM in a location that PNC deems advantageous.

The class was very appreciative for Loveland and Caruso sharing their experiences and returning to IUP to speak with and present to the students.

Senior finance student Robert Schwartz said, “Bree Loveland and Joe Caruso gave a wonderfully informative presentation which highlighted the roles available to IUP students who make it into the PNC program. We are beyond happy to see such support and recruitment from PNC out of the Finance Department.”

Corey Hough said, “Seeing two IUP and Eberly alumni speak on one of the largest banks in the U.S. was certainly great for any finance major who would like to work in banking. It was very interesting to see some of the operational aspects of such a large institution and compare it to a bank like S&T, which many Eberly students have seen present many times.” 

Finally, Kate Bedont had this to say: “Joe Caruso and Bree Loveland did a great job speaking about PNC and their roles at the company. It was very interesting to learn about PNC’s move toward having more universal branches, which are replacing the standard teller station format in retail banking. As a former intern of the company and an incoming finance and accounting development program analyst, I appreciated getting to see and hear from Joe, who was my manager during the internship. I think it is great that PNC now has such a great relationship with IUP and the Eberly College of Business!”

On behalf of the Seminar in Finance class and Eberly College of Business and Information Technology as a whole, we would like to sincerely thank Breanne Loveland and Joseph Caruso for coming to Indiana University of Pennsylvania and providing an interesting and intriguing presentation on their careers working for PNC.

Lucas McCarthy