Flagship Credit Acceptance LLC (“Flagship”), a leading auto-finance provider worked with students from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University (SMU Cox) in Dallas to further the education of students pursuing Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) degrees.
Flagship risk assessment team members, Senior Business Strategy Manager Tsungi Kajese and Business Strategy Analyst Taylor Shekels, worked with SMU Cox students to construct models using real-world, anonymized and non-identifiable loan application data. “To truly understand and model how the loan application process works in the real world, you need to work with real data — model data is too unrealistic,” said Hettie Tabor, director of the SMU Cox MSBA degree program. “We were delighted that Flagship was willing to work with us.”
Students in Tabor’s practicum course were provided non-identifiable descriptive vehicle loan application data that was manually-entered and full of errors. The project required students to call upon their data mining skills to clean, standardize, categorize and analyze the data to provide meaningful insights. “SMU Cox students provided real benefits to Flagship. We obtained some new techniques and tools to generate inferences around risk and new product improvements that will benefit Flagship’s customers,” said Shekels.
The course culminated with a final presentation at the Flagship offices where the students, accompanied by Tabor, were able to meet more members of the Risk team and present their findings. This year marked the second time the SMU Cox MSBA program and Flagship have partnered.
“I am very proud of both our internal risk team for showing the initiative and creating a relationship with the SMU Cox community, as well as for the hard work and passion that was shown by the students within the program,” said David Bertoncini, Flagship Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer. “Partnerships between educators and local businesses strengthen each, not to mention the communities they work in. We are extremely gratified by the outcomes this engagement produced again this year. We can’t wait to see what the students do next year.”
About SMU Cox
The SMU Cox School of Business, established in Dallas, Texas, in 1920, is committed to influencing the way the world conducts business via prolific research that provokes innovation, change and global thought leadership. Cox faculty members strive to connect ground-breaking research to the classroom as well as the marketplace. Consistently ranked among the world’s leading business schools, SMU Cox maintains an active global alumni network. SMU Cox is accredited by AACSB.