Insurance Program on Fast Track to Success with 100% Placement Rate and Strong Corporate Support
Insurance is a major industry in Ohio and it has positioned itself as one of the state’s largest employers. This industry prominence and a shortage of qualified work force is what led the College of Business to resurrect its insurance and risk management program and, in just a few short years, it has become highly successful. The most notable facts include the 100% placement rate for BGSU insurance graduates over the past two years, a significant increase in student enrollment in the insurance specialization, and significant corporate support of students and the program.
BGSU is one of a select few insurance and risk management programs in Ohio, and it is experiencing extensive growth. When the College and the Department of Finance reintroduced the insurance program in the fall of 2015, there was only one student minoring in insurance, no students declaring a specialization, and a class enrollment of 17. Fast forward to fall 2018, there were 24 students declaring an insurance and risk management specialization, 11 declared minors and 64 students enrolled in classes.
Executive-in-residence Roc Starks has been part of the driving force behind BGSU’s insurance program. He is quick to note the job prospects for the insurance and risk management students are exceptional and he outlines the list of program successes.
Besides the 100% placement rate, the BGSU insurance program has established the Insurance and Risk Management Institute that hosts an Insurance and Risk Management Symposium annually, attracting insurance experts to campus. In addition, insurance students have competed in the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) International Case Competition twice, and one student was recently selected for the prestigious RIMS Anita Benedetti Student Involvement Program scholarship.
The BGSU insurance and risk program was also recently recognized by the Ohio Insurance Institute in an article that was distributed to agents, brokers and companies across the entire state.
In other successful activities, the BGSU insurance and risk management program re-established the Beta Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, initiated an Insurance and Risk Management (IRM) Advisory Board connecting with young alumni and industry veterans, and has connected students to many insurance companies and their leaders.
The latest initiative is to establish the Darwin P. Close Endowed Professorship in Insurance and Risk Management by raising $500,000. According to Starks, “This fall we received commitments of approximately $325,000, including a most generous gift of $100,000 from Westfield. The endowed professorship will honor the legacy of Dr. Close, a nationally recognized industry leader, outstanding mentor, and chair of the BGSU insurance program from 1980-1990.”
BGSU graduate Brian Bowerman ’88 is a services leader at Westfield Services Inc. and an IRM advisory board member. He states that the BGSU insurance and risk management program has been a huge success. “Our company has been impressed with the leadership of Roc Starks, Finance Department Chair Sung Bae and Dean Ray Braun. They have put together a robust curriculum for the students, including options for a major and a minor. But we are most impressed with the professionalism and engagement of the insurance students at Bowling Green.”
Bowerman sees BGSU’s insurance program playing a key role in filling future job openings. “Our industry will have more than 26,000 career opportunities opening in the next few years as our current workforce enters retirement. BGSU will be a key partner for our company and our industry as we move forward.”