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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

ODU Students Attend Risk & Insurance Management Society Conference

By Madeleine Hood

Five Old Dominion University students attended the annual Risk and Insurance Management Society Conference (RIMS) in San Diego earlier this year, returning to campus with a desire to grow the ranks in the Strome College of Business of students studying in the field.

"The world of risk management is starting to grow more and more," said Haoting Wen, who graduated in May with a degree in finance.

Michael McShane, associate professor of risk management and insurance, was faculty adviser for the trip. He described risk management as the collective actions that corporations and organizations take to limit liability and other threats.

"The insurance portion is just one type of technique for risk management," McShane said. "Corporations purchase the insurance for their company to manage risk. So, many people in different fields are starting to get in on the risk management."

Other students who attended the conference include Shaili Joshi, Jonathan Beazley, Dennis Harvey and Marsha Lofton.They attended three days of educational sessions, keynote speakers and other exhibitors at the largest annual industry gathering for RIMS, a not-for-profit organization representing more than 3,500 industry, service, nonprofit and government organizations worldwide.

Beazley, a rising senior, majoring in finance, said he learned a great deal about cybersecurity and risk at the RIMS conference. "I did more technology based workshops and workshops focused on making the workplace environment inclusive he said.

In addition to the keynote speakers and special exhibitions, the conference offered opportunities for students to meet with working professionals.

Joshi met the CEO of a transportation insurance company at the opening breakfast. "Meeting him was great. He was very willing to share his expertise with someone who wants to get into the industry," she said.

Risk manager Pamela Rogers, who has worked with companies such as Weight Watchers and Target, and who now has her own consulting company in New York City, spoke to the Old Dominion students during the event.

"She really inspired us because she told us that even though risk managers are networking people, the interaction between the client and risk manager is very important," Wen said. "She told us the most effective way to talk to people is to make that personal connection. Insurance is not just about numbers. It's about the communication between you and the client. If you can't sell your product, you are not really doing your job."

Now that they are back on campus, the students want to encourage their peers in the Strome College to consider majoring in risk management and join their chapter of the professional association Gamma Iota Sigma.

The students also made a video of their trip to San Diego, which can be viewed HERE.

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