Students from the Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business strolled through the MBA Commons at Alter Hall, ready to greet the largest contingency of employers ever gathered at the annual RMI Intern Reception.
Looking confident and dressed in their finest business-professional attire, the students had hands to shake, resumes to distribute and a shared objective.
“All of our students want internships,” said Dr. R.B. Drennan, the Chair of Fox School’s Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management department. “Though we don’t require internships, so to speak, our students recognize the value in earning one. Internships are critical for professional development, earning industry experience and demonstrating their skills in an arena that might lead to a permanent position.”
The Fox School is home to the Sigma chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, a professional international fraternity for RMI majors. The award-winning organization held its annual RMI Intern Reception, for which it hosted record-breaking numbers of students and employers. The sold-out event, held Feb. 12, featured more than 110 representatives from 45 companies and nearly 200 internship-seeking students.
To earn eligibility to attend the event, Drennan said RMI students must clear several professional development hurdles that include workshops, mock interviews and resume submissions. The RMI Intern Reception has a strong tradition of excellence, he said. Fox’s RMI program, the oldest, continually running program in the United States, placed 180 students in summer internships in 2014.
“This is one of the premier RMI programs out there,” said Decker Youngman, Chief Recruitment Officer of Tampa-based Brown & Brown Insurance, which has had a Fox RMI intern each of the last five summers. “That’s why we make the trip and that’s why we’re here.”
Another employer, Sunny Cutler [Class of 2000] of human capital consulting firm Aon Hewitt, said RMI students blend “knowledge of industry with the necessary soft skills.”
“We can find bright students anywhere,” said Cutler, Aon’s Vice President of Health and Benefits consulting group. “This event provides a great recruitment opportunity where we can learn more about the student.”
Students attending the RMI Intern Reception each wore nametags for easy identification while meeting employers for the first time. Many confidently carried leather portfolios, which held copies of their resumes. Some strategically navigated the room with precision, opting to bypass long waits at the tables of some employers before returning when the crowd had thinned, their strategy allowing them to optimize the number of employers they met.
Shannon Nolan, a dual RMI and Accounting major at the Fox School, said preparedness for the event was paramount.
“To make the most of this experience, you have to take a look at the map to see the layout of where employers are located,” said Nolan, a native of Havertown, Pa., and the Director of RMI Career Development with Gamma Iota Sigma. “You take a look at what you’re wearing, whether you have your resume ready and then you introduce yourself confidently.
“And you always make sure to get their business card.”
To secure the registration of so many top-tier employers – “it’s a who’s-who of the insurance industry,” Drennan said – no cold-calling was required, according to Michael McGuire, Vice President of RMI Career Development for the Sigma chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma.
“Professors Drennan and (Michael) McCloskey foster such good relationships with the employers here, and from that, we have a reliable industry contact list that helps the process,” said McGuire, an RMI major from Lansdale, Pa. “It’s a point of pride and a point of relief to see this event go off so well. The people who came before me in this position left a legacy of success for the Intern Reception, and I’m glad we were able to keep the legacy going.”