Industry the December 2018 issue

Going Places

A sampling of the ambitious students at Gallaudet University’s Maguire Academy of Insurance and Risk Management
By Fiona Soltes Posted on November 30, 2018

Emelda Sanders interned with Philadelphia Insurance Companies in the summer of 2018. “It is important to understand that there are different levels of deafness, from hard of hearing to profoundly deaf, and that deaf people learn visually,” Sanders says. “Because of this, it is important to create equity in an environment that is mainly designed for hearing people. To create equity, communication access is of key importance. Ideally, have the other employees learn at least some basic American sign language (ASL), and hire qualified ASL interpreters. Along with language, it is also important to have at least a basic understanding of deaf culture…. The invention of technology has made every impossibility possible these days. For instance, deaf and hard-of-hearing workers have access to communication devices like video phones, ZOOM Video Communications for conference calls, email, text messaging, FaceTime, and many other technological communication devices.”

Chrissy Sze explored how Siri and other voice-activated systems help insurance companies during an internship at the Washington, D.C., Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking. She graduates this month and would like to find a job in New York City that merges her RMI major and love for numbers. “I learned that it was not a shame to ask for help,” she says. “There is nothing wrong with that. It is important to follow your heart and try your best as much as you can.”

Jerome Dupuis says he fell in love with RMI after taking an introductory course. Before that, he thought he’d be a stockbroker. He interned with the D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking, investigating scams and frauds and researching and presenting on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. “I became really interested in the hands-on of internet research,” he says. “Investigating scams and fraud is never boring. It kept me curious and forced me to dig deeply to find answers. Before this, I thought these issues only existed in fictional worlds, such as movies.” People who work alongside deaf interns, he says, should take initiative “to show them the entire scope of the job. This would allow deaf or hard-of-hearing students to more fully experience the real world.”

Sarah Bakos-Killian, who interned for the World Wildlife Fund for two semesters her junior year, expects to graduate in May 2019. “The most valuable thing I learned from my internship is that risk management principles can be applied to nearly any industry or interest, so there is endless opportunity,” she says.

Jake Grindstaff has had three summer internships: with the D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking in 2016; with NFP Insurance Agency in 2017; and with Marsh in 2018. “Those internships have taught me so much about myself and the workplace in this industry,” he says. The experience increased his confidence in his work performance, in addition to helping him focus on what kind of job he’s interested in post graduation.

Nabeela Shollenberger spent 10 weeks as an intern in the underwriting department at Philadelphia Insurance Companies. In addition to learning about a great variety of projects, she particularly enjoyed a women’s networking session, and she had the opportunity to get out of her comfort zone and give a presentation to department heads and the CEO.

Montray Roberts was an intern at AHT Insurance in the spring of 2018. He expects to graduate in December 2019 and hopes to explore a variety of careers in insurance, including being a broker and actuary and working in risk management. One of his projects at AHT involved creating a game for the many kids who attend Take Your Child to Work Day so they could learn about insurance.

Fiona Soltes Contributing Writer Read More

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