As most of you probably know, I’m an actuarial science major at Illinois State University. The actuarial science department here is very closely related to the insurance school, so, after seeing Nick at an insurance event at ISU recently, I sent him an email to see if he’d be interested in doing a College Candid. He’s had a really interesting experience, specifically because of his internship with Lloyd’s of London and the fact that he’s the president of the insurance fraternity here on campus. ISU has a great program for anyone interested in being an insurance major or a finance major, which Nick explains in more detail below. Just to give you an idea, I spoke with a recruiter from an insurance company the other day and ISU is one of only about a dozen schools they actively recruit graduates from.
Do you have a fun fact about Illinois State University?
Random, but I was pleasantly surprised that the squirrels here are orange, chubby, and very friendly!
Why did you choose to go to ISU?
To be honest I think that I kind of settled. I knew I wanted to study business and the location seemed right, so at the time I just felt like it would do. I later fell in love with it.
What is one of your favorite things about ISU?
I really enjoy how it is a large school but has a small school feel. You see a lot of the same people and can really get to know your professors and classmates. Also I really love the quad (especially early fall) and how the majority of the academic buildings are positioned around it. Lastly there is not a lack of food choices in Bloomington-Normal.
Illinois winters are never fun.
What are some organizations you’ve been a part of?
I first got involved with Illinois State Students in Finance freshman year to learn more about the finance industry. Towards the end of that year I began to get involved with Gamma Iota Sigma, an international Risk Management, Insurance, and Actuarial Science Fraternity. I have been the president of Gamma since my junior year. Gamma has really given me the necessary exposure to the insurance industry that I would not receive in the classroom.
Did you thought about studying abroad, or traveled at all while at ISU?
I interned for 4 weeks in London with Lloyd’s of London and it was an incredible experience! After doing that I really wished that I would have considered studying abroad early in college. It gives you a really good perspective on different cultures around the world and to see how people in your field interact in similar or different ways.
How would you describe ISU’s location?
Smack dab in the middle of Illinois! Roughly 2.5 hours south of Chicago.
Do you have a favorite restaurant near or on campus?
Medici is always one of my go-to’s. Although I have really enjoyed The Rock lately ever since I found out I love Greek food.
Switching to focus on your program, how and why did you decide to major in both Finance and Insurance?
I started out with just finance because I wanted to work in investments. After learning that ISU had a really strong insurance program backed by the Katie School, I decided to add insurance as a second major as it was only a few extra classes. Ever since then I have been pursuing the insurance side of my studies for my career path.
How are the programs structured?
The Finance, Insurance, and Law Department is the academic side of my insurance and finance majors. This is one of the 5 departments in ISU’s College of Business and is concerned primarily with coursework.
The Katie School of Insurance is more of the industry engagement side where we are able to learn more about the industry through conferences, lunches, internships, and other industry events and functions. This is really where students are able to make connections that will help further their career.
What courses have you liked and disliked?
Surprisingly I really liked my business law class! The reason for this was because I had an awesome professor. I did not care for any of my accounting classes or for the politics gen-ed that I took freshman year.
When do you graduate, and do you have a job lined up?
I graduate in May 2018 and I just accepted a full time offer with AIG as a commercial underwriting analyst in their Chicago office!
How do you feel like the Finance and Insurance programs at ISU has helped you with your future career?
The Katie School has really propelled me by jumpstarting my career and giving me a leg up going into the workforce. Not only has the Katie School been able to put me in front of employers and industry professionals, but they have also focused heavily on my professional development.