Gamma Iota Sigma Conference offers Insurance Students a unique experience
While the weeks preceding fall break are typically characterized as a time of much needed rest and relaxation, some students at Eastern Kentucky University instead chose to undertake a unique experience which would further expand upon their field of study.
Eleven students from the Risk Management and Insurance program traveled to Charlotte, NC, to attend the 42nd Annual Gamma Iota Sigma International Conference held October 3 to 6. Student attendees included:
- Karl Richardson (senior), Richmond, Ky.
- Brody Layton (junior), Owenton, Ky.
- Jarrod Wolfe (junior), Jackson, Ky.
- Mark Settle (junior), Richmond, Ky.
- Adam Bryant (senior), Richmond, Ky.
- John Underwood (senior), Corbin, Ky.
- Jonathan Blount (sophomore), Louisville, Ky.
- Lindsey Warren (senior), West Paducah, Ky.
- Emily Hunsaker (senior), Frankfort, Ky.
- Alyssa Roberts (senior), Frankfort, Ky.
- Talia Gantz (senior), Berea, Ky.
The students were accompanied by Dr. Siwei Gao, assistant professor in the Risk Management and Insurance program at EKU.
Whether it be attending seminars, career fairs, or networking with students and professionals from the industry, conferencing events like these provide a wide range of advantages in which students can benefit outside of the required program curriculum. In some instances this is the first real interaction with business professionals away from campus.
First, seminars offered at these events are more flexible and easily updated, enabling them to contain the most current information and business trends. Students are given the option to choose specialized areas inside Risk Management and Insurance to concentrate their focus while getting a different perspective from industry professionals. “One seminar that provided great insight for our students was a Gamma Iota Sigma alumni and recent graduate who talked about the transition from college to the day-by-day life in the industry,” stated Dr. Gao.
Aside from additional training, another very beneficial aspect of the conference was enabling students to interact and establish connections with prospective employers and fellow students from New York to California. Dr. Gao explained, “Risk Management and Insurance is a small world. It’s better to make these connections now as students so that they have a network of employers inside Kentucky and all over the country accessible upon graduation. Three of our students now have potential internships, and one student even was offered a job.” The career fair proved to be a viable experience and introduced students to yet another facet of the industry.
The trip wasn’t all business, however. As the final day arrived students embraced the North Carolina culture by visiting the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Once there, they were allowed to participate in a friendly competition between chapters, which included a driving simulation and pit crew challenge. The outing was a great finale to the trip.
One limiting factor that prevents students from exploring events like this is the financial aspect. So how much does attending a conference such as this cost? Students were only required to pay a $25 fee. All other expenses were covered by the EKU Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma. Overall this generates a low cost, invaluable experience encouraging students to participate. In return they receive many diverse benefits.
The EKU chapter is planning on sending students again next year to the Gamma Iota Sigma International Conference which will be held in Dallas, Tx.
-by Andrew J. Stofleth, Student Assistant
EKU College of Business and Technology
Dr. Siwei Gao
Published on October 07, 2013