Students and faculty explain the Risk Management Insurance major

Lirona Joshi

Staff Writer

Troy University, in a bid to provide proficiency in risk management and insurance concepts as applied to global business framework, has been offering the Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) major concentration as a part of Sorrell College of Business’s degree program since 2000. The goal of the program is to facilitate industry-specific knowledge to students, so they can apply it to both commercial and personal insurance.

RMI is a concentration, and it is a part of the global business degree. Along with the required general courses, students will take an additional 18 credit hours of classes solely focused on knowledge of managing the risks faced by businesses operating in a dynamic and global workplace.

According to Dr. David Van Buskirk, an assistant professor of RMI, Troy’s RMI program focuses on how to effectively manage risk.

“While insurance is a part of that, there are many other ways in which a firm could reduce its risk,” Van Buskirk added. “Another aspect of this discipline is making sure that when a firm has a loss, they are adequately prepared for that loss.”

Van Buskirk shared Troy is home to one of the few programs in the country that allows a student to focus on the excess and surplus (E&S) market. E&S insurance provides risk transfer solution for unique, distressed or large risks.

“Professionals in the industry creatively design insurance products for some of the world’s largest and most unique risks,” Van Buskirk said. “It is a tremendously exciting career, giving graduates the ability to do something a bit different event single day.”

Hollan Vander Hey, a senior RMI major from Montgomery, said the main thing that persuaded her to choose the major was the fact that the RMI program did a good job of setting a student up to succeed with all of the networking events, as well as scholarship and internship opportunities.

“While you are learning, it’s neat to see how relatable it is to the real world and how everyone needs insurance and how risk management is in place even on campus,” Vander Hey said.

According to Hannah Brennan, a senior RMI major from Mobile, the major was a lucrative choice because of the extremely high job placement and student involvement opportunities.

“The most challenging class so far was life and health,” Brennan said. “But the classes are just right—they make you put forth effort but are not impossibly hard.

“And they are interesting, so the class is fun.”

Both Brennan and Vander Hey agree that while the RMI classes may be challenging, the faculties with their diverse academic and business backgrounds are more than willing to assist and guide students through their difficulties.

Along with regular classes, the program also recognizes internships and its London study abroad opportunities as counting toward the credits for the course.

The focus on internship has especially made it helpful for students to streamline their prospects regarding their future career paths.

“I interned with RPS (a property and casualty wholesale brokerage firm) in Atlanta which was a great experience,” Vander Hey said. “It was nice to be able to apply what I was learning in class to the job.

“There are plenty of career paths you can take, but I know that I want to take the brokerage and binding route.”

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