The success of the Redbird Risk Management Challenge would not be possible without the generous contributions from our sponsoring organizations. Through their support we are able to fund all students' tuition, room, and meals while they are on campus for the challenge.
While the goals of The Challenge are many, the primary purpose is to introduce promising young individuals to the fields of risk management and insurance prior to their college experience. The annual competition takes place over a one week period each summer and brings together 20 of the brightest high school seniors-to-be in the nation. Each of the applicants is rigorously vetted and considered for selection. All participants are awarded a scholarship that covers the costs of participation in the competition once they arrive on campus. Typical participants can be described as good students who are curious about potential careers in business and or actuarial studies.
The infrastructure of The Challenge is fast-paced, dynamic, and fun. Participants form teams and assume the roles of senior management in companies in a fictitious marketplace. Arising early each day over the five days of competition, teams assess the current risks facing their company and fashion risk management strategies designed to maximize the most efficient use of scarce financial resources. Companies generate “revenue” through successful completion of a variety of activities, games, and competitions designed to introduce risk management and insurance concepts that may in turn be applied in managing the risks their companies face on a daily basis.
Time spent in the traditional classroom setting is limited as the teams are frequently assigned tasks for independent learning that takes them out of the classroom, requiring them to explore other parts of the campus. Indeed, the Illinois State University campus is the classroom. By the end of the week, students are typically positively predisposed toward potential business degree programs in general, and risk management, insurance and actuarial science programs in particular.