The Katie School of Insurance and Risk Management attracts some of the best and brightest students from around the country. Throughout their terms at Illinois State University and within the Katie School of Insurance, these students are often recognized for their outstanding achievements. Many former students attribute the Katie School with a major role in their successes by providing students with opportunities to build their professional skills, leadership experience, and exposure within the industry.
These high-achieving students speak for the exceptional quality of education provided by Illinois State University and the Katie School of Insurance. These are some of the Katie School students achieving excellence:
Dana Thomas is a senior insurance major graduating in May 2014. Dana has been actively involved within the Katie School and Gamma Iota Sigma since the start of her junior year. Due to her involvement with Gamma, she was elected to serve as the secretary for the executive board for the duration of her senior year. She has gained a great deal from her involvement with the Katie School and Gamma, including valuable networking and professional skills.
Dana has participated in many different opportunities offered by the Kate School, including company visits, etiquette dinners, conferences, guest speakers and symposiums. She has been fortunate enough to attend multiple conferences, such as the NAPSLO Symposium in Chicago, the 2013 RIMS Conference in Las Angeles, California, and recently the 2013 CPCU Society Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. Each of these experiences provided the opportunity to network with business professionals from all over the world, partake in many educational sessions and meet other insurance students from around the country.
Dana is currently working towards her CPCU designation and her goal is to finish for the 2016 conference in Hawaii. She has completed CPCU 551, 552, 540 and currently studying for 520.
Being an active Gamma member and involved with the Katie School has definitely benefited Dana. She was awarded Outstanding Junior in 2013 and awarded the Association of Professional Insurance Women Scholarship.
One of the most valuable experiences the Katie School of Insurance has provided Dana was her three week summer international internship in Bermuda. During the internship, she had the opportunity to visit over twenty five companies and shadow many individuals. Each visit was a new learning experience from all different aspects of the insurance and reinsurance industry. Previously, she interned at Wilber Group in Normal, Illinois as a coverage investigator intern. This was a great opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the industry.
Dana says, "Without the help and guidance of the Katie School, I never would have had these great opportunities. These experiences have helped me grow as a young insurance professional and will be able to use what I have gained from them in the future. I would like to specifically thank Debbie Babcock, Jim Jones and the rest of the Katie School for providing these amazing opportunities!"
Patrick O'Brien is a Katie School senior double majoring in Insurance and Finance. This year Patrick has been elected to the position of President for Gamma Iota Sigma and is looking forward to a successful year as the leader of the Alpha Kappa Chapter.
Throughout his junior year, Patrick became very involved within Gamma. He attended many events, including the Association of Lloyd's Brokers Golf Outing, various Lunch-and-Learns, the Katie School Executive Board Forum, and many more.
Patrick was also one of our Katie School International Interns, interning in London, UK in the Lloyd's market this past summer. Patrick finds his four-week international internship provided by the Katie School to be particularly valuable. The internship gave him exposure to all facets of the insurance industry, as well as a global insurance market, and helped to solidify his choice to go into insurance upon graduation. Upon returning to the states from London, he interned with Lockton Companies, a privately held insurance broker in Kansas City, MO. Patrick worked in National Accounts, and got exposure to all different lines of coverage.
Patrick was awarded the Spencer Education Award, CPCU Society Central Illinois Chapter Scholarship, Mid-IL Chapter RIMS Scholarship, and the Andrew T. Nappi International Study Grant in the spring of 2013.
Patrick says "The Katie School of Insurance provides students with the resources to have success professionally during their years at Illinois State as well as into their years as a young professional. The knowledge I have gained and the skills I have obtained because of my involvement with the Katie School are invaluable. I would like to give a special thanks to Jim Jones, Debbie Babcock, Gamma Iota Sigma, and the Katie School of Insurance for these opportunities. I could not be the young professional I am today without your guidance."
Jean Celestin is a senior majoring in insurance. He has been a member of Gamma Iota Sigma and a Katie School student since the beginning of his sophomore year. Through his involvement in Gamma and demonstration of leadership qualities, he was selected as the Vice President of Internal Affairs for the 2013-2014 academic school year. Last year, he served as the Director of Fundraising Efforts.
Jean has been actively involved in Gamma since he joined the organization. He has participated in several events ranging from "Lunch and Learns" to company visits to volunteer efforts at the local food pantry. In the past, he has been selected to attend Katie School sponsored events, a few being the NAPSLO Symposium, REBEX Conference, and the Gamma International Conference. He was previously a member of the Katie School Leadership Program and Toastmasters Club.
Some awards that Jean has received are the Spencer Educational Scholarship as well as the FAME Scholarship.
Jean has had two great internship opportunities since his involved with the Katie School and Gamma Iota Sigma. During the summer of 2011, Jean was an intern with Chubb in Chicago, IL. This was his first exposure to the insurance industry and a key factor into his decision to major in insurance. He got the opportunity to spend time working in several different departments within the company, shadow several underwriters, and go out on company visits to brokerage firms the company did business with. During the summer of 2013, he served as a sales intern at Arthur J Gallagher in their wholesale division, Risk Placement Services (RPS). In his time with RPS, Jean worked closely with producers, customer service, and other branch personnel to gain hands-on experience of the sales and marketing processes within the insurance industry as well as developed his public speaking and presentation skills in Arthur J Gallagher's weekly "Monday Morning Meetings."
Outside of his participation in Gamma, Jean was named a Liberty Mutual National Leadership Scholar in 2012. Along with 80 other students across the nation, he went to Liberty Mutuals headquarters in Boston, MA. While attending the forum, he participated in several team building exercises, learned about the culture of the company, and networked with several industry professionals. Also during the summer of 2012, Jean was one of three counselors for the Redbird Risk Management Challenge at Illinois State University. For one week he helped supervise 20 high school seniors in the challenge and answer any questions the participants may have had about Illinois State University for college in general.
Upon graduation, Jean will start as an underwriting trainee for Chubb in their specialty division. He is excited begin as a member of the Chubb Chicago family.
Jean would like to thank Debbie Babcock and Jim Jones for everything they have done for him thus far. They are wonderful advisors and are the sole reason he is an insurance major. They do a remarkable job of teaching, guiding, and building young men and women through the Katie School. He would also like to thank all the other Katie School students and faculty for their continued support.
Frank Busch is a junior double majoring in insurance and finance. He has been a member of Gamma Iota Sigma and a Katie School of Insurance student since the end of his freshmen year. With his passion for Gamma and yearning to get more involved, he ran and was selected as the Alpha Kappa Chapter Director of Recruiting for the 2013-2014 academic school year. Frank has been actively involved in Gamma since he joined the organization. He has participated in several events ranging from RIMS and company "Lunch and Learns" to company visits and tours to volunteer efforts at the local food bank or shelter building effort. In the past, he has been selected to attend Katie School sponsored events with a few being the Chicago NAPSLO Symposium and the REBEX Conference in Wheeling, IL. Outside of Gamma, Frank also continues to be an active member of the Toastmasters Club in order to continually refine his public speaking skills. Some awards that Frank has received are the Spencer Educational Scholarship as well as the Foundation for Agency Management Excellence Scholarship.
Frank has experienced two great internship opportunities since his involvement with the Katie School and Gamma Iota Sigma. During the summer of 2012, Frank was an intern at Northwestern Mutual Financial Network out of Milwaukee, WI. This was his first exposure to the insurance industry and a key factor in his decision to major in insurance and finance. His roles included front line selling of life insurance, disability insurance, long-term care protection, and retirement financial products to actual consumers. During the summer of 2013, he served as a sales intern at Arthur J Gallagher in their broker services division in Itasca, IL. In his time at AJG, Frank worked closely with producers from the public, commercial, and captive AJG divisions in order to gain an overall perspective of the possible broker sales opportunities. Through job shadowing and mock sales presentations, Frank gained hands-on experience of the sales and marketing processes within the insurance industry. He also developed his public speaking and presentation skills during Arthur J Gallagher's weekly "Monday Morning Meetings" during the 9 week intern program.
Outside of his participation in Gamma, Frank was named a Liberty Mutual National Leadership Scholar in 2012. Frank, along with 70 other students from across the nation visited Liberty Mutual's headquarters in Boston, MA. While attending the forum, he participated in several team building exercises, learned about the culture of the company, and networked with several industry professionals as well as other aspiring insurance students. Frank also had the opportunity to work with Liberty Mutual in their Community Project. 10 students including Frank traveled to Los Angeles National Forrest and helped with sustainability and environmental work in January of 2013.
Frank would finally like to thank Debbie Babcock, Jim Jones, Sue Stombaugh, and Lesley Sauder for everything they have done for him thus far. They are wonderful advisors, directors, and Katie School assistants that act as continual reassurances that the Insurance industry is the right Career path for Frank. The Katie School is one of the finest in the nation because of their work and Frank is lucky to have such a resource to use and contribute to.
Kate Muender is a senior sales major with a minor in insurance. Kate has been involved in the Katie School since her sophomore year after taking a risk management course and decided insurance is the field for her. Kate is also involved in the Professional Sales Institute; where she is a sales scholar and also in charge of planning the Institute's events. Working with these organizations has allowed Kate to develop better leadership and communication skills.
This past summer, Kate interned at Travelers Insurance in their commercial accounts group. The main project Kate worked on was creating lists for underwriters that showed their past business, that they currently do not write, and business written with other Travelers units. Over the past few months, these lists have generated new business for the underwriters and over $500,000 in premiums. While Kate was with Travelers, she also worked with underwriters to learn more about their process for underwriting business. This internship was a great experience and Kate was very excited to be offered and accept a job to return as an underwriter in July.
In the fall of 2013, Kate was awarded the FAME scholarship and the Enterprise Rent-A-Car scholarship. Kate has also been in the honors program and dean's list since sophomore year. Lastly, Kate is involved in Beta Gamma Sigma. All these organizations have helped Kate develop professional skills that will help her in her future career.
Kevin is a junior PSI marketing major with a minor in insurance. Kevin has been involved with the Katie School since the spring of his sophomore year, which created his interest in pursuing a career in insurance brokerage.
Kevin's involvement with the Katie School led him to a fall internship with a brand new Allstate Agency in the Eastland Mall. With Kevin receiving his Insurance Producers License, he was able to create business proposals under the Allstate name. Kevin presented these business proposals to local businesses, including Young America Reality and McLean County Orthopedics. In addition to this exposure to the insurance industry, Allstate also helped Kevin improve his communication & negotiation skills. Kevin plans on polishing these skills at his summer internship with C.H. Robinson in Chicago.
Kevin was elected President of the Sports Marketing Student Association RSO on campus. This experience has allowed him to sharpen his communication, teamwork, and organizational skills. Through SMSA, Kevin has been able to design fundraisers and create networking opportunities for those interested in sports marketing. Kevin is also helping to create and implement a promotional plan for the ISU Men's Basketball team in the spring semester. In addition to the Sports Marketing Student Association, Kevin is also actively involved in the Fraternal Brotherhood of Sigma Tau Gamma. Kevin is the Philanthropy Coordinator of the Brotherhood.
As a sophomore, Kevin won the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Leader in Training Award for displaying leadership and professional skills in the college of business. Kevin also received the FAME Scholarship Award from the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers his junior year. Kevin plans on meeting with Arthur J. Gallagher and The Horton Company over Christmas break to discuss future internship opportunities. Kevin owes all of his success in insurance to Jim Jones and the rest of the Katie School for helping him with networking opportunities in the insurance industry.