Insurance program hosts industry leaders at RITS

ULM Hawkeye

Kale Shirley has a job offer for when he graduates because of the connections he made at last year’s Risk and Insurance Talent Search (RITS). At this year’s RITS, he kept those connections strong and enjoyed the opportunity to socialize that arises when students and insurance professionals come together.

According to Shirley, the RITS has been very beneficial to risk management and insurance majors. Shirley has been here since the RITS started three years ago and says it has grown tremendously.

“It’s the same kind of layout this year but it’s gotten a lot bigger… it was 7-8 companies last year and we have 32 this year,” said Shirley, who has already graduated with his risk management and insurance degree and is now pursuing his master’s degree.

The RITS is a recruitment event that matches current students with potential future employers. The event ran throughout the day Wednesday in the SUB Ballrooms and consisted of presentations from current insurance industry leaders.

The RITS also featured keynote speaker Robert Wooley, former Louisiana Insurance Commissioner. Other majors within the college of business were invited along with RMIN majors.

According to data collected nationally by leading insurance organizations, over 200,000 jobs were vacant in the 2014 insurance industry, and it is estimated that the industry will need to fill 400,000 positions by 2020.

In 2030, nearly 50% of the current insurance workforce will retire and contribute to the critical talent gap in the industry.

The Risk Management and Insurance program at ULM is one of only about 30 in the United States and offers unique courses that set graduates apart. Most graduates of the program have job offers months before graduating said Christine Berry, the risk management and insurance program coordinator.

Spencer Perkins, a senior risk management and insurance major and president of the Risk Management and Insurance Society, said that all the hard work that goes into organizing the RITS is worth it because of the attention it draws to students here.

“I think this really brings the spotlight to ULM. It shows out how to other companies about the great talent we have here,” Perkins said.

Karol Johnson, another student who attended the event was very impressed from what she saw.

“It was very informative; it really opens your eyes for what to expect after graduation,” Johnson said.