TAMPA – A handful of USF Muma College of Business students learned firsthand how one fender bender can start a chain reaction of careers within the insurance industry.
Called the Human Insurance Chain exercise, the hands-on visual demonstration was designed to show the multiple careers — sometimes up to 16 roles, but usually double that amount — with which one commercial claim crosses paths during its life span.
As the story unfolded, college summer interns at Tampa insurance firm Baldwin Risk Partners volunteered to take on each assigned task. Roles ranged from claims adjuster to defense attorney to utilization review nurse. Each job required a specific skillset, from the customer-centric insurance agent to the empathetic special investigator.
In the end, 16 volunteers stood shoulder to shoulder holding their chosen roles.
“The beautiful thing about risk management and insurance is that there is so much diversification in terms of where you can take your career,” said Kristi Hoskinson, the assistant vice president for strategic initiatives at USF’s Sarasota-Manatee campus who presented the hour-long exercise along with Tim Liberty, director of risk mitigation services, at BKS Partners.
The interactive experience helps students understand the sequence of events in a claim cycle, the collaboration between the policyholder, carrier and agent, and the different roles in insurance sparked by one claim, said Hoskinson, who used to work in the insurance industry.
Exercises like these help students discover the exciting and fulfilling careers within the insurance industry, said Hoskinson, who helps promote USF's Baldwin Risk Partners School of Risk Management and Insurance, which is part of the Muma College of Business.
Many of the students, like Sebastion Solano, were amazed at the number of people involved in the process, regardless of how big or small the claim can be.
“I was surprised to see that multiple teams from each side of the claim — the client, the carrier, and the broker — all have to be involved at some point in the claim process,” said Solano, who recently finished his junior year in the USF Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy in the Muma College of Business.
While he initially didn’t have an interest in doing an internship in risk management and insurance, the accounting major has spent summers interning at BRP since freshman year.
“As an intern, I’ve had an amazing experience. Throughout the program, we rotate through the different business segments and help with any projects as well as getting to meet with leaders of the firm and learn more about the company,” he said.
Fellow USF student and summer intern, Dennis Iglesias, agreed.
“I was surprised by how many people are involved in one claim,” Iglesias said. “My biggest takeaway is that there is not just one area of insurance.”
Iglesias recently finished his third year at USF’s School of Information Systems and Management and is majoring in business analytics and information systems. He says the summer internship has helped him learn about the various fields available in the insurance industry.
“As an intern at BRP, I’ve had a great overall experience and it was exceeded my expectations,” he said. “At the moment, I am learning about employee benefits and after that, I will learn about commercial risk insurance.”