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WVU business school to host first insurance symposium

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Insurance and risk management represents one of the largest and most important industries in the world, and West Virginia University’s business school has developed an area of emphasis within its finance major designed to meet the needs of that industry.

As a result, the WVU College of Business and Economics Center for Financial Literacy and Education will host its first Insurance Symposium Sept. 25. The objectives are to discuss the critical needs within the industry and help cultivate new talent in a sector that admittedly needs an infusion of bright, new minds.

We, as a college, are interested in building and developing an innovative curriculum which will allow us to create a seamless transition between the classroom and the workplace through experiential opportunities,” said Naomi Boyd, Fred T. Tattersall Chair in Finance and Director of the Center of Financial Literacy and Education. “We have an aging work force in the insurance industry, and there is a critical need to produce top notch students to answer the call for highly skilled entrants in that industry.”

Boyd said B&E will present a proposal to participants at the symposium to establish a formal insurance and risk management program within the B&E Finance Department. The program would provide students a formalized career track focused on the insurance and risk management industry, along with an applied internship.

Symposium speakers will include Jill Cranston Rice, president of the West Virginia Insurance Federation; Adam Dyer, president of the Independent Insurance Agents of West Virginia; Andrew Pauley, Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel, Insurance Commissioner for the State of West Virginia; Connor Harrison, The Institutes Risk and Insurance Knowledge Group; and Terry Rose, Ernest L. Hogan Chair of Finance at WVU.

“We want to create a more robust curriculum that better suits the needs of the industry. We are also hoping to garner partnerships with companies for a number of reasons, including creating a pipeline of internships, providing case studies from these companies that would better prepare our students for what they will see once they enter the workforce, and a clear path for job placement in the industry,” Boyd said.

The proposed program, she explained, would be beneficial to industry stakeholders in three areas:

  1. Enhancing and expanding the academic programs within the Finance Department;
  2. Providing students with structured training and experience in insurance and risk management; and
  3. Creating a conduit of graduates for the insurance and risk management industry.

“As the flagship university in West Virginia, we want to be a leader in providing an exceptional education in insurance and risk management. To do this we are providing a platform for the industry to tell us what its needs are,” Boyd said, “as well as what opportunities exist so that we can retain our top talent here in the state of West Virginia.”

For information on the insurance symposium, visit http://business.wvu.edu/centers/center-for-financial-literacy-and-education/insurance-symposium.

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CONTACT: Patrick Gregg, WVU College of Business and Economics

304.293.5131; patrick.gregg@mail.wvu.edu

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