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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Careers Reception Opens Doors for Students Interested in Insurance and Financial Services Fields

Nearly 70 insurance professionals, representing 28 different companies, demonstrated the value of a career in the insurance and financial services industry to more than 100 Old Dominion University students in an event April 13 in Webb University Center.

Hosted by Old Dominion's Center for Insurance, Risk Management and Financial Planning, the careers reception provided an opportunity for students to interact with industry professionals and learn more about related careers.

"A major goal of the Insurance and Financial Services Center is to promote interaction between students and the industry," said director Mike McShane, associate professor of finance in the Strome College of Business. "And it has paid off. The professionals that attend often remark about how poised and impressive our students are."

McShane said the annual event, now in its seventh year, has moved far beyond its original intention, acting as a gateway for many Old Dominion students to find internships and careers in the insurance and financial services industries.

"What's especially gratifying is that we are now starting to see professionals who found their career when they came to the event as students come back to the event as presenters. These new young professionals are especially effective in reaching students," McShane said.

Former ODU student Derwin Kinston Jr. said the Risk Management and Insurance Program was instrumental in helping him find his position with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Brodie Leap, another graduate of the program, said he would never have found his position at Northwestern Mutual if it wasn't for the career fair.

"A week into the internship I gave up my spot on the wait list at the law school I had been accepted to. Northwestern Mutual is such a great company to work for and I don't know where I'd be without them. I get to run my own business and help people while doing it," Leap said.

McShane said he relishes the role of the center as a "mini employment agency" for students in the program.

"We serve as an intermediary to bring the right students and corporations together, which provides the industry with the next generation of talent and students with a satisfying, meaningful and well-paying livelihood," he said.