One graduate’s perspective


Happy Independence Day!  This holiday is a celebration of the birth of our nation with the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.  However, this morning I am thinking of “independence” in more general terms.  I am thinking about the journey to independence taken by many young college students as they complete their degrees.  It’s a time of much personal and cognitive growth as they pursue knowledge and social growth working towards a chosen career path.  I’ve seen this growth and journey toward independence in my students and in my own daughters.

Recent Ferris State graduate Ethan Henderson discovered that he had a passion for the risk management and insurance industry while attending Ferris State.  Ethan has now begun his insurance career and he shared the following words about his Ferris experience:

Ferris State University is the reason I am graduating college with a job doing what I want to do. To further explain, I need to talk about the recently reinstated risk management and insurance degree at Ferris. I made the switch from Finance to Insurance after my sophomore year at Ferris, mainly because I did not want a typical desk job, preferring something more interactive and social instead. I liked the idea of math and risk assessment, but wanted to tie that in with marketing and personal selling. The program was like nothing else I had learned up to that point.  As soon as I started in the assigned curriculum, it was obvious that the material was very specific. With courses ranging from the specifics of property and casualty insurance, all the way to the broader business management and law type courses.

About two months along in the insurance program an opportunity for an insurance internship with State Farm in Big Rapids came across my email from my advisor. I immediately responded, was interviewed, and hired within two weeks. Through the internship I was able to receive my producer’s license in property, casualty, life, accident, and health, as well as become bank certified. Without a doubt I could not have passed any of those exams without the current curriculum and information I was learning in my insurance courses at Ferris.

The internship turned into a part time sales job that I held for the rest of my time at Ferris State. In December of my senior year, I began to apply all around the country for a commercial underwriting position, post-graduation. Deciding that I wanted to start my career in underwriting was something that I had decided upon learning about the job in my insurance courses, and wanting to get out of sales, at least for a while.  I had multiple phone interviews, and ended up getting to the last in person interview for two different companies by February of my senior year. I drove down to Cincinnati, as well as Farmington Hills, Michigan to interview. Within three weeks I was called back and offered a commercial underwriting position at both companies! So not only was I still two months away from graduation, but I had two amazing job offers to choose from. Both companies stressed the appeal of my Insurance degree from Ferris, as well as the internship that I was set up with through the program. I ended up taking the commercial underwriting job for the Farmington Hills company, and they have located me in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  I could not be happier with the education and opportunities this University and the risk management and insurance degree have provided me.

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