If the secret to winning the Insurance Collegiate Challenge sounds similar to that of creating a successful insurance company, it's no coincidence. In fact, that's the purpose behind the inaugural event held Sept. 30 at Ohio Dominican University.
"We figured out how to collaborate as a group and make decisions that achieved predictability and steady growth for our company," explained Alec Wilkins, whose University of Akron team took top honors.
The event, hosted by Fundación MAPFRE and the Insurance Industry Resource Council (IIRC), pitted competitors from the University of Akron, Bowling Green State University, Ohio Dominican University, Ohio Northern University, Shawnee State University and the University of Cincinnati in real-world, interactive simulations that will help prepare students for careers as tomorrow's insurance professionals.
The competition tested students' abilities to balance their investments against resources, while facing unexpected catastrophes during the five years of their simulated companies.
During the competition, each team presented its strategy and fielded questions from seasoned insurance professionals, led by Greg Clark, representative from MAPFRE. Each scenario required students to draw from theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom while applying active, "on-the-job" learning and problem-solving.
Khory Katz, a student from Bowling Green State University, captured the value of the experience when he explained his team's strategy:
"We walked into this competition knowing about the basics of insurance. During the competition, though, we had to reinforce our knowledge by learning more about reinsurance and investment choices to ensure our company remained solvent."
Garrett Dietrich, from Ohio Northern University, noted that his team (composed of members from four different campuses) had to understand the team dynamics before members could make progress. "It took us awhile to figure out how to work together as a team. Once we split up the work in a way that made sense, we made real progress."
Ohio Dominican University's President Robert Gervasi applauded the students and their "passion for this vitally important service that touches each of our lives on a daily basis."
The future of Ohio's insurance industry is in good hands with the next generation of insurance leaders.
The winning team from the University of Akron was honored later that evening at MAPFRE Stadium.
The IIRC is funded by:
Celina Insurance Group
Central Mutual Insurance Company
The Cincinnati Insurance Company
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Molina Healthcare of Ohio
Motorists Insurance Group
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company
Ohio Insurance Agents Association, Inc.
Ohio Mutual Insurance Group
State Auto Insurance Company of Ohio
Wayne Insurance Group
Westfield Insurance Company