SRM students experience life at Zurich North America

Group of students posing for photo
November 29, 2018

Twenty-two students from the School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science (SRM) program at St. John's University visited Zurich Insurance on November 7 for an intense series of events designed to help them to understand and discuss various roles within the industry.

The students – five graduate and 17 undergraduate -- participated in a panel discussion and case study breakout sessions to introduce them to key concepts regarding insurance and presentation best practices.

Hosted by SRM Executive Board Member Brian Winters ‘86TCB, Executive Vice President - Head of Special Lines for Commercial Insurance - Zurich North America, the event came about as part of a strategic planning effort to engage SRM students with the company. The event was planned by a group of young professionals, most of whom were St. John’s alumni. In addition to Winters, the organizing committee included: Distribution Sales Specialist Brittany Sakson ‘15SRM, who co-managed the event with another Zurich colleague; Underwriter Bhavina Prashad ‘15SRM, who coached one of the groups for the case study; Associate Underwriter Gabriela Staniszewski ‘18SRM; and Underwriter Trainee Juan Moreno ‘18SRM.

After introductory remarks by Winters, the students listened to a panel on “Day in the Life Insights” on five different aspects of the company’s operations: Risk Engineering, Claims, Underwriting (presented by International Underwriter Sandra Mangroo ‘99C, ‘10C) Operations, and Actuarial.

“We got to hear employees' experience, in addition to valuable advice,” said one student.

Following the presentations, the students broke out into four groups. They had 45 minutes to read a case study on a company similar in nature to that of the subscription service Blue Apron, which delivers food products and preparation instructions to customers’ homes. They then presented their results to a group of Zurich executive managers, including EVP and East Regional Executive Ed Lopes, as well as Al J. Beer, Ph.D., the Michael J. Kevaney/XL Visiting Professor of Insurance and Actuarial Practice, and Jody Queen-Hubert, M.A., the Director of the Ellen Thrower Center for Apprenticeship and Career Services at SRM.

“The case study allowed us to show our knowledge as individuals and how we worked in groups,” said another student.

 “This event was an invaluable learning experience,” added another.

A major employer of St. John’s students and graduates, Zurich is a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets. With about 53,000 employees, it provides a wide range of property and casualty, and life insurance products and services in more than 210 countries and territories. Zurich’s customers include individuals, small businesses, and mid-sized and large companies, as well as multinational corporations.