Tips for Risk Management or Insurance majors:

It’s exciting to see Risk management and insurance majors growing as a course of study.

In addition to the advice you are getting from your professors, here are a few tips for risk management or insurance majors:

Start Taking exams while in college

  • Focus on which designation has the most value and is the right fit for you
  • Take as many of your credentialing exams in college as possible.
    • This will give you a leg up on the competition, help with getting internships, and will give you some foundation to build off during internship or first year.
    • Time is a valuable asset that is on your side, use it.
  • Some programs are >8 exams. For example, the Actuarial exams – these will take a while, so why not start sooner.
  • Licensing exams may have an experience requirement associated, however, it’s good to have educational component completed and give 150% to your first job and/or start on new exams.

Author or publish

  • Becoming a thought leader in the industry is a huge leg up on the competition – for finding a job or growing your business
  • You will be able to bring your research experience and/or interview relationships to add value to your future organizations
  • Submit an article for evaluation from our editorial committee.


  • While in college make sure to network with classmates, alumni, professors, and industry experts and thought leaders.
  • Reach out to industry experts for advice.

Work Hard during internship

  • At your interviews, companies are going to ask – “what did you learn or get out of your internship with XYZ?” If you don’t have a good response, other than “I made copies, etc”.  It will be a tremendous opportunity lost.
  • Work hard at this internship and you will see value, as well as your employer. In turn, you may also get hired after the internship based upon your efforts.

Find a mentor

  • A mentor will help guide your career at the beginning stages.  This is when you will need it the most.
  • It is very easy to be lured to another job offering +20% but it helps to have an experienced professional to offer guidance about career development, opportunities, etc.  As well as be your advocate within your organization or the industry.


  • Utilize all resources available to learn and prepare
  • Learn about the language of risk, the top books, etc.
  • Determine what area of the industry suits you best.

Self Awareness

  • Think about who you are, what you like to do, what you enjoy, what you don’t enjoy, etc.
  • Becoming self aware early in your career will help avoid the potholes or bumps others face.

Be patient

  • It will take time for you to develop and grow within your organization.
  • The 10,000 hour rule doesn’t apply to the insurance industry.
  • There will be plenty of opportunity and time for more money, prestige, glory, etc.
    • According to The Griffith Insurance Education Foundation, by 2020, the industry will create more than 400,000 job opportunities. The baby boomers will be retiring and present plenty of opportunity for personal and professional growth.

About the author

Arnold Smith

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