Engaging with Companies Remotely During COVID-19
This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly affected nearly every aspect of people’s lives. The challenges facing students normally have been exacerbated by the move to virtual learning and networking environments. We reached out to some current Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) students to see how they have adapted to continue to engage with insurance companies and potential employers during the pandemic.
Virtual Career Fairs
Career fairs can be one of the best ways as a student to engage with companies in your area. Unfortunately, in-person career fairs in 2020 have been few and far between. While they may not be very traditional, virtual career fairs can still offer valuable networking opportunities, and give you the chance to see what companies in your area may be hiring. Some companies will even host their own virtual career fairs. University of Akron (UA) student Jeremy Brady says “Anytime a virtual career fair is available I attend it. You should never pass up a career fair because there is always room to learn more about certain industries, companies, and make connections.”
Gamma Iota Sigma Events
Gamma Iota Sigma, the international RMI fraternity, offers events and resources for students, including virtual networking opportunities. Sophia Marcum, another UA RMI student, said “Gamma Iota Sigma has given me the opportunity to attend two virtual conferences this fall: the annual international conference and a leadership conference where I was able to attend career fairs at both as well as listen to different panels of speakers.” She also said that UA’s chapter has continued to hold monthly meetings where different insurance professionals give presentations over Microsoft Meetings. Kyle Whyte, the President of UA’s Gamma Iota Sigma chapter, said that the industry has done a good job of promoting webinars and other virtual meetings, and they have had the opportunity to listen to and speak with industry professionals from around the country.
Another great way students having been staying connected is by directly reaching out to companies, professionals, former students, and professors. Recent graduates can offer valuable insight to how the inner workings of the insurance industry have changed over the course of the past year, and how they have had to be flexible. It can be especially difficult to adapt to drastic changes when it’s your first time in the workforce, so hearing firsthand from young professionals about how they have managed can be advantageous to students who will soon be entering the workforce themselves. It’s also a good idea to reach out to your professors for advice on staying engaged and up-to-date with the insurance industry remotely. Professors are some of your most crucial resources in college and are often the first step in networking. Your professors are there to help you and love to see students that are actively trying to stay connected with their peers and chosen career path.
While this year has presented challenges unlike any we’ve seen before, being flexible and having the ability to adapt and stay connected no matter what the circumstances are is an invaluable trait in the workforce. Explore all your resources to stay engaged with the insurance industry through 2020 and beyond. To learn more about Gamma Iota Sigma, visit their website here.