How Did You Spend Your Summer? Ohio Students Come Together to Learn About Insurance and Tackle Business Challenges

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With summer in full swing, many teens are spending time outdoors or working summer jobs, but some have been involved in the business of learning about insurance and entrepreneurship.

Read below to learn about two programs held this summer that support the futures of Ohio students, broaden their knowledge of the insurance industry and sharpen their business skills.

Insurance: It’s a “Risky Business”

Kent State University, in conjunction with several insurance industry partners, including the OII and member organization Erie Insurance Group (@erie_insurance), recently presented a week-long workshop to incoming eight graders titled “Risky Business”.

The workshop is an initiative of Kent State’s Rural Scholars program, which began in 2012 and offers students from Columbiana County and neighboring areas a program designed to provide rigorous academic exposure and career exploration opportunities.

The Rural Scholars are identified in partnership with the school districts at the end of sixth grade, and once admitted, they participate in the program through high school graduation. The program has approximately 95 students from seventh to twelfth grade.

During the “Risky Business” workshop, students heard from several presenters on:

  • What insurance is and why it is important
  • How statistics and probability factor into insurance
  • The partnership between government and business in a session with the OII’s Vice President of Legal and Government Affairs, Michael Farley

The students, program advisors and Kent State student mentors also traveled to Erie, PA to spend a day at Erie Insurance Group. While there, the students toured Erie’s home office and their technical learning center, a hands-on claims training facility. Erie employees in various positions‑ agents, underwriters, actuaries and customer service representatives – also shared information with the students about their jobs and what they enjoy most about them.

According to feedback from the students, many of them had some hesitation going into the week, as they were not sure what to expect, or they thought the material would be rather dry. At the end of the week, they reported high levels of satisfaction and increased interest in the insurance industry, as well as increased consumer knowledge.

Ohio’s Future Business Leaders Tackle Real World Business Challenges

2017 Ohio Business Week participantsAnother week-long summer program was also in full swing – Ohio Business Week (OBW). This program brings high school students from across Ohio together to learn about business and entrepreneurship. Over the last 15 years, OII’s Insurance Education Day Advisory Committee (IEDAC) has provided scholarships from the proceeds of Insurance Education Day for students to attend OBW. This year the IEDAC sponsored six students from Franklin, Cuyahoga, Scioto, Lake and Medina counties.

The approximately 150 students in attendance spent a week on the campus of Ohio University and were able to network with business professionals, explore career paths and experience college life. At the heart of the OBW experience is the Emerging Entrepreneur Project (EEP). For the EEP, the students were divided into companies and developed a unique service or product idea to solve a real world business problem.

As part of the EEP, the students:

  • Researched and wrote business, financial and marketing plans
  • Designed a web page
  • Constructed a trade show display
  • Created an advertising campaign to promote their product or service

The EEP Competition culminated with each team giving a presentation to a panel of business professionals that posed as prospective investors.

During OBW, students learned:

  • Foundational business skills in management, finance and marketing
  • How to exercise their independent judgment and leadership skills while sharpening their collaborative skills
  • How to improve public speaking skills and “think-on-their-feet” strategies

The students had the opportunity to see how their ideas can grow into something tangible in a week’s time and began to develop the skills that will allow them to be the next generation of successful business leaders.


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