“I’m nearing the five-year mark in my industry, and the opportunities I’ve been given at such a young age have been extraordinary.”
That’s how Jordan Thomas ’14 sums up the value of his Butler Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) undergraduate degree— and why he joined the first-ever cohort in the University’s new Master of Science in Risk and Insurance (MSRI) degree program.
“This industry will see a big need for talent very soon,” Thomas says. “People like me could be in management in just a few years if we have the training. Butler’s master’s program is the answer to that need.”
A ‘First-Class’ First Cohort
This two-year learning opportunity prepares individuals for advanced roles in corporate risk management and for new roles within the growing insurance field. Other than two In Residence Experiences, all classes are online with no set schedule, accessible at each student’s convenience. The degree is administered by the Lacy School of Business through its Davey Risk Management and Insurance Program (RMI).
Thomas serves on the Davey board, working closely with faculty to bring professionals into the classroom. He’s been impressed not just with the accredited curriculum, but with how eager faculty were to teach it.
One of those faculty is Davey Chair Dr. Victor Puleo, one of the people most instrumental in creating the MSRI program. He says the breadth of talent within this first cohort is “exhilarating and a little intimidating,” with over 200 years of combined experience in the group.
“We have a Fortune 500 company’s risk manager, a vice president of a multinational insurance company, and leaders from some of the largest insurance carriers in the country,” Puleo says. “With all that knowledge, we’ll be able to have collaborative learning at very high levels. This is a first-class group.”
Deep Curriculum Fills Knowledge Gaps
Butler’s Student-Run Captive Insurance Company will further deepen students’ learning by exploring alternative risk financing and a side of the industry few graduates elsewhere study: dealing with a foreign country’s regulatory requirements.
Moreover, the curriculum includes courses from the Butler MBA program, strengthened with content specific to this industry.
“Butler is filling the vacuum between nitty-gritty insurance classes and what we need to be the next generation of managers,” Thomas says. “For example, beyond being able to do a firm’s accounting, I’ll learn how to increase profitability using its vast warehouses of data. That kind of knowledge will boost my ability to be recognized for higher positions within the company.”
Because the program has “phenomenal flexibility,” Thomas says, he will take classes while keeping his full-time job as Associate Manager with Everest Insurance in Chicago.
“I am absolutely excited about Butler’s MSRI program. The industry is growing every day, and Butler is doing something truly special,” he says. “The program has the industry buzzing with excitement, too, and we’re making headlines across the nation. Personally, I’m proud to be an alumnus and proud to be part of the first cohort. This degree will do nothing but help my career move forward.”
For more information on the MSRI program, visit butler.edu/msri.