“I tutored underprivileged children, and will never forget the experience—it taught me that teachers are leaders and that no matter what I majored in, I would still be an educator.”
Brad Karl says, “Everyone thinks Risk Management majors are like Ben Stiller’s character in Along Came Polly“—an uptight, risk-averse insurance underwriter—”but there is much more to it. The material is very interesting, and among public universities in the nation, FSU’s program is ranked fourth. The faculty is stellar—every teacher knows your name and wants to see you succeed, and at the yearly job fair, the job placement is almost 100 percent. You can’t beat that.”
When he arrived at Florida State, however, Brad was considering a major in Education, so he signed up to live in Cawthon Hall, to participate in the Living and Learning Community program. “You take classes in the dorm and perform community service in the city,” he says. “I tutored underprivileged children and will never forget the experience—it taught me that teachers are leaders and that no matter what I majored in, I would still be an educator.”
His second semester, Brad joined the Honors Program and was inducted into Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society. Then, the scholarships started rolling in. “As it turns out,” he says, “there are a lot of scholarships available to Risk Management majors, but the one I am most proud of is the Risk and Insurance Management Society Spencer Scholarship. I was chosen from among applicants nationwide to receive a $5,000 award.”
Serving as vice president and now as the president of the Insurance Society at FSU, an organization open to all majors, has enabled Brad to increase his knowledge of the industry, meet individuals already working in the field, visit corporations located around the country, and help fellow members reach their career goals. “We also,” he says, “try to be involved around campus, raising money for the American Heart Association.”
Last May, Brad attended the national meeting of the Risk and Insurance Management Society’s Anita Benedetti Student Involvement Program, held in New Orleans. “Essentially,” Brad says, “I was a student masquerading as a business professional, but the lessons I learned and the people I met served as a massive career boost.”
Brad plans to pursue a career in the Insurance industry, as a risk manager and a salesman. He explains, “With insurance sales, you are selling a product to a third party who needs it. Managing the risks for a company includes buying the correct insurance and improving the safety of day-to-day operations.
“I am very grateful for all that Florida State and the Risk Management department have done for me. I hope one day I can give back as much as I received.”