Brad Robinson – From MBA to NCAA

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The University of Olivet consistently receives national and even international recognition for its undergraduate insurance and risk management (IRM) program, complete with a chapter of a professional fraternity and tracks of specialization. In addition, OC has expanded its program into high schools around the state, allowing students to discover rewarding IRM careers and earn free college credit while only juniors and seniors. Further, OC offers a premiere graduate degree – a Master of Business Administration in Insurance, an online, instructor-led course that allows virtual classroom collaboration with industry leaders and classmates from around the country. Recent graduate Brad Robinson didn’t know just how impactful earning his MBA would be until he found himself in a leadership role with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Brad is a native of Indiana, but the reputation of OC’s IRM program was strong enough to travel over state lines. He developed an interest for insurance while studying undergraduate business at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He ended up pursuing a double major in the two, recognizing the tremendous potential for an exciting and valuable career. Brad launched his career in corporate risk management at COUNTRY Financial in Bloomington, Illinois after graduating from Ball State, and three years later, sought out OC’s MBA program, appreciating the ability to continue working while furthering his education.

“I was already familiar with the great reputation of OC’s IRM undergraduate program, even being from Indiana. When I was looking to further my education with a graduate degree, the structure of OC’s interactive online MBA in Insurance program fit perfectly into my schedule all while continuing to work full-time as a risk management professional in Illinois,” Brad explained. “The ability to transfer industry designations that I had previously earned directly into MBA course credits was also very attractive.”

In just two years, Brad completed his MBA and months later, took a major career opportunity with the NCAA as the associate director of insurance and risk management. In his role, he works directly with various businesses and student-athlete insurance programs. One program is the NCAA Catastrophic Injury Insurance program which provides catastrophic medical and disability benefits for all student-athletes in all three NCAA divisions.

“I consider myself a student of this industry and always learning and focused on continuous improvement. The insurance industry is ever changing, and to be successful, you must always adapt your skills and knowledge. The MBA program allows professionals to do just that in the most convenient and efficient way. Many classes are taught by current industry professionals with vast levels of experience which allows them to relate the curriculum to the most current topics and trends,” Brad explained, “The vast amount of litigation against the NCAA, especially in recent years, makes managing insurance programs and large claims very interesting. The job never gets old and is always full of surprises.”

Brad knows earning his MBA played a huge role in landing him his dream job, and is very thankful the timing all worked out the way it did. “I really enjoyed both the structure of the program and the curriculum which I was able to immediately translate into my daily job in very positive ways,” Brad emphasized. “The online capabilities and ability to interact with other professionals from all around the country was also invaluable. In addition to the experienced faculty with up-to-date industry knowledge, I also learned so much from the other students, some of whom I’ve remained in contact with even today while living in different states.”

Thankful for his experience, Brad continues to stay connected with The University of Olivet, despite never having a class on the campus and living several hours and nearly 200 miles away. “My mantra has always been that your education is something nobody can take away from you.  Once you put in the work and earn your MBA degree, you will always carry that no matter what future changes may affect your job,” said Brad. “I had a great experience with OC MBA program, and worked hard to earn my degree. I take pride in that. I also enjoy seeing the program grow and other professionals having a positive experience furthering their education.”

Brad and his wife, Liz, an elementary school teacher, currently reside in Brownsburg, Indiana where Brad continues to serve as an OC ambassador.

Learn more about OC’s MBA in insurance, or connect with Kelly Parker, associate director of graduate business programs, at 269.749.7633 or kmparker@uolivet.edu.


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