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From Ohio to Olivet to Landing a Job Before Graduation

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IRM Major Amber Ralston’s Four-Year Journey

Amber Ralston came to The University of Olivet knowing being 198 miles from home would be an adjustment. But now, in her senior year, Amber has accomplished more than she ever hoped in her four years as a Comet.

Amber is a double major in financial planning and insurance and risk management. She’s also minoring in insurance claims investigation. During her junior year, she landed an internship in life claims at Lincoln Financial Group. That internship led to a full-time position as an integrated absence claims specialist waiting for her after she graduates this May.

What started as a tentative journey as a first-year student coming from out of state turned into an adventure of a lifetime for Amber.

Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, Amber grew up on the city’s southwest side and attended a small private high school. She knew she wanted to attend a smaller college with a tight-knit community and, most importantly, a college that offered her what she wanted to study. “Once I left campus after my first visit, I knew that Olivet was the place for me. It had the academics I wanted, and the atmosphere was very welcoming,” Amber said.

To Amber, Olivet’s financial planning program was worth the move to Michigan. She said, “Knowing that Olivet had a specific program for financial planning pushed me to choose the school. I was excited to study something that I had a passion for.”

Amber was confident in her decision to attend UOlivet; however, moving nearly 200 miles from home was not easy. “I had a rough transition my first year because I had never been away from home for an extended time. I was nervous because I didn’t know anyone, and I am not the most outgoing person, but I knew it would be a good learning experience,” Amber said.

Amber “got comfortable with the uncomfortable,” as UOlivet President Steven M. Corey likes to say. “While there are moments where I miss home, the University has given me great opportunities to make relationships and enjoy my time here. During my first year, I met my best friends, and those relationships have helped me throughout my time at Olivet. Olivet has such a welcoming environment, and it made the transition easier on me knowing that people were there to support me,” she said.

In the course of her time at Olivet, Amber has immersed herself in campus life. In her first year, she joined Gamma Iota Sigma, a national organization for students interested in the insurance field, and is now the organization’s current CFO. She is also the Student Government Association’s treasurer. Amber pledged to Alpha Lambda Epsilon and is now the president.

“When I first came to Olivet, I was very shy and had no intentions of joining clubs or organizations. Since then, I have been given so many opportunities to step into leadership positions. While this was difficult at first, I have learned from mentors and professors, and I have grown into a young adult who is not afraid to get involved and to use my voice.”

The guidance and encouragement from Amber’s professors played a crucial role in her college journey. “In high school, I took a personal finance class and enjoyed everything about it. I knew that I wanted to go into financial planning to be able to help others with their finances. Once I came to Olivet, I was encouraged to explore the insurance degree, and I have never been happier to have agreed,” Amber said. “I am passionate about helping people, and insurance is a great opportunity to do so. Throughout my time at Olivet, I have tried to get involved and learn more about the industry to prepare me for a great future. I believe that with the support from my professors, I have been able to find a great career for my future,” she continued.

One professor who has helped Amber significantly is Professor Thomas Humphreys, CPCU, CLU, ChFC, CIC. Amber said, “Thomas Humphreys has always been a constant support for my insurance degree. He has always been helpful with class-related discussions, but also just discussions about life. When I was given my job offer, I asked him for advice on the offer, and he took time out of his day to call and talk to me about it. Professor Humphreys truly cares about his students and wants to see them succeed.”

Four-years later, what started as an uncertain transition to out-of-state college turned into personal growth and endless opportunities. Amber gained more than an education at Olivet; she gained a home away from home – and a full-time job even before graduating.

Learn more about The University of Olivet by contacting the Office of Admission at admissions@UOlivet.edu or 269-749-7635.

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