Junior Bridget Garter — Relationships are the Backbone to Success

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  I am from Lowell, a small town outside of Grand Rapids. Lowell is a tight-knit community where there are many great relationships made, which is something I was looking for in a college. I had that exact feeling when I came on my visit to Olivet, and that’s how I knew that OC could definitely be my home for the next four years.
Shaping the Student Experience
I am an insurance and risk management major and am involved in Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS), which is an international insurance fraternity. I even hold two officer roles with GIS — public and college relations and vice president of recruiting. I joined because I want to give back to the insurance program as much as I can. This program is shaping my future, and I have a lot to be grateful for, so I’m happy to be involved and give my extra time.
My career goals include pursuing a job in some area of insurance and risk management. I am taking internships throughout my years at Olivet to prepare myself for the real deal. Getting the hands-on experience is so different from learning concepts in a book, so my internships will help me find exactly what area I want to pursue for my career.
I am also a resident adviser (RA) in Shipherd Hall. Being a resident adviser has created so many new meaningful relationships for me and that is something I cannot get enough of. The whole RA staff is wonderful, and it is an absolute joy to work for and be a part of it.
Outside of the classroom, I recently traveled with 20 insurance students to Europe, including France and Ireland. This was an incredible traveling, learning and sightseeing experience. I really found a passion for traveling from this trip, and I am hopeful that I will be able to travel in my first job.
Relationships at the Core
Relationships with my professors and mentors are the backbone of my success here. My adviser, Tom Humphreys, CPCU, CLU, ChFC, CIC, assistant professor of insurance and risk management and director of the program, is someone I will be thankful for forever. He cares so much about all of his students, and he is very open to helping anyone with just about anything. He sends me information about scholarships and internships to apply for, communicates well in advance about events, creates a fun and open atmosphere in the program, and just goes way out of his way to contribute to my success.
I also work for the grounds department, which includes some of the nicest and most genuine people at Olivet. I don’t think they get enough credit for what they do around here, but I know I can go up to Marty Pierson, Doug “Chops” Reynolds, Chris Crosby or Matt Bennett at any time during my day and we can have a conversation. They are always checking up on me to see how I am doing. If I ever need anything, I know they will be there.
At the beginning of last semester, I managed to leave my car running and lock my keys in it. I was able to call Marty and Chops and they willingly came to my rescue, even though they didn’t have to. It is just all the little things the staff and faculty do that makes me feel appreciated, respected and happy to be in a place like this.
My list could go on and on, but the moral of the story is that every adult figure you meet on campus is going to want to help you succeed if you are willing to put in the work.
College Advice
Don’t count smaller schools out when choosing your college. Yes, the bigger scenes at DI schools are fun and exciting, but smaller schools offer athletic teams where you actually know the players you’re cheering on and events where you can easily meet new people. On top of that, Olivet puts more focus on individual students and their success for their future.
There is something for everyone at The University of Olivet. All the programs have amazing professors. It is a great place to keep playing the sport you love without the pressure to make it your only priority. Staff and faculty put on fun activities for students, and sororities and fraternities are always looking for new family members and host great events. And, we even have a Starbucks!
I have learned so much about myself and grown so much during my time at OC. I have made some forever friendships along the way, and the people here motivate me to keep learning and growing.
Learn more about The University of Olivet by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800-456-7189 or admissions@uolivet.edu.


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