The first ever PriSim Agency Management Competition pitted teams from the most highly renowned insurance and risk management programs across the nation against each other. After four weeks of competition, the The University of Olivet team was named the winner of the competition and the $3,000 grand prize. Competitors included Appalachian State, Eastern Kentucky University, Florida State University, Illinois State and The University of Georgia, with Olivet being the smallest school in the competition.
Under the direction of Thomas R. Humphreys, CPCU, CLU, ChFC, CIC, The University of Olivet IRM program director and assistant professor of IRM, team members Griffin Gaffner, Andrew Merfeld, Megan Keathley, Ross Pennock and Reno Sims (pictured right) competed over four weeks in a simulated, online insurance agency. The team collaborated to make critical decisions to run their business based on the criteria they were being graded on, including profit, customer satisfaction and more.
“While I had high expectations for the OC team, they completely exceeded them,” said Humphreys. “The team was dedicated, passionate and challenged each other to push the boundaries of their potential. The college, IRM department, and I could not be more proud of this team of students.”
“Going into the competition, I felt a little uneasy since there was so much unknown,” said senior Andrew Merfeld, team leader. “I quickly realized how great our team could work together and all the strengths we each brought. In the end, all our collaboration really paid off.”
The schools were selected to participate in the competition by InVEST of Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, Inc. based on the size and reputation of the individual school’s insurance program, as well as the strength of the state agent’s association. The Michigan Associate of Insurance Agents partnered with Olivet’s team to provide insight and mentors throughout the competition, Adam Jackson, Scott Rand and David Rice.
The key takeaway was for students to gain real-world experience. The University of Olivet recognizes how important it is for students to graduate college with a playbook already full of moves for their first job, including the ability for team collaboration, network connections and, of course, knowledge of their chosen field, all of which were demonstrated in the competition.
“Our team had differing opinions on many aspects of the competition, but we were able to establish goals quickly,” said junior Megan Keathley. “That showed me that when you work on a team, you should try to focus on the end result. Once we were all on the same page, it was easier for us to determine the details.”
Senior Reno Sims added, “This competition allowed me to explore the competitive side of business. It made me excited to push the limitations of profit, and that’s something I look forward to carrying over into my career in risk management.”
The job placement rate upon graduation from Olivet’s IRM program is nearly 100 percent, due to academic advising by expert faculty members, abundant internship opportunities, frequent career fairs and more. Learn more about The University of Olivet’s IRM program.