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RMIS – Reflections on Year

By Alfonso Tello, RMIS President

May 16, 2022

RMIS students at RIMS conference in San Francisco.
Risk Management & Insurance Society students at the RIMS RiskWorld event in San Francisco.

To sum up the chaotic and entertaining year the Risk Management & Insurance Society (RMIS) had, I needed a few weeks to gather my thoughts.

In terms of numbers, there were 19 social events, 7 town halls, 6 volunteer events, and 10 speakers throughout this school year. We had great speakers such as Ousmane Kabré who talked about the resilience needed in the workforce and how to always chase your dreams. We had wonderful events with Bill Hazelton and Kristina Talkowski, who shared their expertise and facilitated meaningful conversations with our members. Throughout the year, we also had other alumni and industry experts give their time to discuss with us their fields and workday. Thanks to all the individuals who worked with our RMIS members because it allowed us to re-create the exciting environment we had prior to the pandemic.

Various students assumed roles within the club and their work was incredible. Our fall 2021 board was Izzi, Katie, Clare, Lizbeth, Eva, Sarah, Jordan, and me. In the spring, we welcomed amazing additions in Derek, Case, Anna, and Kennedy. All of these individuals helped create a fun atmosphere for our social events and volunteer events. The way these individuals carried themselves throughout the school year accurately showed the standard the RMI students have here in Madison.

As for performance outside of Madison, the RMIS students excelled and showed why the Risk & Insurance Department is rated so highly in the nation. Clare Stumpf, Kennedy Gohman, Lizbeth Huertas, and I represented UW-Madison in the annual Spencer-RIMS Risk Management Challenge. The initial round consisted of a 10-page risk report on the top 5 risks Starbucks will face in the next 50 years. The team used their knowledge from coursework and guidance from Risk and Insurance faculty and RMIS advisor Carl Barlett to create this report. The team found great success in this round as they placed 1st and moved on to the presentation round.

The presentation round was at the RIMS RiskWorld event held in San Francisco. The Risk Management Challenge team competed in this round and, with other RMIS members, explored the events at RiskWorld. The Challenge team placed 4th in the presentation round — narrowly missing a final top 3 placement. As for the remainder of the event, students met professionals from all areas of risk management. We stepped out of our comfort zones and pushed for the futures we wanted. For me, some key highlights of the trip were the Chubb CEO lunch where we had the opportunity to hear Chubb’s CEO give his remarks on the future of risk, and a Willis event where we networked with risk managers from Google and United.

Overall, this year had lots of in-person events that pre-pandemic RMI students had the chance to experience. I know that the energy is back within the club and that members next year will be eager to jump on all the opportunities that are available. Thank you all for such a memorable year and for all that there is to come next fall!