Global exposure: Indiana State students meet with insurance executives in London

By: Bethany Donat, ISU Communications and Marketing Staff
April 12, 2012

Content as a self-described small town girl, Jaclin Huxford pictured herself attending college at Indiana State University while commuting from her nearby hometown of Clinton. She didn't plan on travelling internationally, and definitely didn't ever think she would want to live abroad.

"I was always the small town girl who never really wanted to leave the small town," said Huxford, a risk and insurance management major. "I remember freshmen year I wanted an internship like five miles away from my house."

Three years later, Huxford has been to Europe twice and views traveling with a different perspective.

"Since studying abroad, I want to see everything," said Huxford, now a junior. "I want to go live overseas for a couple years after graduating."

Huxford's most recent trip took her to London, home of Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and Wimbledon. She had the opportunity to see those sights during a spring break trip with 16 other students from ISU's Scott College of Business. All are part of an excess and surplus lines insurance course that has taken students to London regularly for more than 10 years.

"The class talks about a corner of the insurance of the market that deals with three types of risks: unique, distressed or new risks," said Terrie Troxel, professor of insurance and risk management, executive director of the Gongaware Center and coordinator of the spring break trip.

The students enjoyed two days packed with sight-seeing before meeting with lead executives at major insurance companies and marketplaces, including Lloyd's of London, a marketplace that insures risks from around the world.

Troxel said that visiting the famed marketplace is a great way for students to see real life examples of the insurance brokers, wholesalers and underwriters that they've learned about in class.

This stop was a highlight of the trip, according to Andrew Graman, a senior insurance and risk management major from Bruceville.

"Lloyd's of London is one of the most recognized names in the insurance world. The opportunity to step foot in the building where hundreds of brokers work every day is a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Graman said.

Troxel added that the group has been fortunate to regularly meet with top insurance executives during their travels. Even the chance to visit Lloyd's is an experience that many senior professionals in the insurance business have not experienced, he said.

"Some of our graduates have told me they've had occasion to just drop in the conversation with their supervisor, ‘Well, when I was at Lloyd's,' and the supervisor will say ‘Beg your pardon?'" said Troxel.

The group met with a variety of prestigious organizations and some of the largest brokers in the world, including the Chartered Insurance Institute, Crawford and Company, Aon, Marsh, and Lockton Companies, Inc.

Huxford said she was especially excited to visit Lockton because she will be interning at the corporate headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. this summer. During the presentation, she explained how ISU students split into groups and assessed the risks of businesses before suggesting insurable risks to current Lockton brokers.

"It was really cool because that's what I'm going to be doing this summer, so it kind of tied everything all together," said Huxford.

The experience also tied together learning in the United States with a new global perspective.

"Not very many students get the opportunity to spend an extended period of time overseas," said Graman, who was grateful for the opportunity.

"It is amazing to see how business operates outside of the United States. International experiences are definitely irreplaceable learning tools for a college student," he said.

As his first trip overseas, Graman said he is glad he took advantage of the chance to travel to another country and experience another culture.

Huxford agreed, saying she would recommend traveling internationally to anybody.

"If it took someone like me, who didn't even want to leave my small little town, and turned me into someone who is travel hungry now," she said, "it can be a life-changing experience for anyone."

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Other/Media-Services/Lloyds-of-London/i-M5JfdWS/0/L/Lloyds-of-London-tower-L.jpg (Submitted photo)Jaclin Huxford, right, poses with a group of students in front of the famous Big Ben clock tower in London. A group of ISU students recently visited London to learn more about some of the largest insurance brokers in the world.

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Other/Media-Services/Lloyds-of-London/i-dwBGPD3/0/L/Lloyds-students-around-desk-L.jpg (Submitted photo)Indiana State University business students meet with an executive chairman of Lockton during a recent trip to London. A group of students visited the city to learn more about insurance brokerage firms.

Contact: Terrie Troxel, professor and executive director of the Gongaware Center, at Terrie.Troxel@indstate.edu

Writer: Bethany Donat, media relations assistant, ISU Communications and Marketing, bdonat@sycamores.indstate.edu