It is no secret that one of Olivet College’s greatest charms is its small, close-knit community, and this is what drew Chase Mendham to the college. Growing up in Coopersville, a small town north of Grand Rapids, Chase felt right at home in Olivet. He is now an insurance and risk management major going into his senior year.
Another big draw for Chase was Olivet’s athletics. He began running competitively in middle school, and he knew he wanted to continue running after high school. He runs cross country and track for the Comets and said, “The team feels like family, and we are all there for each other.”
Olivet College may be small, but this was not a drawback for Chase, “Since this school is on the smaller side, you know everyone around campus. There are plenty of people that are my good friends now that I might not have ever talked to.” This is true for the cross country and track teams and the campus in general. Whether in athletics or academics, students can connect and build meaningful friendships.
Students also make genuine connections with faculty and staff members. The staff and faculty care deeply about the students and want to see them succeed. For example, Assistant Professor Tom Humphreys, CPCU, CLU, ChFC, CIC, director of insurance and risk management program, first told Chase about the insurance and risk management major and industry. This was the deciding factor between business and insurance for Chase.
He aspires to become a commercial insurance agent and said, “I am very passionate about this career because you are someone’s first call when something terrible happens. You get to help that person through one of the worst times in their lives.” Most people might not realize how impactful working in insurance can be.
While Chase still has one more year of school, he’s already had many career-driven opportunities through Olivet College. Chase is the chief membership officer of Gamma Iota Sigma, Olivet’s insurance fraternity. It’s a great resume builder for Chase, and it has helped him learn more about the industry.
In addition to the insurance fraternity, the insurance department puts on an annual career fair at the College. Chase said this was a great opportunity for him to network with employers. He found internships the past two years through the career fair, and it took off some of the pressure to find an internship or job independently.
Insurance and risk management is a very successful major at Olivet College, and it is only made possible by the professors running the program. As Chase said, “The professors are here for the students. They want all of us to succeed. When your professors want you to succeed, that makes you want to try even harder.” Chase is looking forward to where his career will take him and knows his time at Olivet College will help him succeed in the future.