First-year student Amber Ralston has only just begun her college journey but she’s already found her fit on campus as part of the bowling team and Gamma Iota Sigma. She is ambitiously pursuing a double major in financial planning and insurance and risk management, paired with a minor in insurance claims investigation. And, Amber has already built close relationships with her professors and experienced tremendous personal and professional growth.
Read more about Amber’s experience as a Comet.
As soon as I left campus after my first visit, I knew Olivet College was the place for me. I loved the atmosphere and how the people made me feel so welcomed and at home. The College supplied the majors I wanted and also the athletic team I desired to be a part of. I am from Columbus, Ohio, and attended a small Christian high school, so I decided that a smaller college would be ideal for me. I wanted to find a college that fit my academic and athletic needs and Olivet was the perfect fit.
Attending college four hours away from home pushed me to learn how to grow up and fast. I always relied on my parents for everything. Now that they aren’t just a room away, I am learning how to do things on my own. I was always a shy person in high school, so coming to a college where I knew almost no one made me nervous. I had to allow myself to open up in order to find people who would become my friends. I am so thankful for how Olivet has allowed me to be myself and not feel judged for it — the environment is so welcoming and encouraging.
I originally came to Olivet for the financial planning major, but I quickly added on the second major of insurance and risk management when I found out how well the majors paired together. I knew this field would be exciting because I was able to job shadow for a day at an insurance company, and hearing and seeing what a day in that field looks like encouraged me. I added an insurance claims investigation minor because the idea of being able to investigate claims is so interesting to me. I know my career plans might change down the road, but I know this would be an interesting and rewarding career. I am studying hard and trying to pay attention in my classes so I can learn as much as possible for a successful future.
My professors are the absolute best! Professor Areerat “Poy” Lertchaipitak, Ph.D., assistant professor of business administration, and Eakamon “Andy” Oumtrakool, Ph.D., assistant professor of business administration, always express how they are there for their students and are willing to help us in any way possible. I remember meeting Professor Poy over the summer at the New Student Orientation, and I was so blown away by how she said we could come to her with anything, even if it wasn’t school-related. I had some personal problems last semester, and I remember mentioning it in passing to her, but she brought it up later and asked if there was any way she could help me. Professor Tom Humphreys, CPCU, CLU, ChFC, CIC, director of the Risk management and Insurance Center and assistant professor, also goes out of his way to show support to his students by learning their names and reaching out when he knows they might need help. He does an amazing job at creating a learning environment that makes students feel safe and heard.
I am a part of Gamma Iota Sigma, the College’s professional insurance and risk management fraternity. Next fall, I will become the co-vice president of community service. This semester, I am learning under the current vice presidents of community service so that next year I will be able to start doing things to help the organization. I joined Gamma Iota Sigma because it seemed like it would be a good resume booster for the future — and so far that has proven beyond true. I have also found some great people that are willing to go out of their way to help me succeed in not only my future with this organization but also with my career and personal life.
I am also on the bowling team! I joined because it was something I knew would allow me to find friendships as well as push me to be a better bowler. I have found an amazing group of girls that welcomed the first-year students with open arms, and they have already helped me stay positive and focused on the season.
I want other students to know that they shouldn’t be afraid to get out of their comfort zone. I know I was terrified of the freedom that college presented me with, and I knew it was possible that I wouldn’t know how to handle it. So far, there have been challenges, but I’ve been grateful to learn along the way. Take each day as it comes and don’t blink — time flies by.
Being able to learn and fail in the supportive environment at Olivet has allowed me to grow tremendously. I contribute a lot of who I am to Olivet’s professors and the friends I have made. I would not be as outgoing or as confident to fail as I am now if it had not been for the people at Olivet.
Learn more about Olivet College by contacting the Office of Admission at email@example.com or 269-749-7635.