Senior insurance and risk management major Melanie Keusch has had an engaging and life-changing college experience. She’s completed top-notch leadership opportunities and prestigious internships and built incredible relationships with her classmates and professors.
To sweeten the deal, Melanie will graduate debt-free thanks to scholarships from Olivet College and insurance organizations.
“After entering college, I made it my goal to graduate debt-free and I am proud to say that I will be following through with that,” Melanie said. “Scholarships are one of the biggest things I have benefited from at Olivet. I received a scholarship for my academic performance in high school and another as a member of the Global Citizen Honors Program.
“In addition, I have been awarded tens of thousands of dollars from outside insurance scholarships. Companies want to invest in your future, as long as you apply. You are more likely to win than you really think you are!”
Recently, Melanie was one of three Comets named a 2019 Spencer Scholar by Spencer, an organization that promotes the next generation of insurance and risk management leaders by awarding scholarships and more. Melanie was the highest ranking student considered for an award this year, resulting in a $7,500 scholarship. Last year, she was also honored with a $5,000 scholarship as a Spencer Scholar, too.
There’s More to Insurance Than Money
Melanie’s success as an insurance student almost didn’t happen. Her father is an insurance agent, and Melanie had grown up thinking the field was boring. After learning about the strong reputation of OC’s program and great opportunities within — including an outstanding job placement rate after graduation — she started to shift her view.
After taking the plunge, Melanie is so thankful she did. She is the president of Olivet’s insurance and risk management fraternity, Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS), and has built strong mentorship relationships with her professors.
“Being a part of GIS is a huge thing that has changed me as a person,” Melanie said. “Serving as president has helped me develop my leadership and public speaking skills immensely. Also, insurance companies and organizations look for GIS on resumes, so I think that is a huge part of my scholarship and internship success, as well.
“I would like to give a huge shoutout to my adviser, Tom Humphreys, CPCU, CLU, ChFC, CIC, assistant professor and director of the risk management and insurance program. He has not only acted as a professor, but a mentor, therapist and friend. Professor Humphreys is always willing to help out, and he is always there for me when it comes to classes, Gamma Iota Sigma or really anything I need!”
This summer, Melanie is interning for the Wholesale and Specialty Insurance Association. She is one of only 20 students selected nationwide for the role. She’s working in a unique sect of the insurance field — excess and surplus lines. The field focuses on insuring entities that don’t fall under a regular umbrella such as amusement parks, big construction projects, NFL stadiums, celebrity body parts and more.
Insurance is Anything But Boring
“I have had opportunities of a lifetime throughout my time at Olivet College. The things I have done as a college student have shaped me into who I am today and I am so grateful for that,” Melanie said.
She concluded with two pieces of advice for high school students, “Believe in yourself! College is scary and figuring your life out is scary, but you are stronger than you know and you’ll get where you are meant to be as long as you put in the hard work. The Olivet College insurance and risk management program is one of the top in the nation, so join us! You won’t be disappointed.”