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Olivet College
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Alyssa Bouchard

Two Olivet College graduate students recently earned scholarships from the Spencer Educational Foundation. Alyssa Bouchard, CPCU, ASLI, ARM, and Helen Fesser, CPCU, ARM, AINS, are each pursuing a Master of Business Administration in Insurance. Graduate scholarships paired with Olivet College’s tailored program provides a distinct advantage to professional learners.

“It has been a long-time goal of mine to earn a master’s degree,” said Alyssa. “I researched many different programs, both with and without an insurance focus, in search of the right one for me. I ultimately chose to pursue an MBA in Insurance at Olivet College for three reasons:

  • Olivet College has a strong reputation as a supplier of insurance industry talent.
  • Olivet, through its outstanding graduate student transfer credit program, recognized my years of hard work to earn the CPCU, ARM and ASLI insurance designations. This allowed me to accelerate my time in the MBA program and complete it in just 11 months!
  • The insurance focus of Olivet’s MBA program is unique. Many Olivet MBA courses are taught by insurance professionals who have the expertise to build strong connections between the curriculum and the insurance industry. This makes the education acquired at Olivet that much more relevant and immediately impactful to my career.”

Alyssa serves as the director of education and programming for Gamma Iota Sigma, an international professional fraternity organized to promote, encourage and sustain student interest in insurance, risk management and actuarial science as professions. Her goal to earn a master’s degree is aligned with the organization’s mission of continued education and learning to support the meaningful work of the insurance industry.

Similarly, Helen emphasizes the importance of continual education for insurance professionals, regardless of experience or career journey. She serves as a product consultant at Horace Mann, an Illinois-based auto, property and life insurance andfinancial services company that focuses on retirement annuities and mutual funds.

“I completed my CPCU designation in 2016,” Helen said. “I knew I wanted to continue my education further and started looking into MBA programs. There were only a handful of insurance-specific MBA programs. Olivet’s program is well-suited for students that have a full-time career. Classes are scheduled in the evening with a synchronous classroom opportunity to learn and network with peers face-to-face, and their acceptance of CPCU credit hours toward the degree was a definite bonus! Olivet’s MBA-Insurance program was the only one that offered all three benefits.

“Receiving the Spencer scholarship has allowed me the ability to accelerate the completion of my degree. Without the assistance this scholarship has provided, it would have taken me at least four years to complete my MBA coursework. As it stands, I look to complete the program within two years! This time savings allows me to put the knowledge I’ve learned into use sooner and expeditiously work toward achieving my long-term career goals.”

Helen Fesser

“I’m fortunate to be one of 60,000+ students to benefit from Spencer’s support over the years,” Alyssa added. “I first received a scholarship from Spencer in 2013 as an undergraduate risk management and insurance student. I had no college fund, so I was working to pay my way through college, and Spencer’s support allowed me to pay tuition and prioritize my studies. Years later, Spencer continues to support my education and awarded me part-time graduate scholarships in 2019 and 2020 to help with my pursuit of an MBA at Olivet College. I would not have the same opportunities if it weren’t for Spencer Educational Foundation’s work to fund the education of tomorrow’s risk management and insurance leaders.”

Spencer Ed is a national organization dedicated to supporting the next generation of insurance and risk management leaders. The organization offers scholarships and grants, facilitates internship opportunities, provides experiential learning opportunities and funds the development of insurance and risk management curriculum.

Recently, six undergraduate students at Olivet College also earned scholarships from Spencer Ed: Dean Failer, Delaney Peters, Elizabeth Fisher, Allyson Sears, Sam Vondra and Zoie Walters. Dean was also recognized as one of the top five highest-ranking insurance and risk management students nationally by the organization.

Olivet College’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program offers three specialized concentrations: Insurance (MBA-Insurance), Enterprise Risk Management (MBA-ERM), and a General or “custom” concentration that tailors the curriculum to students’ individual goals. Olivet College is a pioneer in bachelor’s and master’s degree offerings in risk management and insurance and is currently ranked number two in the nation for insurance programs by BEST Review.

Olivet College believes anyone desiring to earn a master’s degree should have that opportunity. The College is committed to fair and objective admission policies to ensure an inclusive and diverse student body. Olivet College believes that educated, high-level industry professionals enrich communities across the country and society as a whole.

For more information, contact Mike Lazusky, director of adult professional and graduate admissions, at mlazusky@olivetcollege.edu or 269-749-6612, or visit www.olivetcollege.edu/mba.

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