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Swiss Re hosted the IICF Career Day at its midtown New York office on February 25, 2010. The career day programme was planned and staffed by volunteers from insurance companies and associations who are part of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF): ACE Group, Aon Benfield, A.J. Gallagher, the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of New York, Swiss Re, Wells Fargo Insurance Services, and Zurich Financial Services. The programme was developed in close collaboration with the Institute for Student Achievement (ISA) and ISA recruited students from their affiliated schools in the New York area.
Despite a snowstorm that hit the New York area the day of the event, attendance was robust as volunteers shared their knowledge and insights into the insurance industry with the ISA students.
Walter Bell, Chairman of Swiss Re America Holding Corporation, welcomed the students and explained the critical role that insurance plays in support of our economy and job creation.
“Events like the IICF's Career Day help inspire and educate today's students and aims to develop them into tomorrow's leaders,” Walter said. “Swiss Re is proud to host this extremely worthwhile venture."
The goals of the programme were to encourage and inspire the students to continue pursuing their education and to consider the insurance industry for a career when they complete their education. The IICF team shared information about the myriad of interesting career possibilities in the industry, the importance of the industry to individuals and to business, and the stability of the industry.
A volunteer from Swiss Re, Jingsu Pu, provided insight into the profession of an actuary and said: “I am very happy to participate in the event and glad to see the group of young students really showed interest and even some good understanding in the insurance industry. I am especially pleased to not only help explain the insurance industry but also introduce the career of actuary as one of least known but best jobs out there.”
All students had to present a scenario based on the knowledge they gained and Jingsu added: “I was proud of the students in my group who did the presentation - they came up with the idea to use historical data to forecast future events. That is a key to lots of things actuary does.”
At the conclusion of the programme, many of the students expressed interest in pursuing internships and careers in the insurance industry – something they had not previously considered.
The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation was established in 1994 and is completely directed and funded by the insurance industry. The Foundation seeks to help communities and enrich lives by uniting the collective strengths of the industry to provide grants, volunteer service and leadership. The Industry Foundation originated in California and in 2007 added a New York Division. Since its inception, the Industry Foundation has contributed over $16 million and 110,000 volunteer hours to hundreds of community nonprofits.
ISA is a high school transformation organization that uses a proven, research-based educational framework to transform underperforming public high schools into rigorous and supportive learning environments so that students who are traditionally underserved graduate prepared for college success. ISA schools, often located in areas where graduation rates have been as low as 35 percent, have been able to increase their graduation rates – some to 90 percent with nearly 90 percent of those graduates continuing on to college. ISA has 80 partner schools in six states, serving 20,000 students.
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