What our past students have to say.

Students who participate in the Student Involvement Program tell us that it is a wonderful learning and networking experience that would be hard to replicate in any other setting.  It’s also lots of fun!  See below to read about the experiences of our past students.

Student Involvement Program Class of 2018

Class of 2019 Student Involvement Program

Madison, Stang, University of Calgary

“I want to give a huge thank you to the McGannon Foundation and every board member involved with making the Student Involvement Program possible. This experience was unforgettable for me, and I am forever grateful to the Board for taking the time to share their passion for the industry with us, and their genuine commitment to mentoring and encouraging the students during our time at RIMS.

The evening we arrived, the Board hosted a student welcome dinner for us to all meet and get to know each other. This was a fantastic way to ease any nervousness we had and immediately set the tone for the rest of the trip. It was clear that each Board member was keen to take the students under their wing and ensured we never felt out of place at any time.

Each day was jam packed with conference seminars and great events, bouncing around from different company receptions (at fantastic venues!), and giving us a unique glimpse into what this experience is like as an industry professional. Our schedules were incredibly well organized and thought-out to maximize our time. Something I found particularly valuable about this was that we had the opportunity to meet an expansive range of professionals, from many different areas of the industry (underwriting, broking, adjusting), and we could hear about individual’s day-to-days in their careers at different companies and roles. This real-world information is not something students always have readily available when trying to distinguish their career path upon graduation, and I think the Board did a great job of recognizing this and seeing the value in building the students’ network and knowledge of the industry during our time at RIMS.

The attention to detail the Foundation pays to making the student experience positive was incredible (down to arranging personalized business cards for us to use at networking events). I will also point out that if it weren’t for this experience and the valuable connections I made during that week, I would not have landed the current role I have now, right after graduation!

Thank you again to the Foundation and the Board for your continual commitment and selflessness. I would absolutely encourage any student interested in the Risk Management industry to apply for the Student Involvement Program!”

Taylor Manwaring, University of Calgary

“The McGannon Student Involvement Program was a life changing experience for me. I attended RIMS 2019 in Edmonton with the McGannon Board and a small group of students. During our time together, I made invaluable connections in the insurance/risk management industry in addition to meeting my best friend to this day!

The Board did an amazing job of making us feel welcome and gave us the confidence to network at the conference. This was an extremely unique opportunity, to have the Board members supporting us and networking alongside us. Having the Board members present, all of them being well respected in the industry, created a safe environment to be curious and make genuine connections with our soon-to-be peers and colleagues. Which brings me to employment opportunities – I can think of no better environment to make a lasting impression on possible future employers. Each day was filled with events and company receptions to meet professionals in all areas of the Risk Management Industry. After the weekend I had at RIMS, I had increased my knowledge tenfold on all the possible career paths available to me.

I would recommend this program to any student in Risk Management, it truly has the power to skyrocket your career. Everyone involved is so kind and genuinely wants to see you succeed. Additionally, you’ll meet a group of likeminded students who will support you throughout your career. I urge everyone to take advantage of this opportunity!”​

Class of 2018 Student Involvement Program

Avi Motov, University of Calgary

“The Foundation was extremely welcoming, all the Board members including the members joining were very pleasant to talk to. They always introduced us to other Conference attendees and gave us such critical advice. They weren’t just chaperones, they really put an effort in making us feel comfortable but also help us make the most of the opportunity.

With respect to the Conference, the educational sessions were great, I personally enjoyed the update in captives and insurance linked securities sessions as those are two niche areas within the industry in which I could see myself being a part of.

My favourite part of the Conference was the second night where all the Board members and recipients had dinner together and we had the opportunity to ask each other questions. To hear why the Board members were volunteering their time and effort to really give back to the industry and future leaders was very enlightening. It was 100% worth my time and missing a week of studies, I gained so much from the sessions and networking events and I really hope to give back to the industry one day like the Board members have.”

Adrian Ng, University of Calgary

“Our first group dinner was notably significant because it set the tone for the entire trip. The night provided an opportunity to meet and connect with all the sitting board members of the Foundation, know what to expect during the Conference, and realign my priorities to achieve my goals. Everyone was ever so willing to share their career stories and passion for the industry, leaving me with a deep sense of encouragement, optimism, and belonging.

I really appreciated sitting-in for the Foundation’s AGM and meeting everybody on Sunday. We were continuously introduced to potential employers and mentors, some of which I have kept a working relationship with.

One month after the Conference, I am still overwhelmed by the level of comradery and kinship displayed by the industry. Everyone was keen to meet students and share their stories and life experiences with enthusiasm. I got to shake hands with many industry professionals from diverse backgrounds and technical expertise.”

Bianca Neves, British Columbia Institute of Technology

“I would like to start expressing my sincere gratitude to all Board members for making the McGannon Foundation awards possible. This selfless and generous work you provide through the Foundation is truly inspiring. The week we spent together exceeded all of my expectations. I was touched in ways that I could not even expect: not only I came back home more passionate about this industry, but also with the urge to give back to the community someday, just like you do.

The entire experience was rich and intense. We had the opportunity to attend several educational sessions and hear intakes from the top risk management professional in the industry. The variety of topics discussed is overwhelming! I felt that all scholars are now a step ahead of the game, as we had the chance to learn things beyond the scope of a traditional insurance education. The extensive networking was an amazing opportunity to meet professionals from a variety of fields. In addition to that, it certainly helped me develop and get more comfortable with networking as the days passed. Coming back to school, I noticed that even public speaking became easier for me, and I’m sure the conference was the reason behind that.

I started this experience not really knowing which insurance field would be a better fit for me once I graduate. After a week of total professional immersion, I had a clearer picture of the industry and a better understanding of which paths I want to take.”

Hoda Azouji, British Columbia Institute of Technology

“Thank you for such a great experience that the Foundation created for me! I will never forget the value of what you have done for me. This Conference was my first experience of being in a Canadian community and helped me to understand my future career and set my expectations.

The Conference itself was a valuable experience, and the combination of what the Foundation did for the students with the well-organized plan made it more worthwhile. At the same time, the opportunity of meeting and talking in person with the most successful people in the industry made the conference even more beneficial.”

Brent Vansickle, British Columbia Institute of Technology

“The days were full-on, up first thing to prepare for a long day of speakers and educational courses. Then a full evening of being whisked around to many events where we would be introduced to influential individuals in the industry as well as possible future employers

The amount of networking I was able to do was amazing! I did my best to maximize my exposure over the short conference; being invited to so many evening events really allowed that to happen. It led to many long nights, but it was truly worth it. I have already been contacted for possible employment opportunities.

I was very happy to see how the McGannon Board received me and the other students. I can tell they are all champions of the industry and are sincere in their commitment and support of the students. Thank you very much, I hope one day I will be able to return the favour to the students of tomorrow.”

Class of 2017 Student Involvement Program

Rosiane Ferreira, British Columbia Institute of Technology

“Attending the 2017 RIMS Canada Conference exceeded all my expectations. It was a pleasure getting to know all the Foundation directors and network with so many successful risk management professionals across Canada. Additionally, the opportunity to meet such brilliant students involved in risk management and share my expectations and challenges of the Conference with them. As we got along so well, it made my experience even more amazing.I really appreciated the Director’s efforts put into the Foundation and for the time and consideration with us in Toronto. The McGannon Foundation made me feel very welcomed by the Risk Management community. Beginning with my interview, Joe and Marley were very pleasant and explained all the details of the Conference if I was chosen. Wayne did an exceptional job coordinating and supporting us for over a month by organizing the trip and making sure we all were accommodated properly. Our organized schedule for meeting and receptions allowed us to use our time wisely and the business cards were a plus on this experience as they made me feel like a professional. The Foundation provided us unconditional care and attention by introducing and connecting us with countless successful people in the Risk Management industry.

I was delighted to see how the Risk Management industry was welcoming and pleasant to share their experiences and advice to the next generation of Risk Managers. All the business cards, networking and advice will help me to shape what possible career paths to pursue. It was very exciting to take away so many options of careers in mind.”

Makayla Robertson, British Columbia Institute of Technology

“My overall impression of the experience with the McGannon Foundation was very positive. I felt extremely welcomed by the Foundation. The schedule was great, and I really enjoyed being busy all the time with the Conference and various events. The McGannon Foundation successfully presented every opportunity for the students to network with, and to learn from, various professionals in the industry.

I really enjoyed the education sessions, I felt every single one I had attended had a really great take away that I could use in my education and in my professional career. The networking was another highlight for me as I felt I have made lasting connections with professionals in the industry. These are people that have made me feel confident in contacting them with questions throughout my career, and this holds an exponential amount of value for me.

In my opinion, the McGannon Foundation nailed the experience for us students, and there is nothing that I would do different for the upcoming students. I feel the foundation, executed the entire event wonderfully.”

Jacqueline Mackay, St. Francis Xavier University

“My entire experience with the McGannon Foundation and the Student Involvement Program was exceptional, from start to finish. The application process was relevant, thorough, thoughtful, and really helped me understand why I wanted to be a part of it, and what I intended to take away from it. I’d also like to speak to those involved in the program alongside myself. The other students who attended were kind, encouraging, and an absolute joy to share the experience with. I am excited to have made such genuine connections with people who will ultimately becoming my future colleagues and professional peers. The Board Members who mentored us along the way were also far and beyond what I could have hoped them to be. They made me feel so warmly welcomed, right from the start, and were constantly encouraging us to break out and meet new people and to take full advantage of every opportunity the RIMS Conference had to offer.

The plenaries were engaging and inspiring, and really encouraged me to explore fields beyond what I am used to. My favourite plenary was the one about Catastrophic Risk Management, by esteemed speaker Erwann Michel-Kerjan. Erwann shared with us a unique and incredibly interesting perspective on how modern organizations can adapt to changing conditions and protect against risks associated with potential catastrophic events of many different kinds. The other sessions I attended were incredibly varied and perfectly relevant to current industry topics, including cyber risk, the sharing economy, drones, and social media.

Another invaluable takeaway from my experience was the extensive networking opportunities. I truly believe that developing and maintaining positive professional relationships is a huge part of succeeding in the risk management industry, and am incredibly grateful to the McGannon foundation for having given me the chance to connect with so many kind, interesting, and supportive members of the industry. If given the chance, I would do this program again in a heartbeat, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to learn more about the risk management industry, to network with professionals, and to explore future career opportunities.”

Antoine Marois, University Laval

“I loved my experience of attending the RIMS Canada Conference. The entire McGannon Foundation team was very cordial with us. As soon as we arrived, they made us feel at ease. I learned a lot by going to the RIMS Canada Conference. First, we had the opportunity to do a lot of networking, which allowed me to meet the elite in risk management. Some of the companies that were present were not familiar to me. I have met leaders from all over Canada. I really appreciated that the Foundation organized a lot of networking activities that allowed me to talk to the RIMS members about myself (background, studies, etc.), the Foundation and about what I learned during the Conference. They are fantastic people., I was even able to expand my network with French Canadian Risk Managers from Quebec and Montreal.

The main topic of the RIMS Canada 2017 was “Community” and I think that we felt it throughout our stay with the different speakers. The conference of Dr. Erwann Michel-Kerjan was captivating and I learned a lot. The sessions were definitely worth my time! I went to a session called “Commercial Drones: Implications and Applications for the Insurance Industry”. It was interesting to learn about how drones are used right now and how they are involved in the risk management of companies. The speaker helped us to think about the future and the regulations that should be added to Canadian law. As a student from the millennium generation, I think it is important to be aware of new technological issues such as social networks and autonomous vehicles. It will be our responsibility as future risk managers to ensure a good integration of this technology within the companies.”

Olivier Gagnon, University Laval

“First of all, I would like to thank the McGannon Foundation and all the members that made this experience so wonderful. The other students and I immediately felt welcomed and a part of the group. Everyone was eager to learn about us and share with us. Everything was well organized, as the schedule was busy but well planned.

Educationally, there was an opportunity to learn on diverse topics. Indeed, I learned a lot about the industry and took a lot from the plenaries. Attending the Conference also allowed us to build our professional network. Everyone in the industry was really kind and willing to spend the time to talk with us and talk about their company and the opportunities that were available to us. It also greatly furthered my interest in my career choice.

Another amazing aspect of the program was meeting the other students. We immediately connected and formed a close bond with each other. We spent a lot of time together during the Conference and I ended up feeling like I had known them for a long time. Being able to experience the conference with such amazing people made the experience even more amazing. I know for sure we will stay in touch as we progress in our careers. The overall experience was amazing and truly a life-changing one. I would encourage everyone to apply for the Student Involvement Program.”​