Editor's NoteThis article was written and submitted by Ayusha Bhattarai, a DePauw junior and co-president of the Delta Gamma Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma. 

This past September, the members of Delta Gamma Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS) at DePauw had the opportunity to attend the GIS 52nd Annual Conference held in Baltimore, Maryland, from September 28-29, alongside hundreds of GIS members from all across the country and professionals from insurance and financial services firms.

Gamma Iota Sigma, with a newly established chapter at DePauw, is an international collegiate professional business fraternity organized to promote, encourage and sustain student interest in insurance, risk management, and actuarial science as professions. To represent DePauw, we took our chapter faculty advisor and professor, Dr. Zhixin Wu and and a group of ten students including Ayusha Bhattarai, Larry Nguyen, Undram Temuuji, Wendy Hoang, Charlotte Zhao, Hieu Nguyen, Minh Do, Khue Tran, Mimi Ukpong and Tina Song.

The conference featured a range of speaker series that covered various aspects of the actuarial and insurance industries. Students were able to participate in these educational sessions in "Communication Breakdown," presented by Venerable; "Cyber Risks: Trends and Predictions," presented by Marsh McLennan Agency and Chubb; "Do you have the DNA of an Underwriter?," presented by W.R. Berkley; "The Data Science Actuary: Using Technology to Transform Ratemaking," presented by Verisk. Furthermore, students were able to join presentations on "Becoming a Risk and Insurance Thought Leader: A Case Study in Telematics and Roadway Safety," presented by Travelers; "GPT and the Actuarial Landscape and Overview of Large Language Models and Applications," presented by Oliver Wyman, and more.

Wendy Hoang, a senior majoring in Actuarial Science writes, "The keynote session titled
'Compensation Dos and Don'ts' shed light on the intricacies of discussing compensation,
providing valuable guidance on the questions to ask in such conversations. Another eye-opening experience of the conference was attending the 'Understanding your Enneagram' session. During this session, we delved into the world of personality types and their impact on our communication styles and interpersonal relationships. The Enneagram, a powerful tool for self-discovery, offers a profound exploration of our individual motivations, fears, and behaviors. It was fascinating to learn how our Enneagram types influenced our approaches to problem-solving, collaboration, and conflict resolution. Understanding the Enneagram not only enhanced our self-awareness but also provided us with valuable insights into the dynamics of teamwork and leadership. This session was a true highlight of the conference, equipping us with newfound knowledge and skills that will undoubtedly serve us well in our future endeavors.”

Simultaneously, alongside the education sessions, students were able to get invaluable advice to improve their resume and interview skills from industry professionals. These mock interviews and resume reviews were highlights to a lot of the students as one of our juniors, Minh writes, “One thing that I found interesting in the conference that I haven't seen in my previous conferences was the mock interview session. My experience in the mock interview was great and I felt like I was more confident in face to face interviews.  Although it was just a mock interview, the interviewer kept my resume and would contact me later.”

Sharing this experience, Undram writes, “The resume review session was incredibly helpful. It allowed me to fine-tune my resume with expert guidance, ensuring it effectively showcased my skills and experiences. The feedback I received helped me craft a more compelling document that would catch the eye of potential employers. The mock interview session was a valuable experience as well. It simulated real interview scenarios, allowing me to practice my interview skills and receive constructive feedback. This prepared me to confidently engage with recruiters during actual interviews.”

One of the most significant aspects of attending conferences is the opportunity to network with professionals and like-minded peers. At the GIS conference, attendees had the chance to engage with representatives from various firms and also with all the aspiring professionals from different chapters across the US. In-between all the activities at the conference, students were able to join and network with each other in the Peer Networking Lounge. Tina, an attendee at the conference writes, “Throughout the day, I had the chance to engage with representatives from various firms, each offering valuable insights into the world of actuarial science. Their passion for their work was infectious, and I found myself even more inspired to pursue this career path. But perhaps the most memorable aspect of the conference was the opportunity to network with fellow aspiring actuaries. Sharing stories, discussing career aspirations, and forming connections with like-minded individuals made this event truly unforgettable.”

One of the highlights for our chapter at the conference was the Annual Awards ceremony where all the chapters representatives, alumni and industry professionals gathered to celebrate Gamma Iota Sigma and honor those chapters and individuals who work towards its goal of promoting and encouraging students in actuarial science, risk management and insurance as a career. Delta Gamma chapter of GIS at DePauw had been awarded as one of the excellent chapters this year, which is a great feat for a chapter which just celebrated its first anniversary of establishment at the ceremony. The official charter ceremony for the Delta Gamma chapter was held at the GIS 51st Annual International Conference from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 in Charlotte, NC exactly a year to receiving this award.

The GIS Annual International Conference provides a great platform for DePauw University
students to expand their knowledge, enhance their professional skills, and make meaningful connections within the insurance and risk management industry. This was only possible due to the financial support from Professor Zhixin Wu’s Spencer Course Development Grant, generous funding from AF Group, a national holding company whose affiliated insurance companies are premier providers of innovative, specialty insurance solutions. To learn more about AF Group, please visit afgroup.com.

We are also very grateful for the financial support from the HHMI grant, the Dean of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dr. Bridget Gourley, and the Dean of the
School of Business and Leadership, Dr. John F. Clarke. All the attendee’s experiences at the
52nd Annual conference have left them inspired and well-prepared for their future careers, and they eagerly anticipate future opportunities to participate in similar events. The recognition of Delta Gamma as an excellent chapter serves as a testament to the commitment and dedication of DePauw's students, further motivating them to excel in their academic and professional pursuits.

Thank you all for reading! More future events on campus and conference opportunities updates can be found on Gamma Iota Sigma Delta Gamma Chapter Instagram account, @gis_depauw, and on CampusLabs!