spencer RIMS Risk Management Challenge logo

What do kids know about risk?

If you spend any time at all around kids, you’ve probably scratched your head, as I have, asking yourself, “what can these kids possibly understand about risk?” Watching little ones ski down a hill at terrifying speeds or eavesdropping on teenagers as they talk about their weekend antics, the idea of risk must seem very remote and implausible to them.

That’s why we were so glad to hear about the Spencer-RIMS Risk Management Challenge. Sponsored by the Risk & Insurance Management Society, Inc., along with the Spencer Educational Foundation, Inc., the competition challenges college students to work in teams to develop a program that addresses issues laid out in a risk management case study. This year, their challenge was focused around Snap-on Inc.

Risky business

Fifteen teams competed, and the best and the brightest teams were invited to the RIMS conference in our home town of Denver, Colorado, to present their case this past spring. The teams presented in front of an audience of 100 risk management professionals, and also had an opportunity to meet and mingle with risk management professionals during the conference.

The team from Temple University’s Fox School of Business took first prize — $4,000 – for the second year in a row.  Teams from Florida State and Virginia Commonwealth were awarded second and third place, respectively.

An updated approach to teaching risk management

It’s interesting to see how business schools are approaching the idea of risk management. They’re building specific curriculums to help guide college students directly into the marketplace when they receive their undergraduate degrees. For example, the team from Temple were studying in the Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management department in the business school. The RIMS Risk Management Challenge was a great way for the teams to apply what they’re learning in an academic setting to a real-world situation. Exactly the kind of experience you hope a recent college graduate will have as they launch out into the job market.

We look forward to next year’s competition, and hope we can get involved on some level to help kids get a better idea about risk.