Alyssa Bouchard ’14 always dreamed of being a jetsetter, living in the big city as an important and successful businesswoman. Bouchard, who now lives in Chicago and works as an associate broker for AmWINS Group, the largest property and casualty wholesale insurance brokerage in the nation, is living that dream.
Arriving at Appalachian in the fall of her sophomore year, Bouchard did not know many other students and was unsure of what path she wanted to take.
“But that all changed once I committed to the Risk Management and Insurance program,” Bouchard says. “I had a second-to-none college experience.”
Bouchard speaks highly of the program, crediting it with her active and travel-centric college experience. She got the special chance to connect and network with a wide array of industry professionals.
“Thanks to the Brantley Center, during my college career, I traveled to London, Hawaii, Denver, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Diego, Phoenix, and Atlanta – several of which I visited on more than one occasion,” Bouchard says.
In addition to the program’s extensive travel opportunities, Bouchard praises its professors for taking an “active interest in my personal and professional growth.”
“(Professors) take learning beyond the classroom by giving RMI students opportunities to apply our ‘book smarts’ to real-life business situations, often in the presence of industry professionals who can give us feedback and guidance,” Bouchard said.
These opportunities would garner her several mentors and an eventual connection with the Human Resources Director of AmWINS, where she now works.
During her time at Appalachian, Bouchard served as president of Gamma Iota Sigma, the international risk management and insurance fraternity. She lauded the fraternity, mentioning the incredible opportunities that it granted her, including internships, event planning, improved public speaking and leadership.
Bouchard said Appalachian gave her a “second-to-none” education and propelled her towards her dreams.
“The single most important skill I learned at Appalachian is how to build relationships, and it is the largest contributor to the fact that I was hired by my No. 1 choice company.”