Indiana State University Newsroom

Indiana State wins national business learning competition

March 5, 2019

ALEXANDRIA, VA - Indiana State University earned first place in the second annual College Agency Management Competition to have the best business results of owning and operating a virtual insurance agency.

The competition, hosted by InVEST and the Big "I" Diversity Council, is designed to teach college students the basics of entrepreneurship, insurance agency management, business operations and teamwork through a virtual online competition developed by PriSim War Games.

"Congratulations to all of the teams that participated in the competition," said Bob Rusbuldt, president & CEO of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. "I'm sure each student learned something valuable about what it takes to own and operate a small business. We look forward to hosting the top three teams at the Big ‘I' Legislative Conference."

State students participating in the competition were Chris Graman, Jak Kramer, Seth Payton, Erika Perry and Evan Rogers.

"The competition was a unique hands-on learning opportunity for our insurance and risk management students," said Rebecca Wray, director of the Networks Financial Institute. "Each student on the team contributed valuable advice throughout the competition and increased their knowledge of how to own and operate an insurance agency. We were thrilled to have the experience and look forward to attending the Big ‘I' Legislative Conference."

During the past month, students input their agency's business decisions into PriSim's agency management platform taking responsibility for strategy, carrier and customer management, source management, staffing, sales and financial statements.

Professors, insurance agents, a corporate partner and a Prism staff member mentored each team throughout the competition to help them understand real-world issues such as how to read a profit-and-loss statement, the impacts of staffing, market segmentation and more.

"Our students regularly do well in regional and national competitions. I believe this level of performance validates that our talented faculty and professional staff are doing the right things to prepare our insurance and risk management students to be successful across their careers," said Brien Smith, dean of the Scott College of Business.

Thanks to funding provided by participating Big "I" Diversity Council company sponsors, the winners will receive a trip to the Big "I" Legislative Conference May 8-10, 2019. The conference will give the students the opportunity to connect with executives from top insurance agencies and companies for possible internships and jobs.

The eight participating schools and corporate sponsors included:

• Appalachian State - Boone, N.C., with Selective Insurance

• Howard University - Washington, D.C., with Safeco/Liberty Mutual

• Illinois State University - Normal, Ill., with Risk Management Solutions of America

• Indiana State University - Terre Haute, Ind., with Westfield Group

• Ohio State University - Columbus, Ohio, with Nationwide

• Temple University - Philadelphia with Church Mutual

• University of North Carolina - Charlotte, N.C., with The Hartford

• University of North Texas - Denton, Texas, with CNA

Founded in 1970 and based in Alexandria, Va., InVEST promotes insurance education to attract individuals to pursue a career in the insurance industry. Each year, the program prepares thousands of students for insurance-related careers with a hands-on curriculum taught in high schools, adult education centers and colleges.

The Big "I" Diversity Council engages and develops a sustainable, diverse independent agency network by partnering with state associations, carriers, and industry affinity groups. The Diversity Council collaborates with other multicultural industry groups, state associations and other Big "I" committees to create an awareness of the opportunities and benefits of embracing diversity.

PriSim Business War Games Inc. works closely with leading organizations to build and deliver customized business simulations. The company assists clients in utilizing these custom tools to develop their employees' business acumen. Industry-specific simulations include insurance carrier, insurance agency and brokerage, insurance branch, mortgage banking, aerospace and defense, dealership, publishing, e-commerce, and manufacturing.

Founded in 1896, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big "I") is the nation's oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing more than 25,000 agency locations united under the Trusted Choice brand. Trusted Choice independent agents offer consumers all types of insurance -- property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products -- from a variety of insurance companies.


Photo: -- From left are team leader Christopher Graman, Jak Kramer, Seth Payton, Erika Perry and Evan Rogers.

Media contact: Libby Roerig, University Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or