Author: Kent Hannon


If you ask Terry academic advisor Kathy Wilson what risk management-insurance majors are like, she has a ready answer.

"They're bright, pragmatic, and ambitious," she says. "And, in most cases, they're extremely outgoing with big personalities...they've never met a stranger."

Wilson's take on RMI majors fits former Terry student Joe Tereshinski III (BBA '06) to a T. Raised in Athens as the grandson and son of Georgia football stars, Tereshinski is smart, personable, comfortable talking to adults — and happy he was able to graduate with a double major in risk management and finance, though he never anticipated being a business major.

"I started out in pre-med," says Tereshinski, "but I decided it wasn't for me — and that led me to the Terry College. I always liked calculus, math, and economics, and when I took RMIN 4000 I really got interested in risk management. This field is not just about insurance; every company needs a risk management officer to analyze the company's exposure to financial risks. It's also a great background if you want to open your own business."

To equip his students with skills they'll need to excel in the risk management field, department head Rob Hoyt assigns a class project involving a fictitious company and then asks teams of students to analyze the company's loss exposure.

"In my class, it was the Ambrosia Furniture Company, and the project was very extensive," says Tereshinski. "We had to develop a retirement plan for company employees, plus a health plan. Instead of just one owner at the top, we recommended a transfer of power to a CEO, and we thought that a board of overseers was also necessary in order for decisions to be made faster and more efficiently."

Tereshinski's project involved Excel workbooks, graphs and charts, and each student on the team had to turn in a written report.

"Mine was 90 pages long," says Tereshinski, who is now a senior consultant at Protiviti Inc. in Atlanta.

Given that Tereshinski was a starting quarterback on the Georgia football team when he was in school, the question arises as to which is more difficult to understand and interpret: Commercial Property Risk Management and Insurance, which is one of the bibles of the business, or the Georgia football playbook?

"When I was a freshman, I would've said the playbook was a lot harder...there's a lot of weight on your shoulders at first," says Tereshinski. "But the coaches work with you every day just the way your professors do. Having made it through all my RMI classes, I'd say the football playbook is the easier of the two."