I am Hoto Kohoue, a graduate student at Georgia State University, majoring in quantitative risk management. Last month from June 5th to the 8th, I earned a scholarship with the Public Risk Management Association. I had the opportunity to travel to San Antonio to attend the PRIMA's 2022 Annual Conference Student Scholarship, sponsored by firms specializing in the public risk sector. The welcome reception in San Antonio allowed me to meet and connect with my peers from other universities specializing in the risk industry. I would not be thankful enough for the guidance our mentors, Donna Capria and Dan Hurley (Former PRIMA president), gave us. They advised us how to navigate risk management in the public field to achieve a successful career, whether you come from a quantitative background or not (actuary vs. underwriter). At the beginning of the trip, I didn't expect to encounter professionals with quantitative experience; still, surprisingly, I successfully connected with actuaries and data analysts from diverse insurance companies such as Gallagher Insurance and Berkley Public Entity.
Besides the networking session, I attended an educational session hosted by professional risk practitioners at the Henry B. Gonzalez convention center. Among these sessions, I found interesting the ‘succession planning strategy’ in risk management hosted by the Senior Vice President at Alliant Insurance Karen Caterino and the Director, State Office of Risk Management (Colorado) Julie Mileham. During their presentation, they explained how to facilitate the transition of the new generation of professional risk managers in the public sector, especially among the millennials and Gen Z. Another exciting session I attended was about the evolution of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) hosted by the Managing Director, ERM at Gallagher Insurance, Lisanne Sison. In this session, she introduced a new approach to the evolution of risk management in administration. Using a real-life case with the Raleigh-Durham airport, she described how the airport authority leveraged a methodical approach to weigh consequences and opportunities for a better resources’ allocation.
Regarding my first time in San Antonio, the location choice was perfect for a summer scholarship event because I found time to visit the city with my peers. The organization chose the San Antonio Riverwalk because of the restaurants and bars to create a relaxed networking environment.
In conclusion, PRIMA's 2022 Annual Conference Student Scholarship allowed me to access tremendous network opportunities in just a short time. I learned more about the recent public sector risk management advancement through the Q&A sessions our cohort had with the respective companies' representatives. From recent alumni to executives, we had great discussions with professionals; usually challenging to reach out casually on LinkedIn. Additionally, I gained more confidence when showcasing my previous experience and knowing the character of those new connections.
*The views and opinions expressed in the Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA) blogs are those of each respective author. The views and opinions do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of PRIMA.*
By: Hoto Kohoue
Quantitative Risk Analysis & Management / Data Analytics Major, Georgia State University
Hoto is currently pursuing a dual master’s degree in data analytics and quantitative risk management at Georgia State University. With a Bachelor of Science in applied mathematics, Hoto had the opportunity to work as a research assistant for his department to help banking and insurance companies leverage their respective market value through risk mitigation techniques. Post-graduation, he will launch his career as a quantitative analyst in the banking industry while working towards attaining his ASA designation from the Society of Actuary.
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