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Many University of Wisconsin Oshkosh graduates find early career success thanks to internships, on-campus career fairs and professors with strong networks in their respective fields.

Zach Musil, of Sussex, is an economics and finance major who wasn’t just hired before graduation–he has been working for West Bend Mutual as an associate commercial lines underwriter since August.

Driven by a fascination with numbers, Musil was originally drawn to a career in actuarial science until Kate Manthey, director of UW Oshkosh’s Insurance and Risk Management Program, introduced him to the myriad of opportunities within the industry field.

“There are two simple reasons students should consider a career in risk management and insurance: opportunity and reward!  Wisconsin is home to more than 230 insurance companies and there is a tremendous need for talent to fill open positions,” Manthley said.

“The rewards for our students are the ability to turn their passions into careers, the value of a stable industry with options to advance and the ability to positively impact the world around you.”

Musil is grateful to Manthey for opening up the world of insurance and helping him secure a position in a field that challenges him to be his best.

“I love being able to work at a company that can help somebody at, possibly, their worst moments in life,” he said.

Before landing the position with West Bend Mutual, Musil completed two internships with local insurance carriers and several designation exams to grow his knowledge within the industry.

Linda Herodes, West Bend Mutual commercial lines training specialist, said Musil was a standout leader in her training program.

“Zach was one of three interns in a classroom with seven of our new associates learning more about the role of an underwriter. His level of professionalism, curiosity and general understanding of key concepts and resources made him a natural mentor to our other associates,” Herodes said.

It was that maturity, work ethic and overall performance that prompted the company to offer Musil the first-ever opportunity to work remotely as an associate commercial lines underwriter while finishing his last semester of college.

Following commencement on Saturday, Dec. 14, , Musil will join the West Bend Mutual team as a full-time associate and continue his work looking at new business submissions, renewal accounts and endorsement requests for the agents.

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