By graduating in December, Will Corbin places himself in the inaugural cohort of UI students earning a degree in risk management and insurance. He’s already employed by a brokerage close to his hometown in central Iowa.
Sara Epstein Moninger
Matt Jansen

Although he completed University of Iowa coursework in May 2023, Will Corbin pushed back his graduation so that he could count himself among the first UI Tippie College of Business students to officially earn a degree in risk management and insurance.

“I think having the insurance degree sets me apart from other graduates in the state,” says the Johnston, Iowa, native who picks up a BBA in finance and in risk management and insurance in December. “Being one of the first to earn this accomplishment is unique—and an honor since it is such a prominent industry in the state of Iowa. Plus, it gives me the gratification of taking a challenging college path.”

Will Corbin

Degree: BBA in finance and risk management and insurance; Certificate in Leadership Studies

Hometown: Johnston, Iowa

What’s next: Currently employed at Holmes Murphy & Associates in Waukee, Iowa

In June, Corbin accepted a position as an employee benefits account manager with Holmes Murphy & Associates in Waukee, Iowa, after serving the insurance brokerage as an intern. He says his time at Iowa has set him up for success in a fast-growing industry.

What does it mean to you to be among the first risk management and insurance graduates?

It’s a tremendous honor. Insurance is extremely important in Iowa—it’s roughly 10% of the state’s gross domestic product—and therefore extremely relevant to the Iowa marketplace. To be one of the first graduates with this degree at a very prominent college is exciting. It is a challenging degree, but I think it has paid off already.

What initially drew you to the major?

I kind of fell into the major my sophomore year. I was looking for a class to fill in my credits for a finance major, and I figured, why not try an insurance class? I took an introductory course where I learned all the applications and also how relevant insurance is in business.

University of Iowa graduate Will Corbin standing on a second-level walkway in a building with an open floor concept

“To be one of the first graduates with this degree at a very prominent college is exciting. It is a challenging degree, but I think it has paid off already.”

Will Corbin
who earned a degree in risk management and insurance

Who was your most important mentor on campus?

Whenever I’ve needed career advice or a letter of recommendation, Philip Brooks has been in my corner. He was a mentor from the get-go. I took Life and Health Insurance as well as Property and Liability Insurance from him, and he showed me all the different applications insurance can have in all forms of business. Other mentors include Susan Haack, who originally got me into the major, and Richard Peter, whose classes showed me what makes insurance fascinating—insurance may have a stereotype as being boring, but once you get into the details, it can be very complex and interesting.

What challenges did you face at Iowa, and how did you overcome them?

Asking for help when I was stuck on something was a big struggle for me—and it’s an issue I’m still working on. I used to sit at the library from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. working on some assignment, when if I had just asked my professor for help, it would’ve taken a third of the time. I started to do that more as a senior, building relationships with my professors, and it paid off. I have learned to do that in my job when I get stuck. Just ask for help.

Did you know?

The University of Iowa Tippie College of Business offers a major in risk management and insurance. Students learn how to help companies and individuals identify risk exposures, determine what impact those risk exposures could have, and put processes and protections in place. With more than 200 insurance companies located in Iowa, demand for these graduates is growing.

What has been one of your biggest takeaways from your time at Iowa?

I never thought I would work in insurance. When I first went to college, I wanted to be an investment banker. That didn’t pan out, but I’m extremely happy with where I’m at in the insurance industry—and I think anyone should consider a career in insurance. It’s innovating and exciting, and there is so much opportunity. It’s one of the only industries that’s protected in recessions because every company is always going to need insurance.

What does it mean to you to be a Hawkeye?

I feel like it’s a community where everyone has the same values and respects one another. You see that everywhere you go, whether it’s at an Iowa football game or in an office environment. Hawkeye fans and alumni seem to recognize each other. There’s a chemistry that is already there.

What will you miss about Iowa City?

The young crowd—it’s nice being on the same page as everyone around you. Luckily, I work at a company where everyone’s either younger or young at heart.