On Wednesday, Ryan Specialty Group’s first ever Intern On-boarding day may have finally blurred the lines between team building, insurance and zombies.
I am one of seven new summer interns who will work in v
arious departments of RSG, from Compliance to Marketing to Legal. At 9 a.m., the seven of us gathered around the 46th floor conference room for the first time. We immediately launched into a thorough crash course on the ins and outs of RSG, led by Chris Taggart and Diane Scumaci of Human Resources.
The morning’s visitors represented a wide assortment of the office functions, each discussing their departments while saluting their respective interns. Each speaker took the chance to infuse bits of advice where they could as well.
The panel began with Jeremiah Bickham’s rundown of the Treasury department, followed by an overview of RT Specialty by Michael VanAcker. Both men found opportunities to mention the importance of networking their personal paths to their current positions. In an instant, all seven pens were down, taking notes.
Alice Topping visited next from Marketing to weigh in on the importance of branding, continuity and consistency in RSG’s messaging. Alice also came bearing exciting news of the upcoming website redesign. If this sounds like a plug for my home department, you are correct.
Representing Compliance, Roger Smith took the floor for an intriguing talk about the function and importance of underwriting, starting as far back as the Titanic’s Lloyd’s of London insurance policy. To round out the speakers’ panel, Lisa Paschal introduced us to the wide range of pants that Human Resources can wear in a single day and the significance of such a dynamic department.
Following lunch, Chris and Diane led a series of activities, testing our business knowledge, showing us the value of communication, and reminding us of our own inability to unscramble words.
Capping off the day was the most bizarre, yet effective team building exercise I have ever participated in. Our group walked into a small room off Michigan Avenue and was greeted by a mad scientist, who explained the rules to “Trapped in a Room with a Zombie.” This somewhat self-explanatory game involved our team, “the Six-Foot-Underwriters,” rushing around a small room finding clues leading to our escape. A zombie character tried to catch and tag us while tied to one wall with a slowly-lengthening chain.
From our singing and dancing to distract the zombie, to our fearless leader Chris Taggart’s unfortunate death, the afternoon was a hilarious way to get to know each other and potentially even understand our own roles in a crisis situation. Thanks to Chris, Diane and everyone else who helped welcome us into the RSG family!