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KAREN HSI Program manager-captive insurance programs

University of California, Office of the President

Oakland, California

Karen Hsi was majoring in psychology and education as an undergrad when she was asked to serve as an intern with the University of California Office of the President in risk services. Upon graduation, she was offered a position as a liability program analyst at the university, which led to her current position.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the business?

I was particularly fortunate to have really great mentors and accessibility to some very smart and prominent professionals in the industry. Without those face-to-face networking opportunities, or chances to build those relationships, it would have been tough, because I asked a lot of questions and they were always very eager to provide me with answers.

What should the industry do to attract more young people to work in it?

Contrary to many people’s belief that insurance tends to be dry, there’s a lot of innovation coming out of the industry, and going forward I’m hoping that that will be emphasized more and highlighted for the next generation of professionals, that if someone’s ever interested in a fast-paced, changing and creative relationship-building industry that they would not discount looking into the insurance industry.

What is something about you that would surprise people?

I danced competitively growing up and was a cheerleader in college, and at one point had thought about going into the arts, like performing arts, or being a dancer full time.

What do you know now that you wish you knew at 18?

A lot of times when you see a failure at 18, you think that “Oh, there’s no hope,” or, “I didn’t reach that goal,” but I think there’s a reason everything happens, and it’s interesting to see what doors open in the future.

All-time favorite movie?

“Forrest Gump.”

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