When Bridgette Castillo graduated from CSUF’s business school in 2001, she had no idea that her journey would take her into risk management.
Castillo earned her bachelor’s degree in both economics and business administration, concentrating in management information systems. At the time, risk management was not an option for study.
“When I was going to school, the college did not offer a degree or concentration in risk management,” says Castillo.
Like many people in the industry today, she says, “I just fell into it after I graduated.”
An invitation to an insurance job fair got the ball rolling. For the first couple years after graduation, Castillo worked as an insurance adjuster.
“Within about four to five years, I was able to make the leap into risk management,” she says. “And, I have been there ever since.”
Castillo currently is the risk finance manager for St. Joseph Health. She assists in purchasing property and casualty insurance for St. Joseph Health in addition to providing assistance with any risk management issue that may arise.
Now that her journey has led her to a career that has inspired her, Castillo is taking her experience and using it to inspire current students. She is a member of the alumni association and president of the Orange County chapter of the Risk Management Society (OCRIMS). Through the society, she works with Mihaylo College’s Center for Insurance Studies and its director, Weili Lu.
“I am excited to be able to partner with Dr. Lu on this journey to build the center,” says Castillo, who recently attended the college’s Insurance Day representing OCRIMS and talked to students about getting involved in risk management.
“It is important for me to be here today, because I am honored and fortunate enough to give back to the school that I graduated from,” said Castillo, at the event. “I like to see all of the new students and see how eager and involved they are before they graduate.”
Mihaylo College currently offers a master’s degree in risk management and insurance. According to the college’s Center for Insurance Studies, graduates within this area of business work across all industries, because risk management and insurance is a crucial part of the financing aspect of every business sector: As companies grow, they explore financing options while protecting the assets of the company. Risk managers assess and quantify business risks and employ the strategies necessary to reduce and control them. They also analyze liabilities, taxation, retirement funds and compensation within a company to ensure these areas are in line with the organization’s goals.
With her experience within this field, Castillo has one piece of advice to help students who are interested in pursuing insurance studies: Remember to network.
“A great way to do this is to join your local chapters of professional and student organizations, such as Gamma Iota Sigma and OCRIMS,” says Castillo.
For more information about getting involved, click here.