Current Recipients

In 2012, the Spencer Educational Foundation awarded $331,016 in full-time and Part-Time Master scholarship awards. 

To view the 2012 Full-time Spencer Scholars click here

Spencer Scholar Profile

Spencer Scholar Spotlight
Martin Leicht
012 Spencer Scholar
Temple University '14

How did you become interested in Risk Management & Insurance?

There were really two factors that contributed to my interest in risk management and insurance.  My aunt works in the industry and she invited me out on client meetings that I genuinely enjoyed.  This exposure gave me an insight into what takes place in the daily life of a risk management professional and that really intrigued me.  In addition to my aunt’s influence, my eyes were opened when I took the Introduction to Risk Management Class during my sophomore year at Temple University’s Fox School of Business

What major-related classes have you taken so far and has anything you learned surprised you or made you change how you thought about something?

So far I’ve taken four major risk management related courses.

One area of risk management that I’ve studied and found very interesting is the importance of loss control.  When I first began my college career, I was under the impression that companies handled risk by either purchasing insurance or retaining any losses.  At that time, if someone asked me about loss control strategies that companies could implement, the first thought that would come to my mind would be fire alarms and sprinklers.  After taking several risk management classes, I was fascinated to learn and understand the different loss control approaches that different firms can implement.  It was also very interesting to see the impact of loss control on different risks.  I originally thought of loss control as a simple concept but it is now clear to me that loss control is much more complex than just fire alarms and sprinklers. 

Based on your learning so far, what do you see as the future for Risk Management & Insurance?

In my opinion, the greatest aspect of the risk management and insurance industry is its sustainability.  As long as people are on this earth, risk will be present and insurance will have a purpose.  As people grow and explore new opportunities, new risks are bound to be present.   What makes the industry unique is that the insurance products that existed hundreds of years ago still exist today.  With this in mind, I have a lot of faith in the future of the industry and I feel that the industry will always have a place in our society.

In regards to specific current issues, I truly feel that this is a great time to study risk management.  There are many current issues that are prevalent today that were not years ago.  Clearly cyber risk is a popular topic today, but I have always curiously wondered what non risk management professionals think about the issue.  After reading and studying the topic, it is clear that many risk management professionals feel that these cyber breaches are avoidable.  In my opinion, it is crucial that companies understand their dependence on technology and the impact of a security breach.  I feel that firms with a superior understanding of their cyber exposure will be in a better position to handle this risk.  Companies are clearly becoming more dependent on technology and cyber risk management will absolutely be a main component of our industry in the future.  It will be interesting to see how cyber risk management techniques and cyber insurance products grow and evolve over the next few years.   

Who in today’s society inspires you and why?

I’m very inspired by Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway.  Buffet’s role in both the finance and insurance industries is very inspiring for all young American business students.  I have always been impressed with his overall faith in the American economy, even during times when investing overseas appears to be more attractive.  It is naïve to ignore today’s global economy but when a powerful investor continues to have faith in our country, it makes me feel very confident about my decision to live and study in the United States.    

Another inspiring aspect of Buffet is his confidence in the insurance industry as a whole.  As a risk management student, I feel very secure about my selected career path when I see one of our country’s most influential people having confidence in the industry.  In addition to his faith in the industry, his investment decisions have always intrigued me.  I have always been very interested in finance and studying his investment approach has given me an insight into finance that I feel cannot be read straight out of a textbook.  Understanding his financial philosophy has made me a better business person for which I am very thankful.     

What do you hope to do following graduation?

After graduation, I hope to continue to grow as a person, as a professional, and as a student.  I’ve always been someone who values education and I believe that it is important to continue to learn regardless of age.  I plan to continue my current pursuit of the CPCU designation.  I’d also like to begin pursuing other professional designations and perhaps one day work towards a master’s degree.  Professionally, I am very attracted to the brokerage concept.  I really enjoy interacting with clients and the idea of creating and presenting the best possible risk management solutions and alternatives to clients.  I’d love to work as an insurance broker and I feel I can do well in this type of position.  

In addition to my career goals, I’d also like to give back and have an impact on students whom may be interested in a career in risk management and insurance or finance.  I have seen firsthand how powerful of an impact industry professionals can have on students like myself.  My aunt, my professors, and the people at Marsh who I worked with last summer have been very helpful to me and I feel it is very important for me to help those students who will be in my current shoes in a few short years.