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Progressive Insurance

Barry Spurlock awarded The Progressive Scholarship to Ajlin Nozic at the student awards banquet during ITS Day 2017.

Photo courtesy of: The McClure School

Progressive Insurance

Progressive Insurance invests in Bobcats, as interns and recent college graduates. It offers OHIO students numerous opportunities to begin their careers.

Photo courtesy of: Progressive

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Ohio University, Progressive Insurance partnership boosts Bobcat success

The partnership between Ohio University and Progressive Insurance spans decades of internships, scholarships, job opportunities and close Bobcat student-alumni relationships. As one of the largest employers of OHIO graduates, Progressive has maintained steadfast ties to the OHIO J. Warren McClure School of Information and Telecommunication Systems (ITS) and the Management Information Systems (MIS) program in the College of Business.

Philip Campbell, associate professor and undergraduate director of ITS, estimates that Progressive employs around 70 OHIO alumni from the ITS program alone in its Mayfield Village, Ohio headquarters. This large count includes Barry Spurlock, a 2003 graduate of the ITS program and an IT Group Manager at Progressive, who connected with Progressive as an undergrad during a career fair.

“I had offers [from] other places, but as I interviewed with Progressive, I realized that was the offer I was going to accept,” Spurlock said. “The culture was very people-focused, friendly and welcoming, in a way that not all companies were.”

Progressive recruits multiple Bobcats to intern with them each summer. Interns are put through an onboarding process similar to that of new hires, and in a couple weeks they’re sitting side by side with entry-level employees doing the same work.

 “[Interns] are not going to be making copies or getting coffee,” Spurlock said. “For most of the summer they get a taste of exactly what the job is like. We hope they go back to school with an offer so after graduation they can come back on a full-time basis.” There are also numerous full-time opportunities available each year for IT systems engineers, application developers and many other roles.

For the past several years, the company has sponsored the Progressive Scholar award for both ITS and MIS at OHIO. This year’s ITS winner was Ajlin Nozic, a junior ITS major, who will be returning to Progressive this summer for a second internship. 

“A lot of people say that their company really cares about its employees, but Progressive really does,” Nozic said. “I honestly wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.” In addition to hands-on experience with contemporary technology, Progressive interns receive competitive pay and housing options.

In addition to offering scholarships and employment, Progressive has long provided support for the McClure School’s primary scholarship fundraiser, the Lonsbury Memorial Scholarship Golf Classic. Through matching employee gifts, the Progressive Insurance Foundation has also contributed to Alden Library, the College of Arts & Sciences, the Honors Tutorial College and the College of Business.

Progressive also lends its time by attending OHIO career fairs, providing speakers for annual ITS Day, supporting IT student organizations, sending mentors to meet with ITS students, and giving classroom presentations.

“We want to strengthen our partnership so that students are aware of what we have to offer our employees and interns,” Spurlock said. “We also want to give back at the end of the day to a university that has done so much for our employees over the years.”

Campbell attributes the success OHIO students achieve at Progressive to the unique combination of skills the ITS program provides: a solid groundwork in communication, technology and business.

“This relationship with Progressive is based on the fact that our students do well in on-the-job performance,” Campbell said. “The fact that [ITS] might have 70 alumni there is a reflection on those people who have been there over the decades and have done well.”

Spurlock encourages students who might be interested in learning more about Progressive’s intern and full-time opportunities to email ITCollegerecruiter@Progressive.com.

For more information on McClure School scholarships, visit http://itsohio.net/prospective-students/undergrad/scholarship/