Student Spotlight – Jamie Gilleland

Jamie Gilleland is a Continuing & Graduate student who transferred to Simpson in Fall 2009. She is employed at Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company as a MPCI Claims Specialist. When not at work or school, she enjoys traveling, playing softball and volleyball, running, and spending time with family and friends.


What prompted you to earn your degree?
My mother prompted me to earn my degree. As soon as I graduated high school in 2004, I began working full-time at Farmers Mutual Hail. The thought of college was out of mind while I collected paychecks. My mother began her college education in 2004 while in her early 40’s and working at Farmers Mutual Hail. She took advantage of their education reimbursement program and encouraged me to do the same.

What is your major and why did you select it?
My major is marketing with a minor in integrated marketing communication. When I first started my college degree, I was indecisive on a major. As I studied different aspects of business, marketing stood out to me. I’ve always been a creative mind and marketing allows me to be creative in the business world.

As a part of your Simpson Experience, you traveled abroad recently.  Can you tell us a little bit about your experience?  Would you do it again?  Would you recommend it to other Continuing & Graduate students?
My experience abroad in China was unbelievable; words can barely explain the experience. Studying abroad gave me the chance to interact with the many Chinese cultures on a personal level. The interaction taught me the importance of adaptation for a future in global business. One must adapt to the culture to be successful within a country.

My fondest memories were observing the locals while they sang, danced, played games, and interacted amongst each other at the local parks. It was very entertaining to watch some of the other students join in the dances. This can never be experienced in the classroom alone. Not only would I take the opportunity to study abroad again, I highly recommend it to fellow Continuing & Graduate students. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

How has your experience at Simpson impacted your life?
Simpson has allowed me to interact and build relationships with other students of similar interests. Everyone brings his or her own life experience to the classroom; this carries over to the workplace.

What has stood out to you as a fundamental part of your Simpson Experience?
In my Simpson Experience, I’m thankful the Continuing & Graduate Program has allowed me to pursue my undergraduate degree while working full-time. The professors and staff are flexible and reliable and available to fit our busy schedules.

What do you plan to do once you graduate?
Once I graduate in December, I plan to take time off from school to focus on my career at Farmers Mutual Hail. To fill the void of school, I plan to start training for my second marathon and will help coach my nieces and nephews in their sports. I’m currently undecided with a graduate program, but I will continue my education within the next year.

What is your favorite vacation spot?
My favorite vacation spots are always in the sun while relaxing. Whether it be enjoying the Florida beaches or camping, relaxing is key.

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