Overview of ERM Practicum

The ERM Initiative offers an ERM Practicum course whereby teams of three-to-four graduate students work in a hands-on capacity with executive management of an organization to advance its ERM processes. Students work in a consulting capacity under the direct supervision of one of the faculty in the ERM Initiative at NC State. The ERM Practicum is a great example of NC State’s “Think and Do” model. Watch this short video summarizing the ERM Practicum from a student and client perspective:

[Download ERM Video Video Transcript]

What's Involved?

While the Practicum is customized to meet each organization’s greatest ERM needs, a typical ERM practicum begins with students reviewing the entity’s business model, strategic plan, and a host of other highly-sensitive, confidential documents that help them understand what drives the entity’s strategic success. With that as a background understanding, students typically conduct face-to-face interviews with the organization’s senior management to obtain their views about the most important risks on the horizon. Following that, the risk information is compiled into a risk inventory database, which the students use to create a risk-ranking survey for management to prioritize the entity’s most important strategic risks. The final deliverable involves generation of a detailed report outlining the entity’s top tier risks to their business, which the students present to executive management (and sometimes the board).

What Types of Organizations Participate?

We have worked with over 24 different organizations over the past six years twe have offered the ERM Practicum course. These organizations are in a variety of different industries and sizes, including banks, agricultural suppliers, zinc fabricators, real estate syndicates, pension/retirement investment advisors, large non-profits, government agencies, and universities. While most are based in North Carolina, we have conducted ERM Practicum’s outside the state.

How Much Time is Involved for the Organization?

The ERM Practicum is different than an internship model and resembles a consulting engagement. In an internship model, students are on site for a period of time under the direct supervision of the organization. In the ERM Practicum model, students are only on site when they need to obtain information from management and they are under the supervision and direction of the NC State faculty. Typically, members of management might only interface with students three-to-four times during the semester for 90 minutes or less each time.

What’s the Value Proposition?

The ERM Initiative is designed to be a win-win for all parties involved. Clearly the students gain tremendously from the experiences of applying concepts learned in prior classes in a real-world setting. The organizations benefit by being led through a structured ERM process that ultimately helps management identify and reach consensus about the top risks that might affect the organization’s strategic success over the next two-to-three years. Clients tells us that the value provided from the Practicum far exceeds what they expect and they believe similar services provided in the marketplace would be costly.

Want to Learn More?

Download a one-page brochure  about the Practicum that you can share with others in your organization. Feel free to reach out to Mark Beasley, Director of the ERM Initiative at NC State (mark_beasley@ncsu.edu) for more information about ERM Practicum opportunities.