BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State University alumnus Mark Janke ’18 said he has never had a boring day while working at National General Insurance. As a material damage claims representative, he investigates and handles a variety of claims from both claimants and insureds.
“My job is to determine if there is sufficient coverage on the insured’s policy to cover a given loss and decide if we owe the claim depending on the liability investigation,” Janke explained. He said he loves the variety in his job. “Plus, the people I work with are fun and supportive,” he added.
Janke graduated cum laude twice from Appalachian — in May 2018 with a BSBA in management, and again in December 2018 with a B.A. in languages, literatures and cultures–Spanish. “App State taught me how to work hard and be efficient, but also how to have fun learning,” he said.
While Janke didn’t major in risk management and insurance (RMI), he took several elective courses in the field. “Dr. Karen Epermanis (associate professor and program director of RMI in the Department of Finance, Banking, and Insurance) helped guide my career as a student and was a mentor to me while I attended App State.”
Greg Langdon, associate director of the Brantley Risk and Insurance Center within the Walker College of Business, also impressed Janke with his passion to help students succeed. “He advocates for Appalachian students by taking them to large business conventions,” Janke said.
“As a student, I attended an insurance convention in South Carolina with Langdon and had a great time networking with key figures in the industry and learning the ins and outs of the business,” Janke added. “The RMI program gives tons of opportunities to students to travel and helps guide them into careers. The professors care about the students’ education and want them to succeed.”
He said his second degree in Spanish is also beneficial in working with Spanish-speaking clients as he translates legal documents, emails, voicemails and other items for them.
Faculty members Dr. Benito del Pliego and Dr. Andres Fisher in Appalachian’s Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures mentored Janke. “Without their help and friendships, I would not have a Spanish degree today,” Janke said. “Many of the professors I had while at Appalachian were more than teachers to me. I owe them big for (their guidance and) all that they taught me.”
Janke is a second-generation Appalachian student, the son of Richard Janke ’78 and Patricia McIntosh Janke ’80.
“I loved the mountains and the general feel of App State — it felt like home to me,” he said. “My professors pushed me intellectually every day, and I felt I could not have chosen a better university.”
What do you think?
Share your feedback on this story.
About the Department of Management
The Department of Management offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs to prepare students for managerial responsibilities in today’s dynamic environment. Learn more at https://management.appstate.edu.
About the Department of Finance, Banking and Insurance
The Department of Finance, Banking and Insurance develops leaders for business, government and education by offering a Bachelor of Science in business administration in two specializations: finance and banking, and risk management and insurance. Learn more at https://finance.appstate.edu.
About the Walker College of Business
The Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University delivers transformational educational experiences that prepare and inspire students to be ethical, innovative and engaged business leaders who positively impact our community, both locally and globally. The college places emphasis on international experiences, sustainable business practices, entrepreneurial programs and real-world applications with industry. Enrolling approximately 3,000 undergraduates in 10 majors and 175 graduate students in three master's programs, the Walker College is accredited by AACSB International – the premier global accrediting body for schools of business. Learn more at https://business.appstate.edu.
About the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures offers courses that enhance students’ understanding of other cultures and languages as well as their own, making them prepared for lifelong learning in a multicultural world. Learn more at https://dllc.appstate.edu.
About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 16 academic departments, one stand-alone academic program, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. There are approximately 6,100 student majors in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing Appalachian's general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at https://cas.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.