Haub School Review Fall 2017

DeSantis Q+A

DeSantis Web

More than 20 years separate the Saint Joseph’s experience of Anthony (Tony) DeSantis '81, a CEO with Ironshore Insurance Services LLC, based in Wilmington, Delaware, from that of his sons, Anthony ’09 ’11 (MBA) and Alex ’16 — yet all three graduates credit Haub for their successful careers in insurance.

Q: What was your student experience like?

A: As a commuter, I worked 30 hours a week to pay for school and occasionally hitchhiked to and from St. Joe’s — often an alumnus would see me on City Ave. and offer to drive me home. I was a food marketing major. I was involved in intramural sports and was, and still am, a big SJU basketball fan — THWND!

Q: How did your education prepare you for your career?

A: The liberal arts model and the influence of the Jesuit tradition helped develop my ability to reason, think critically and communicate effectively — skills that were invaluable to me as I progressed in my career. The faculty in the business school helped me hone a skillset that I still credit with my rise to senior level, executive positions in the insurance industry.

Q: Why did you decide to get involved in the Academy of Risk Management & Insurance?

A: I was eager to get involved as one of the founding members of the ARMI to support Jim Maguire’s vision of becoming a top-ranked insurance and risk management program in the nation, which I am proud to say was recognized as the number one program in the US in 2016! I was aware of the success of the Academy of Food Marketing and realized the incredible value in educating young people to excel in insurance, a diverse and complex business.

Q: As a parent, what did you see as the HSB’s value?

A: As a student, I experienced how special the community spirit was at Saint Joseph’s. As a parent, I was also impressed by Haub’s focus on internships, its growing academic programs, the access to expert faculty and the campus’ expansion. Because of their internship opportunities and access to the insurance curriculum, faculty and ARMI network, my sons’ working knowledge of insurance coming out of Haub far exceeded what I had even two to three years into my career.

Anthony and Alex

Q: Why did you decide to enroll in SJU?

A: Anthony: SJU was always on my list of colleges because of the experiences my dad shared with me, though he never pushed me to attend. I was drawn to the strong reputation of the business school and the marketing program — I majored in marketing.

Alex: The RMI program is one of the reasons I came to SJU. It was a difficult program, but it emphasized real-world skills and I was confident it would give me an advantage when the time came to look for a job. I majored in finance and RMI. This year, I’m starting my MBA at SJU.

Q: How did your education prepare you for your career?

A: Anthony: The focus on theology and philosophy that formed a background of ethics that was then threaded through our business courses stuck with me, and the liberal arts courses and numerous business presentations developed my ability to confidently and effectively communicate.

Q: What internship opportunities did you have while at SJU?

A: Anthony: In addition to a sports marketing internship, I also had an internship with AIG insurance and was hired by Philadelphia Insurance Company immediately after graduation while I was working on my MBA at SJU. Now, I work as a primary casualty underwriter for Allied World Assurance Company in Philadelphia.

Alex: I had internships with ACE Insurance and Farmers Insurance Group. The connections I developed during those internships helped me get my first job with ACE, now CHUBB, based in Wilmington, where I am a professional associate.

Q: What was similar about your SJU experience to your dad’s and your brother’s?

A: Alex: One of the special things about SJU is that through the years, the feeling of community and of belonging to something great has remained. I remember those same feelings from walks with my dad around campus as a little kid and it still feels that way now that I am an alumnus. Like my brother, I’ll be going back for my MBA in the fall and I look forward to returning to campus.