Last year, MassMutual hired seven graduates from an ambitious new program the insurer created in collaboration with several colleges in the Springfield, Mass. area. MassMutual leaders led by SVP of analytics and research Gareth Ross worked collaboratively with faculty and administration to combine extended coursework for graduate students with real-world projects at the insurance company, including machine learning, lead scoring, and natural language processing.

Participants work in a startup-style office in Amherst, Mass., rather than at the company’s Springfield headquarters, to foster a more collaborative, startup-like environment. Now a year older and a year wiser, MassMutual is taking the program to another level. The life insurer announced earlier this year that through its program, it would work with Smith and Mount Holyoke colleges – traditionally women’s schools – to “support women in fields of science and engineering” even if they don’t go right to work for MassMutual, Ross tells Insurance Networking News.

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