February may be the shortest month of the year, but it’s poised to have a long-lasting effect. This marks the second annual Insurance Career Month, building awareness on career opportunities in insurance here and around the country.
In our first insurance careers post earlier this month OII members shared some of the many internship, scholarship and educational program resources that they offer, connecting aspiring young professionals, and college and high school students with hands-on experience in their field of interest.
In part two below, we’ve gathered a collection of prospective career options, resources and testimonials from young pros to assist others in considering the possibilities.
Read on to learn more about the stable, rewarding and limitless career opportunities available in insurance.
Hundreds of Insurance Careers to Explore and More
It’s time to break out of the stereotypical insurance career mold. Did you know that the insurance industry offers dozens of career paths in nearly every field of study? From actuarial science and IT, to human resources and marketing, our industry is seeking a diverse set of talented professionals to support both the carrier and agency sides of the business.
Below, we’ve highlighted two interesting insurance roles and a series of other career spotlights. You can also check out a variety of featured career pathways on InsuranceCareers.org — complete with job descriptions, skills and educational requirements, estimated salary and more.
Would you ever expect that a degree in Sociology-Criminology could lead to a career in insurance? For 2014 Ohio University alum Brian Bilinovich, a Westfield Insurance property claims representative, the same investigative skills employed by law enforcement align well in his role of reviewing and processing customer claims.
But what does Brian enjoy most about his career? Helping people:
“Most people are having the worst day of their lives on the day they submit a claim,” he explains. “They lost their wedding ring they’ve had for 35 years. Their whole house burned to the ground. Their basement flooded and all of the baby pictures that they had stored are now ruined. My job is to bring people back to their pre-loss condition, as much as is possible. I bring them back to whole again, as close as can be done financially.”
Systems Administrator (Sysadmin)
With the rapid evolution of technology and cloud computing, the role of a systems administrator (sysadmin) is shifting toward services delivery and innovation, heavily reliant on on-the-job experience and problem-solving skills.
Nick Bush has plenty to share about his IT career path that lead to insurance, including his high school years where his computer interests led to summer job opportunities and a chosen education track. Nick, a systems administrator for Meadowbrook Insurance Group and its Columbus affiliate Century Insurance Group, supports the insurer’s team of network users and nearly 300 physical and virtual servers.
He was recently featured in IT World magazine about the evolving and necessary role he plays:
“This is a role that is so necessary in every company that uses IT. There still needs to be people to manage and maintain networks, to help spin up and configure infrastructure, to serve customers and to innovate. There may well be fewer of us, sure, but that just makes us even more valuable,” he says.
Even More Insurance Career Spotlights
Many of our members have stories to tell about the varied career opportunities within their companies, including:
- Amanda Rendell: Great Expectations: The Art of Customer Service
- Kim Garner: Leveraging a Legal Education in Insurance
- Justin Sharp: Still Teaching; Just a Different Audience
- Luke Swartz: A Day in the Life of an Insurance Marketing Manager
- Icello White: A Look Inside: A Career in Loss Control
- [Video] Central Team: Check Us Out!
Great American Insurance Group
- Be Here. Be Great.: Includes videos from young pros who are part of the Great American team.
- A Day in the Life: Spend the day with a claims specialist and a project consultant, along with other featured career-oriented stories.
Interviews with Insurance Pros
If you ever found yourself in a room full of insurance industry professionals and had reason to ask how they landed in insurance, chances are that most will tell you it was a career “chance,” not a career “choice.”
Although coming to an insurance career often by chance, there are many reasons to stay. Take a look at insurance through the eyes of industry pros who’ve made insurance a career choice.
“A community member who I respect is involved in the insurance industry. When I was unsure what to study in college, he explained the wide possibilities there are in the insurance industry. After further discussion about the many potential career opportunities, I decided to enroll in the insurance program at The Ohio State University.” — Nate Brown, AMD associate claims representative, Ohio Mutual Insurance Group
“I took a leap of faith and somehow convinced somebody that an unemployed high school English teacher working construction would make an excellent underwriter. The company trained me to work with commercial accounts, and I learned about an entire world of different businesses, some that I never even knew existed. There were churches, small neighborhood stores and shops, general contractors, subcontractors, hotels, golf courses, social service agencies, breweries – an endless list of businesses that needed insurance. I wasn’t working in one industry… I was working in all industries!” — Christopher Barger, target market specialist, Cincinnati Insurance Companies
“Like many others, I did not grow up imagining myself as an insurance professional, nor was I exposed to the industry by a family member. It was upon learning from my peers as an undergraduate that the insurance industry is rich in jobs, service-oriented and fosters continuing education opportunities for employees that won me over. Now, I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else!” — Hailey Willett, marketing specialist, Frankenmuth Insurance
“As a child, my dad would sometimes take me with him on his calls to adjust claims. I remember seeing the faces of the people my Dad was taking care of. The look of relief when they knew they had a place to sleep that night. The tears in their eyes when he handed them a check and they knew they could start piecing their life back together. The simple hug just to assure them that everything is going to be all right. These memories have had a lasting effect on me.” — Matt Zollner, marketing manager, Central Insurance Companies
“Insurance is a multi-faceted industry – it’s not limited to just becoming an agent and selling insurance. There really is a job for everyone. And, upon joining the industry, you’ll find that there are countless other avenues in high demand that may engage your interests…” — Hailey Willett, marketing specialist, Frankenmuth Insurance
“It’s really up to you, with what you want to do and where you want to go. But this is somewhere that I see myself retiring from. I have that reassurance that they will take care of me. I’ll put in the hard work and that’s actually exciting.” — Crystal Palacio, claims specialist, Nationwide Insurance
“A great thing about insurance is that your career path can go in many different ways. This career has so many different branches to it – for starters: personal, commercial, life/health. Those are just the main ones, but there are so many more to choose from. I don’t know exactly what the future holds, but I am excited to find out.” — Thomas (TJ) Vondette, personal lines underwriter, Frankenmuth Insurance
Meet Terri Grimm, whose insurance career spans over three decades. In this video interview, Terri talks about the variety of career paths she’s experienced. She found her company and the industry to be supportive in her interests to explore new areas of the business. That’s why she’s a lifer. — Terri Grimm, marketing program director, Westfield Insurance
Thanks to Our Participating Members
- Central Insurance Companies (website), Facebook and Twitter @Central_Ins
- Century Insurance Group (website) (a division of Meadowbrook Insurance Group)
- Frankenmuth Insurance (website), Facebook and Twitter @Frankenmuthins
- Great American Insurance Group (website) and Facebook
- Nationwide Insurance (website), Facebook and Twitter @Nationwide
- Ohio Mutual Insurance Group (website), Facebook and Twitter @Ohio_Mutual
- The Cincinnati Insurance Companies (website) and Facebook
- Westfield Insurance (website), Facebook and Twitter @WestfieldIns
- Part 1 Post: OII Members Share In The Insurance Careers Movement
- InsuranceCareers.Org: Featured Career Pathways
- OII: Careers in Insurance
- Insurance Information Institute: [Video] My Career in Insurance Is…
Posted: February 28, 2017