Part 2: Explore Opportunities to Pursue a Career in Insurance

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.

Claims Representative

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:


Cincinnati Insurance Companies 

 

Central Insurance Companies

 

Great American Insurance Group

  • Be Here. Be Great.: Includes videos from young pros who are part of the Great American team.

 


Nationwide Insurance

  • 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.

Q: What made you decide that insurance would be a good 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

Q: Why should others consider a job in insurance? 

“There are so many possibilities that once you get your foot in the door, you can go anywhere.” — Maria J., IT services, Great American Insurance Group

“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 specialistFrankenmuth Insurance

Q: What do you think the future holds for you based on your chosen career path? 

“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) Vondettepersonal lines underwriterFrankenmuth 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

Additional Resources

Posted: February 28, 2017

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