Over the past few years, millennials have taken their place as the largest segment of the U.S. labor force, with more than 1 in 4 American workers born between 1981 and 1996. Today’s 20- and 30-somethings make great employees and are fiercely committed to their work.
Today marks the start of a new short series, Inspired Millennials, which features young professionals in the insurance industry who discuss their ambitions and career trajectory, and provide advice to young adults considering careers in insurance.
Name: Emily Grone
Alma Mater: Bowling Green State University,
graduated in May 2018
Degree: Bachelor’s in Insurance and Risk Management,
and in Finance (double major)
Company: Central Insurance Companies
Job Title: Commercial Lines Underwriting Technician
Length of Time with Central Insurance: One year
Why did you pursue a career in insurance?
During my sophomore year of college, Bowling Green State University started its insurance and risk management program. While I never intended to go to college and major in insurance, I decided to go that route after learning about all the opportunities in the industry. Our college talked to us about how there are tons of people retiring from the industry and not enough people to replace them. There are so many career paths in insurance – and not just sales – that really attracted me. I learned about accounting, claims underwriting, marketing and so many other opportunities that I could take advantage of. It was a no-brainer decision for me.
What do you do in your day-to-day role at Central Insurance?
Currently, I am in training doing underwriting work and new business quoting. Our department sends quotes to insurance agents, answers questions they may have, ensures our policies are adequately priced and prices out our applications. As underwriters, we are the main point of contact for agents to make sure that their questions are answered and that every need is taken care of.
What’s your favorite thing about working in the insurance industry?
I love that I run into different scenarios and challenges each day. No day is exactly the same. For example, one minute I could be addressing insurance questions for a medical office and the next minute working with a large manufacturing operation. I love that I learn something new every day.
What opportunities for growth are available within the industry?
A normal career trajectory for someone in my role could be to transition to an underwriter role, then a senior underwriter and perhaps a supervisor or managerial position. Commercial underwriters frequently move to marketing manager positions as they are external facing and deal directly with agents. Central Insurance is great about that. Wherever you want to take your career, they will help you get there.
What advice do you have for someone considering a career in insurance?
For college students, I would encourage them to get involved with an insurance fraternity called Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS). It’s amazing how many connections I made from being in that fraternity. Also, internships are important to getting your foot in the door with companies and figuring out what you like and don’t like. In college I interned at Northwestern Mutual selling life and health insurance as well as Central Insurance doing personal lines underwriting.
For young professionals looking to get into the industry, I think it’s important to look for new ways to learn. Continuing education is heavily promoted here at Central, and during my short time here I’ve taken many courses to receive insurance designations like the AINS [Associate in General Insurance] and CISR [Certified Insurance Service Representative]. Taking these courses is a great way to remain up to speed with things as the insurance industry is always changing. Insurance really is a great industry to be in. I think I’ll be in this industry forever.