INSURANCE AND RISK MANAGEMENT STAFFING

Open Letter to College Graduates

Dear Recent College Graduate:

Congratulations on your graduation! As you reflect on this accomplishment and prepare to launch your career journey, I offer you some advice before this next adventure begins.

Be eager to learn. Regardless of where you begin your professional career, you will not know everything from day one, and you’re not expected to. The best way to grow in your profession is to build your knowledge of the industry you’re working in, constantly ask your colleagues questions, and get familiar with the common tools used to deliver daily tasks.

Embrace failure. Just like Dr. Seuss, you will not always get the desired results from your career. View disappointments as learning opportunities and aspire to produce better results the next time around.

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Why work in insurance?

This is a question a lot of professionals have been answering these days, trying to attract more people to work for the insurance industry. Companies are increasing their recruitment efforts to combat the drop-off of workers due to aging and retirement. Organizations like Gamma Iota Sigma, The Institutes/My Path and insurancecareerstrifecta.com have focused on recruiting at the college level, similar to our own college recruiting division, QGrads. However, these efforts are just reaching young professionals.

What about those already in the work force? Rather than directing my message to college students, like many of these other organizations, I’d like to give you a different perspective. Today I’m speaking to all of those in the working world who want a change.

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Rocking Your First REAL Work Opportunity

College Students! Here’s the 411 on how to rock your first internship or job!

Great News! You’ve perfected your resume, you’ve conquered countless phone interviews, excelled at in-person interviews and finally you have landed your dream internship or job. Now what? With summer and graduation fast approaching, many college students are stepping into their very first role as young professionals. Here’s five tips on making sure you leave a lasting impression on the company and how to get the most out of your first position out of the classroom. 

1. Set Goals and Follow Through

We all set goals at the beginning of the year and rarely do people follow through. But this is so important to really think about what you want to get out of your internship or first position out of school.

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“What Should I Ask In an Interview?”

Preparing a list of questions to ask your interviewer is one of the most important preparation tips to ensuring a successful on-site meeting! While nerve-wracking, this is an interview to allow you time to discover more about the company and the role. Use this time wisely! To ensure you’re making your mark a positive one during your interview, follow these tips to make the most of your time with the hiring manager and team.

Job-Specific Questions:

  • What did the last person in this position do to be successful?
  • What does success look like in this role? How is it measured?
  • What are some items you’re hoping this person can achieve in three months? Six months? One year?
  • What does a typical day in this role look like?

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You landed an interview, now what?

You have been applying left and right and finally received the call or email you have been waiting for: an interview! This is the crucial part and the most important piece for job seekers. This is the time to PREP!  Biggest mistake candidates make is not doing their homework. These are the suggestions I give every candidate, so they can nail their interview:

  • Know what you are applying for. Understand the position by reviewing the job description, and if needed, research terminology you are not 100% sure about. Know what your strengths are for that particular position, and don’t forget to communicate these strengths during your interview!
  • Research the company! Visit their website and read the “About Us”. You have to understand exactly what the company does,

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How to Effectively Communicate in the Office–Starting New, Helpful Habits

To start the year off on the right foot, follow these tips for effective in-office communication, whether you’re gathering for meetings or connecting via email.

Make Meetings Meaningful!

  • Create an agenda and send it out to attendees before the meeting whenever possible. This can be helpful for a one-on-one meeting with your manager or a large team meeting
  • Follow up with notes, especially so projects stay on track if there were attendees who couldn’t join. Create follow up tasks and assign them to individuals so that everyone is clear about their role in the project.
  • When necessary, follow up with another meeting. This allows you to put a plan in place for action items and track progress from your previous discussion.

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Dive In – Diversity and Inclusion in Insurance

The Dive In Festival raises awareness of the business case for diversity and inclusion and has held events in 17 countries and 32 cities for four years now. Questpro sponsored the event in Dallas, TX, and I was so excited to be one of the attendees. After insightful small group discussions and hearing from the executive panelists, I think everyone had a new perspective on what it truly means to be diverse and inclusive. These are concepts that need to become reality, so if you missed one of their many events, here’s a little breakdown of what I learned.

Takeaways from the small group discussions:

Since the insurance industry is experiencing a huge age gap, one of the big topics for D&I was about how the younger and older generation can work together.

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Open Letter to College Graduates

 

 

“I want to do something that helps people”. This was the guiding factor in my search for a career as I was discussing options with my university’s career center counselor. I tossed around possibilities in my head: teacher, social worker, non-profit development. These all sounded great, but my life was going to take an unexpected turn. After trying my hand at a few of the above-mentioned options, I didn’t see them working out long-term. I panicked – what was I going to do? Here I was with a college degree, three years of work experience with a non-profit school district, and four summer internships under my belt. How could I change directions now? How could I change my story? More importantly, where could I change my story?

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A Word of Advice from Our QGrads

We reached out to two of our QGrads and asked them questions about their college experience as an RMI major. Tina and Samantha are seniors from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX, and they both gave us answers that not only gave us a look into their lives as students, but also provided great advice for those still in college. These were our questions:

Q: What’s been your favorite class so far, and why?

Samantha: My favorite class has been Student Managed Portfolio! It’s a student led class where we get to manage the school’s endowment by investing in stocks! So we’re dealing with real money (which is really exciting). I am in charge of a sector, so I have to give weekly sector updates and conduct stock screenings to determine if the stocks we have are undervalued or overvalued and what we should keep in our portfolio.

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Top Tips for a Successful Career Fair or Conference!

 

 

Questpro Managers Meredith Haaker and Taylor Jones traveled to Chicago this month to mingle with students from all over the country during the annual GIS International Conference. They met some fantastic students and were able to speak with Chapter Advisers, University Faculty, and GIS Alumni during the week. Here are a few of their top tips for a successful career fair or conference!

1.) Do a little research before to see what companies will be there. Approach every booth you can, even if you are familiar with the company. Insurance is a small world, and you never know who you may meet or who has connections with your dream job.

2.) Take charge of the conversation! Approach the booth with confidence and your “elevator pitch”.

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