WIN - Spring 2011 - (Page 49)
BY COLLEEN GILES-HARRIS, SCOBIE GROUP & MIDWEST GENERAL AGENCY
Developing young professionals
THE WHOLESALE INSURANCE INDUSTRY
IMPLY PUT, BEING a young professional in the insurance industry can be very intimidating. There is so much to learn, from coverages and acronyms to ratings systems and underwriting guidelines, and it can all be very overwhelming. My insurance career started in January 2003 and after reading what felt like a million books and taking several exams, I felt I had the basic knowledge needed to underwrite business. But knowledge is only part of the puzzle. As an underwriter, especially a young underwriter, you need to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk. My company did a fantastic job mentoring and coaching me through my first year, but I honestly think the best thing they did was get me involved in the AAMGA Under Forty Organization, or “UFO.” The industry is full of great associations and organizations offering educational seminars and conferences, and getting involved with one or more can help propel a young person forward. Beyond the basic how-to classes, many organizations offer personal and professional development and leadership courses that are essential for young professionals. It would be challenging to count the hours I spent in hotel conference rooms in eight years, but I can easily say I have learned as much at industry events as I have on the job. Although it is very important for an insurance professional to fully understand coverages, one of the biggest advantages of an association or organization is networking, which can happen in a variety of venues and electronic platforms. We can bind risks at the click of a mouse, but it comes down to relationships with trading partners, customers, markets and colleagues. I’ve made as many contacts over a plate of hors d’oeuvres as in attending educational sessions, and I have made some profitable deals during conversations after an industry conference.
To me, golf is a great way to ruin a nice walk, but many young professionals bond on the course as well. Many associations and organizations offer golf, tennis and other outings to members. It is important that young professionals take time to attend these events, even if not participating. I have volunteered at a few over the years that provide productive networking. Not all associations and organizations offer overseas events, but the AAMGA UFO has an International Summit every other year. In 2009, I participated in the organized trip to Munich. We attended three days of classes on reinsurance, climate change and the European insurance market and learned how it was linked to the U.S. Munich was beautiful to visit a nd at t e nd e e s w a l ke d aw ay with expanded knowledge and new relationships. The 2011 UFO International Summit took place in London. We spent a day shadowing Lloyd’s and London underwriters and brokers, >>
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of WIN - Spring 2011
WIN - Spring 2011
Table of Contents
Welcome to “WIN”
Hold, Fold or Double Down
Underwriting the Customer Relationship
Report From Capitol Hill: Fasten Your Seatbelts
Interview With La Insurance Commissioner James Donelon
Regulatory Reform: Incremental Improvements or Exercise in Frustration?
Are You Swimming Naked
In the Winner’s Circle: Patricia Roberts, General Star Management Group
2011 Wholesale Insurance White Paper Winners
Sustaining the Wholesale Insurance Industry
Index to Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
WIN - Spring 2011
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