Career Clusters Stories + Advice

Insurance…The Best Kept Secret

Anne Edwards, Campus Recruiter at Gallagher

I’m sure you’re familiar with the popular cliché to which many default when hearing about job search woes, such as, “finding a job is a full-time job.” No one doubts that the process can be time intensive and even stressful on occasion (or on multiple occasions).

I’ve been in the campus recruiting and early talent space for most of my career where I’ve had the opportunity to touch a variety of industries ranging from consulting, investment banking, and sales & trading, tech… and now, insurance. It’s been an interesting adventure, framed by observing the “what” and the “why” components of students’ searches for the sometimes elusive, perfect opportunities. 

If all else fails, following the herd isn’t always the answer. 

Everyone seems to have a friend who knew what they wanted to do the moment they started elementary school. This isn’t the case for most, even if it seems like everyone in your circle believes they know what path to follow. With a little diligence, a lot of networking and extra gumption, it’s possible to uncover a position you never knew existed, or even an entire industry which wasn’t on your radar. Don’t let indecision result in your pursuing the path often followed instead of the path meant for you as you embark on your career.

Perception isn’t always reality.

I knew very little about the insurance brokerage industry until I learned about, and then joined, Gallagher, a Fortune 500 global insurance broker, risk management, and human capital consulting company. Insurance is like the mysterious cousin you see at a family reunion from afar, while talking to your Aunt, the investment banker and your sister, the newly minted consultant. When you finally decide to stroll over and strike-up a conversation, you discover that your cousin really isn’t that mysterious and is actually pretty cool.

The best kept secret.

One of the best kept secrets sitting at the intersection of consulting, finance and entrepreneurship is insurance brokerage. It represents the convergence of business and financial acumen, combined with the opportunity to make an impact. Insurance is the backbone of the world’s economies, as it focuses on providing people and companies with tangible ways to manage risk. If you take a moment and consider the impact of insurance, you’ll realize that every stadium, hospital, electrical grid, school and more have insurance brokerages hard at work supporting them behind the scenes.

What’s in it for me?

  • Insurance is at the forefront of emerging trends and groundbreaking changes affecting the world. The industry needs to consistently evolve in order to meet clients’ needs. Everything from drones, legalization of cannabis, autonomous vehicles and cyber security as well as services like Uber and Airbnb require solutions to prepare for and mitigate risk.
  • You can turn your passions into a successful career. Whether your passion is skiing, green energy, non-profit work or personal investing, you can become a subject matter expert. If you prefer variability, you can also opt for breadth versus depth.  
  • Every day is a new day. There are new challenges that will arise around every bend requiring use of your consultative skills and financial acumen. Each client is different and every problem requires its own tailored solution. 
  • Stability, security and career growth. Given the monetary damage and/or reputational harm at stake, insurance brokerage is an essential part of every company’s operating plan. Consequently, stability and security are an inherent part of the career. Unlike other industries, you aren’t confined to a structured career path with an expected pit stop for your MBA.  Instead, insurance is an entrepreneurial and lucrative venture where you have the opportunity to manage your own portfolio of clients, while tapping into the resources of an internal supportive team of professionals with highly specialized knowledge.

The insurance industry offers you the chance to combine your education, skills, and interests which is unparalleled especially when comparing it to other industries that are popular with current students and new graduates. If you’re a people person, a math star or a strategic thinker, there’s a role for you in insurance where you can make a difference.

—Anne Edwards, Campus Recruiter at Gallagher

About the Author: Anne Edwards has been a campus recruiter and early talent strategist for over 12 years. She currently leads the intern recruiting efforts and early talent leadership program for the East Coast at Gallagher, a Fortune 500 insurance brokerage, risk management and human capital consulting firm. Past industry experience includes management consulting, investment banking and technology.

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