In April, Shaw won the Maurice Herndon Scholarship and attended the 2022 Big “I” Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., where she became more involved with the Big “I” and insurance than ever.
East Syracuse, New York
While insurance is Shaw's passion, it wasn't how she started her career—she began in the wealth management field in New York. However, after the luster of the finance world began to fade, Shaw set her sights on the insurance industry. “I took my licensing education insurance courses, got licensed and then I searched for a job," Shaw says. “I did it a little bit backwards from the way most people do."
In April, Shaw won the Maurice Herndon Scholarship and attended the 2022 Big “I" Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., where she became more involved with the Big “I" and insurance than ever.
What do you love about working in insurance?
I find it just fascinating that I can learn something new every day. It's been a wonderful career for me as an academic where I just want to constantly expand my knowledge and use my brain. I love working with business clients, helping them run their businesses and advising them on things that are going to affect their businesses.
What networking opportunities has the Big “I" provided?
I met a lot of young agents and national directors at the Young Agents Leadership Institute conference in Kansas City, Missouri, last fall—and I met with them again in Washington, D.C. When you get in this realm of attending these conferences a couple times a year and seeing a lot of the same faces, you're building relationships. It's been so wonderful.
How can insurance attract more young people?
We have to make insurance sexy—I'm not sure I'm supposed to say that, but it needs to be exciting. We need to give it less of a used-car-sales vibe because we're not wearing bad suits and trying to wheel and deal, we're really trying to protect what matters most.
I recently talked to some high school students about insurance and where my career has taken me. I showed a bunch of pictures of where I have been because of my career and they were really impressed. I think you need to take a different angle and try to get their brains thinking about what insurance might be like for them.
I think there's a talent development shortage. Our industry is aging and we're all aware of it, but I think to the extent that we can start getting job changers and younger people involved in the industry, we're going to be much better off for it. This is something I'm focused on, and I hope to really make an impact in that arena.
How have you engaged with the Young Agents Committee?
After the Kansas City meeting, I met with the executive director of the Big I New York and we discussed how to revamp the New York young agent committee, of which I'm now the committee chair.
Since then, we've been able to start from scratch. We've had some regional success in New York, but New York is such a big state that we've really struggled on a broader scale to get everyone involved. We're really working hard on that. We've assembled a committee and we're working to plan some programming and get people together to really build the community.
It's been so valuable to figure out how I can get involved nationally and also make a bigger impact locally. I'm figuring out what opportunities are out there and what kind of networking I can be a part of and how to learn from people around the country.
You did a takeover of the Agency Nation Instagram?
That was exciting and I hope it was interesting. I did more selfies than I think I've ever taken in my life, but it was fun to try to provide content that was different. I think I was in a unique position where I was at the Big “I" Legislative Conference while doing the takeover instead of just from my office or doing a day in the life type of stuff. There was a lot to capture and share with people that weren't at that conference or that could take a glimpse into what it was like.
Olivia Overman is IA content editor.