"I believe Gen Z will be far more efficient and further the perception of the industry as a whole," says Kari Sandifer, independent agent. "They're the tech-savvy professionals who can deliver solutions quickly and will definitely make their mark on the industry."
Account Executive, Property-Casualty
Currently streaming: Yellowstone
In your earbuds: True crime podcasts
Preferred social media: LinkedIn and Facebook
What's changed over the last five years?
The emergence of the captive industry being a viable option for a larger percentage of my client base has definitely created learning opportunities and interesting challenges for me. And adjusting to working from home and a now-hybrid schedule has been a journey. I feel as though I strike a better work-life balance while working from home, but I very much miss the personal interactions with colleagues and clients that you get from being in the office.
Since I last talked with the magazine, I'm proud to say I've earned my Master of Science in risk and insurance from Butler University. I was also able to complete my CRM designation. There were a lot of busy weekends during that process, but it's great to have accomplished all that.
Industry receptivity to millennials and Generation Z?
I think it's improving. I'd say those beliefs were showcased as we migrated to working at home. As a millennial, I was already adept to working paperless, and it was easy for me to make that happen remotely. What I appreciate about my colleagues is that we all helped one another make this transition possible for our agency. All generations in our workforce brought a skillset that was needed for us to succeed, and I was glad to see the value of millennials and Gen Z in the workforce come to light.
Last time, you said one of the most annoying millennial stereotypes was that they're all lazy. Have you seen that perception change?
Yes, I do feel that's changed. One significant difference I've noticed is that millennials are proactive when it comes to learning on their own. They're willing to adapt, seek instruction and really train themselves versus the old model of output meetings and training sessions. They seem to be adept at pulling the needed information from a source rather than waiting for it to be taught to them. I think that as technology takes a front seat in our industry, millennials will continue to emerge as industry leaders.
You mentioned a millennial stereotype that fits you is how comfortable you are with technology. How has that played out in your career?
It continues to be in everything. No matter what you're faced with in day-to-day operations, there's always some form of technology. As an agency, we pride ourselves on having different avenues for clients, and some of those are technology-based platforms. We try to make the ease of business better for our clients to set our agency apart.
Advice for Gen Z?
Be patient—your opportunity will arise and you are crucial for the future of our industry. I believe Gen Z will be far more efficient and further the perception of the industry as a whole—they're the tech-savvy professionals who can deliver solutions quickly and will definitely make their mark on the industry.
AnneMarie McPherson is IA news editor.