"There are so many opportunities within the industry and oftentimes recent college graduates don’t see that," says young agent Brooke Feldmeyer. "I think the solution is getting involved in universities and getting more face-to-face experience with students."
Commercial Lines Risk Specialist
Go-to drink order: Cold brew with almond milk
Desired superpower: Flying
Favorite candy: Anything sour
Biggest benefit from Gamma Iota Sigma?
During my time as a member of Gamma Iota Sigma, I served as both the President of the Alpha Chapter at The Ohio State University and as an International Student Representative, which is a national student leadership position. The biggest benefit I experienced was the opportunity to lead and transform the organization on campus into something bigger and better than what it had ever been before. I really wanted students to have the opportunity to be involved and have a family on campus.
Why insurance as a career?
I wanted to follow in my dad's footsteps. He's been an independent insurance agent for over 30 years, and he is my biggest role model. I decided I wanted to be in business when I was a sophomore in high school, but I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do. That's when I started having conversations with my dad about his experience in the insurance industry and what he does on a daily basis. I immediately knew I could see myself pursuing his exact same path.
My first step was pursuing a double major in insurance and finance in college at Ohio State University, while interning with Cincinnati Insurance every summer of college. After graduating, I came on board at Overmyer Hall Associates. Ohio State, Cincinnati Insurance, and Overmyer Hall Associates have given me the best start in the industry I could have ever asked for.
Biggest industry challenges?
The lack of interest from young professionals. People often don't consider insurance as a career because they associate it with negative stereotypes, but they just don't understand how in-depth, complex and fulfilling our industry is. There are so many opportunities within the industry and oftentimes recent college graduates don't see that.
I think the solution is getting involved in universities and getting more face-to-face experience with students—whether it's career fairs, student organizations or lectures. The more ways companies and agencies can get in front of colleges the better.
What do you love about insurance?
The constant opportunity to learn and grow. No matter where you are in your career, you can always learn more. There will always be designations to strive for, coverage lines to dive deeper into, and relationships to be made.
Do you have a role model or mentor?
I feel extremely lucky to have several role models and mentors in the industry. I followed my dad into this industry, and I constantly turn to him for advice and look up to him. Within my company, I consider my manager, our Risk Advisors, and our Client Managers to be my role models and mentors. They all give 110% effort every day and have the best work ethic that I've ever seen in the workplace. They're so unbelievably supportive and encouraging. I strive to someday have as much knowledge and expertise as they do.
Pros and cons of multiple generations in the workplace?
I don't see too many cons. The main con that comes to mind is the fact that different generations may have different communication styles, different workflow styles and different work style preferences.
But on the other hand, there are quite a few pros. The biggest one is the wealth of knowledge. There are things that the oldest person in the office can teach the youngest and things that the youngest person can teach the oldest. Being new to the industry, I constantly find myself turning to seasoned associates. There's just so much to learn from them, they've been through so many experiences and hold so much knowledge.
AnneMarie McPherson Spears is IA news editor.