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Owning It: Meet Young Agent Kasia Anderson

"I’m excited to keep growing, learning and developing knowledge," says young agent Kasia Anderson. "As a female producer in a male-dominated industry, I’m also excited to help pave the way for other female insurance agents who want to grow and explore their careers, just as my mentor has done for me."
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Owning It: Meet Young Agent Kasia AndersonKasia Anderson

Vice President, Business Insurance

Christensen Group Insurance

Eden Prairie, Minnesota


Age: 30

Go-to drink order: Hot water with lemon or Sauvignon Blanc

No. 1 item on bucket list: Visit all Seven Wonders of the World

Favorite candy: Not a candy person, but I can devour chips and dip any day of the week

How did you get started in insurance?

My dad is an insurance agent. When I was a kid in Girl Scouts, he made me go around and ask each individual person in the office if they wanted to order cookies. That's where my salesperson mentality started. When I joined the agency after college, all the people I had been selling Girl Scout cookies to since kindergarten ended up being my coworkers.

Goals for your term as president of Big I Minnesota Emerging Leaders?

I want to encourage more participation from other emerging leaders throughout Minnesota to provide opportunities to network and learn from experts in the industry.

Another objective is helping other women in this industry explore opportunities and continue to build on their strengths. Traditionally, there are more women in service roles within their agencies and my objective is encouraging women to explore all roles, such as marketing, sales and leadership.

Encouraging more women to branch out in insurance?

I'd like to encourage a new wave of hybrid roles for women—whether it's trying out being a part-time agent or experimenting with another role. When entering the insurance world as a female producer, there were only two other female producers in the agency, and I want to help encourage other females to explore this avenue.

I want all agents to test the waters and get creative in embracing the hybrid opportunities this industry offers because you never know until you try.

Working in an agency with family members?

It truly has been awesome because our family is very close. My dad, brother and I specialize in workers compensation and the insurance needs for health and human services organizations. It makes all the difference to work in an organization with your family that not only will always have your back, but has a genuine interest in educating you and wanting nothing but success. I'll always be grateful for the time, energy and fun we've all had together helping our clients as a family team. It's legacy stuff and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Role model or mentor?

My role models and mentors have really shaped who I am today, and those are, without a doubt, my dad, my brother and my mentor, Alison Williams. Working alongside the three of them has been an inspiration, not just with their knowledge, but their dedication and selflessness to their clients, friends and colleagues. Having Ali as my mentor, who is one of the most successful female agents in Minnesota, has been an incredible opportunity and experience to learn from her.

Another driving impact in my career is helping others by specializing in the health and human service industry and workers comp. That's everything from nonprofits, home healthcare agencies, group homes and assisted living. Many of our clients serve immigrant communities. Being able to be a resource to these industries that are helping others in need makes all the difference to my career.

Work-life balance?

I love being a producer because of the work-life balance. Insurance has such a work hard, play hard mentality. If you put in the hard work, it can be very rewarding with flexibility and work-life balance, which is a big motivator for me.

Changing approaches to training?

A lot of agencies in Minnesota are doing a really good job of providing not just internships, but training programs. Here at Christensen Group, we have a formalized training program that introduces young or newer people to the insurance world. Some agencies have a more hands-on training program approach that builds up the proper skills to learn to be successful in insurance—and I believe that is a big differentiator for agencies.

With our industry being so complex, I think a new wave is coming around where, instead of people getting hired to be a sales agent and pressured to hit their validation numbers in a short amount of time, agencies are shifting roles to be almost like apprentice programs. Instead of a “sink or swim" mentality, it's mentoring and engaging new hires, pairing them with a producer, giving them experiences to learn how to do their job, and then encouraging them to develop their own style and expertise and grow their own independent book in a controlled and patient environment. We're starting to see more agencies roll out this type of program and I think it helps create a healthy dynamic to grow into being a successful producer.

Goals for the future?

I'm excited to keep growing, learning and developing knowledge. As a female producer in a male-dominated industry, I'm also excited to help pave the way for other female insurance agents who want to grow and explore their careers, just as my mentor has done for me. The industry offers endless opportunities and collaboration—so many different types of talented people can grow and succeed in different avenues.

Being a female producer and woman of diversity in this industry is a great opportunity. When I was deciding my career path, my brother and dad assured me there wasn't any pressure to follow in their footsteps. I majored in marketing and sales, and at college career fairs there were all different sales opportunities in industries across the board with flashy benefits. But my brother and dad told me, “Sure, you can make a nice salary and get a company car right out of college—or you can be a unicorn in the insurance industry. Don't you want to be a unicorn?"

AnneMarie McPherson Spears is IA news editor. 

Thursday, June 27, 2024
Perpetuation & Valuation
Digital Edition