"Overall, it's a great experience working with multiple generations because you get to figure out a way together for the industry to keep going," says independent agent Mireya Del Carmen Jimenez. "You’ll have more creative solutions."
Mireya Del Carmen Jimenez
Commercial Lines Client Account Manager
San Antonio, Texas
Gamma Iota Sigma Alumna
Currently streaming: “All of Us Are Dead" and when that gets too dark, I switch to “Gilmore Girls"
In your earbuds: The song “Cactus" by Twice and the true crime comedy podcast “My Favorite Murder"
Preferred social media: Twitter
What's the biggest benefit you've experienced from participating in Gamma Iota Sigma?
Getting to connect with my classmates—not only in my school, but when I went to conferences around the country, I met people from other schools and from the industry. I stayed in contact with people who have helped me find jobs. As a first-generation college graduate, having those connections helped a lot.
Why did you choose insurance as a career?
For me, insurance wasn't my first major. I wanted to be a math teacher. But then as I was going through classes and looking at the expected salary, I realized I needed to find something else. I still love teaching, but it's not something that I could do sustainably. I started in actuarial science but through GIS, I learned more about the industry and realized I liked the people-oriented side, so I switched to risk management.
What are some of the biggest challenges the industry is facing?
The hard market. I focus on account management for human services and nonprofit accounts, so the hard market is affecting my clients because they have tight budgets and are regulated by government entities. They don't have the resources to stay up to date with their buildings and technology. It requires creativity to get the pricing to where they can sustainably keep working.
Do you have a role model or mentor in the industry?
I moved to a new city, so I don't get to see him anymore, but an account manager at my previous job taught me everything I know. He told me what I needed to change and what I was doing well. And as part of the alumni program with GIS, people were kind enough to mentor me and help me understand where I wanted to be in the industry. Without their help, I wouldn't have known what direction I wanted to go before I graduated, and I probably would have had to jump around more jobs to figure out what I wanted to do.
How is the work-life balance in your role?
You're going to have times when you're going to have to work a little bit more. For example, July is the busiest and I'm going to have to work a little bit extra. But then in other seasons, I can get off work at 5 p.m. and take vacations. I think we need to look at work-life balance year-round. Thankfully, I'm in a company that really does emphasize the work-life balance. Even in busy seasons, they're still checking in on me to make sure I'm not too overwhelmed.
What are the pros and cons of multiple generations in the workplace?
Seeing this firsthand, I would say the pro is that you get to see a different attitude toward work between the generations. The older generations are more experienced, I can ask them questions, and they know how to handle tough situations. One downside is technology—since they've been in the industry so long, they can be set in their ways. But overall, it's a great experience working with multiple generations because you get to figure out a way together for the industry to keep going. You'll have more creative solutions.
Why is insurance a great industry for young professionals?
The majority of insurance professionals are starting to retire. The insurance industry is the perfect industry for kids who are interested in business, even if they don't really know where to go or aren't familiar with how insurance works. If you want to do something with people, there's the account management side. Or, if you want to do something math-related there's actuary. It's the perfect opportunity for the new generation to step up and move up the ladder a little faster than we might have anticipated.
AnneMarie McPherson Spears is IA news editor.