I recently had the pleasure of speaking to an Intro to Insurance and Insurance Careers class at BGSU.
It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my career.
I’m not sure who learned more, me or the students. That is something I am still debating as I reflect on my experience.
I did a ton of research and here’s what I found:
By 2024 there will be 400,000 jobs open in the insurance industry
29,000 of those jobs will be in Ohio
There are 1,600 independent insurance agencies in Ohio
256 insurance carriers are doing business in Ohio
104,000 Ohioans are employed in the industry
While those numbers were music to my ears, I wasn’t quite sure they would make a difference to a college student.
So, I asked myself. . .
Why should these students care about insurance?
Why should they seek a career in insurance?
Would they even be a good fit for the industry?
I realized then that there is something for everyone in the industry because insurance offers such a wide variety of career paths.
From HR to IT, there is a job for everyone. I do not think the industry does enough to promote this, especially to our youth.
Case in point: When I asked the class what came to mind when they thought about a career in insurance, they responded, “To be in insurance, I would have to sell coverage or settle claims.” (I was honestly surprised they knew that much!)
That is so not true! You can have a very successful career in insurance without ever selling a policy (or anything for that matter).
So, during my brief time with these students, I tried to make insurance real and relatable.
Protecting your investments
Insurance is all around us in every aspect of life. The economy couldn’t function without it.
No one would invest in cars, houses, amusement parks, clothing stores, restaurants, the list goes on.
If people didn’t have a way to protect their investment, they wouldn’t invest.
This is exactly what insurance provides: protection of your investment.
Who would want to serve food to a customer at a restaurant without insurance?
Who protects the restaurant owner if a customer chokes or gets food poisoning?
Who protects homeowners when their house catches on fire and they lose everything?
Would you buy a car and risk getting into an accident and totaling it without insurance?
No, you wouldn’t.
Insurance drives the economy (no pun intended).
The foundation of insurance is making a person whole again, and bringing them back to where they were before the loss.
But there is so much more to it.
From actuaries who determine how much to charge an insurance customer for coverage, to data scientists who analyze data to identify the type of customers they want to insure, to marketing and communications specialists who determine the best way to advertise their products to customers.
There is a role for everyone in this industry.
The future is bright
I think my favorite part of the entire class (besides the sweet pic I forced the class to take while wearing OIA sunglasses) was an interactive activity we did where each student shared what they are passionate about along with a word or phrase they would use to describe themselves.
Some said they were social, enjoyed engaging with others. Some said they were good at math and solving problems. Some said they loved to work with computers.
They each brought a different expertise to the table, which was very impressive.
My goal for this activity was to change their perspective on insurance and help drive home my point, that there is a place for everyone in the industry.
I’m not entirely sure it worked, only time will tell.
One thing is for sure, the future is truly bright for these students. They will be able to do anything they set their minds to and I can only hope they choose a career in our amazing industry!