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The Superheroes of Tomorrow

The CLM Internship Program signals league of new recruits to the insurance industry.

August 26, 2014 Photo

The definition of a superhero is someone who possesses extraordinary talents, supernatural phenomena, or superhuman powers and is dedicated to protecting the public. Looking toward the future, some say the insurance industry is in need of superheroes—and soon.   

Using U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, The Institutes projects that the insurance industry will need to fill more than 400,000 jobs by 2020. Add to that the fact that every day for the next 10 years, 10,000 baby boomers will enter retirement age. That leaves the insurance industry vulnerable to losing the lion’s share of its most highly educated and trained professionals. The brain drain on the horizon is a supervillain that simply must be vanquished.

However, a career in insurance doesn’t exactly conjure up excitement for most young people today. Indeed, the perception for many is that the business is stodgy and boring, though it couldn’t be more wrong. The truth is that the insurance industry—claims, in particular—is one of the best-kept vocational secrets of our day. And with a massive gap in talent on the horizon, it’s time to shout it from the mountaintops: “The insurance industry provides a great career!” But without a bat signal, how do we summon the extraordinary talent we need to come to the rescue?

The CLM is providing one answer to amass the next generation of insurance industry professionals: the CLM Internship Program. This year, the program was executed across the country over an eight-week period during the summer, and offered more than 30 internship positions. Interns were provided a rich, hands-on education and an opportunity to earn their claims adjuster licenses through an online training program. Many of the companies participating in the program intend to offer full-time employment to successful interns after their graduations.

The CLM Internship Program, designed for students who are interested in pursuing a career in claims management, is in its second year and has attracted a bright array of candidates and future superheroes. Here, we’ll discover the impact the program has had on five of this year’s most promising interns as they share what the program has meant to them and their futures.

Jake GrossbaumJake Grossbaum

School: Boston College

Major: Finance and Accounting

Graduation: Class of 2016

Internship Company: Homesite Insurance

I had the amazing opportunity of getting to intern this summer at Homesite Insurance in Boston. My father, a member of CLM, forwarded me a notice about the internship, and I knew instantly that I wanted to apply. While I am working in the claims department, I have had exposure to so many areas, such as adjusting, the special investigations unit, and finance. I expected to be reading through a lot of standard claims and inputting data, but I have been exposed to the entire claims process from start to finish. I have learned how to understand and apply a policy, as well as utilize the different technological systems that Homesite uses. I have been given real responsibility, such as reading through claims and determining the possibility for subrogation, as well as creating declarations and forms for future projects and presentations.

One of the biggest challenges in the insurance industry that I have realized during my time is the empathy one cannot help but feel for many claimants. I can relate to many of their issues and know it is a priority here at Homesite to help customers complete the claims process with as little stress as possible.

My internship has given me hands-on experience in the insurance industry and opened my eyes to the realities of such a business. I have gotten so much out of my internship, and it has definitely shed a positive light on the industry for me.

Alex WasickAlex Wasick

School: Olivet College

Major: Insurance Risk Management

Graduation: Class of 2015

Internship Company: Accident Fund

I first heard of the CLM Internship Program in an email from one of my college advisors. After reading more about the internship and all of the benefits that came with it, I became very excited and immediately applied for a position. I really liked how CLM sent out my résumé to many companies; it was like applying for multiple internships at once. I received calls with great opportunities from multiple companies asking if I wanted to interview. After getting an offer from a company in my home state of Michigan, I knew I had made the right choice applying through CLM.

I was unsure of what to expect when I went into my first day as a summer intern at Accident Fund. In the summer of 2013, I completed a personal lines internship with a different company and did some claims handling and adjusting. This internship, however, was with corporate claims, something I had only read about in a college textbook. Like any internship, the first few days were basically just settling into a new environment and reading different articles and reviewing company numbers to learn exactly what everyone in the company does and who reports to whom. Next came various projects within the company claims center. I started working on different vendor and company audits and was able to learn a lot about what each vendor did for us. I also had some really amazing hands-on experience getting to see surveillance footage from different vendors within my audit. From there, I would rate how long the video was and how important it was in our investigation.

Currently, I am working on a research project viewing claims that had some unorganized bills in them and putting those bills into the correct categories instead of just having them listed as “other” or “miscellaneous.” With this project, we hope to lower those miscellaneous expenses that can be avoided.

Thanks to this program, I have been exposed to more opportunities in the world of insurance, and I am considering different positions in the claims field.

Rebecca SilveiraRebecca Silveira

School: Pennsylvania State University

Major: Marketing and International Business

Graduation: Class of 2016

Internship Company: Swiss Re

At this point in developing my career path, I am looking to apply my passion for numbers and analytics along with my keen sense for creativity. Penn State’s Smeal College of Business hosts several career fairs throughout the school year. This is where I found the opportunity I’d been seeking through the CLM and Swiss Re’s recruiter, Samantha Dunn.

Being only a sophomore at the time, I cannot say that I had much exposure to insurance. At the start of my internship, I quickly realized I needed to overcome the language that is used, which was foreign to me. I swiftly “adjusted” and learned the ins and outs of the business. From claims to client markets, technical accounting to underwriting, every member has to work together to be successful. This cross-functional work has been my favorite—and most surprising—part of working in insurance. For example, being on the claims team, I’ve worked a lot with an elaborate tool created by actuaries to develop numbers that will then assist our underwriters.

The CLM Internship Program has opened my eyes to the vast opportunities the insurance industry has to offer. This experience has shown me that insurance is the backbone of our global society, and that is the type of work I’d love to spend the rest of my life doing.

Dhvanil ZaveriDhvanil Zaveri

School: Cumberland School of Law

Major: Law

Graduation: Class of 2016

Internship Company: Arrowpoint Capital

I first heard about the CLM Internship Program from my school’s career development office. I was immediately interested because of the incorporation of business and legal work. Having a business background from my undergraduate studies and currently being in law school, I was very interested in an internship where I could learn more about these two aspects in a work environment. This internship has been nothing short of great and has shown me how business and litigation work hand in hand more than I ever could have imagined.

One of my favorite moments was during a mediation in Charleston, S.C., when I was actively helping the company settle various cases. From creating spreadsheets to answering the mediator’s questions, I enjoyed playing a role in making an impact.

This internship and the CLM have made me think a lot about my career path. My dream of being a trial lawyer had previously blinded me to other possible career options, but Arrowpoint Capital and the CLM opened my eyes to other paths. I have learned that a juris doctor degree holds a great deal of respect not only in court, but also in other fields like claims and insurance.

Jeff StaryJeff Stary

School: St. John’s University

Major: MBA in Risk Management and Insurance

Graduation: Class of 2015

Internship Company: Berkley Life Sciences

I received an email through the career center at my school alerting me to the CLM Internship Program. I thought that the program looked like a great way to get my foot in the door of the insurance industry and get valuable experience. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the company. Berkley Life Sciences has a wonderful atmosphere, and it stresses ethics and doing business the “right way” more so than any company for which I’ve previously worked. I tried not to have any expectations going into the internship and found that I was treated with an abundance of respect and given the chance to do meaningful work.

Berkley Life Sciences is a highly empathetic organization. It was stressed to me that the company always pursues a fair, equitable solution for all of those involved. We also were told to consider how our actions affected the company as a whole and not just our department or ourselves. The company embraces technology, and everything from our claims files to the bulk of our communication is done on computers, which also allows employees to telecommute and go paper-free whenever possible. I handled some claims myself and worked on other projects, such as research for litigation. I did not have prior insurance experience before my internship, so I had a lot to learn and was given a great environment in which to do so.

I was already intending to follow a career path in insurance, and my internship has reinforced that decision.

 

The CLM Internship Program is an important part of the future of the insurance claims industry. If your company would like to provide an internship for the summer of 2015, please contact susan.wisbey-smith@theclm.org.   

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About The Authors
Bevrlee J. Lips

Bevrlee J. Lips was managing editor of Claims Management magazine (now CLM Magazine) from January 2012 until March 2017.  blips@claimsadvisor.com

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