Wait – That’s an Insurance Job?

If you’re considering switching to a career in insurance, learn about roles that call for non-insurance skills.

It may not be obvious to those outside the risk management world, but switching to a career in insurance can open the door to a variety of options that go far beyond underwriting and broking.

Meet four professionals who brought their talent and not-unique-to-insurance skills to Argo Group.

Curious about your ideal insurance career fit? Find out!

With a background in educational technology and personal finance risk management, Argo Digital Product Manager Sophia Lu does not consider herself to be an expert in insurance – particularly specialty commercial insurance.

“I didn’t know a retail broker from a wholesale broker before my first day at Argo,” she says.

She joined the Argo Digital team despite her lack of experience in the industry in part because of the encouragement of her previous manager, who told her that developing a strong career as a product manager depends more on the product culture of the team and overall work experience than the specific domain knowledge of an industry.

“I didn’t know a retail broker from a wholesale broker.”

“I bring the customer needs and the business objectives together to express them through a digital experience,” says Lu, who is based in New York. “What business wants is not necessarily what customers want. We have to find that balance and come up with a product vision and strategy to develop a product that delights the customer.”

She estimates that a large majority of her colleagues are also new to insurance, which enables them to bring a fresh perspective to an industry with centuries of history.

“It’s challenging and very interesting,” she says.

Sometimes the second time is the charm.

After graduating with a marketing degree, Emily Williams took a position as a production specialist for a national wholesale brokerage. But when she wasn’t quoting and binding, she was working her side hustle as a part-time event planner.

“It’s incredible that there are so many diverse roles within the insurance industry.”

She eventually transitioned to a full-time career in the event industry for several years before seeking out a more structured a role in corporate events. The opportunity to merge her event and insurance experience intrigued her. The Argo team impressed her during the interview process.

“It’s not necessarily the specific job or industry, surrounding yourself with good people – that’s what matters,” says Williams, who is based in Richmond, Virginia.

Her experience has taught her that insurance careers can be quite different from the industry’s buttoned-up reputation.

“I feel that Argo is an approachable company with a great working environment,” she says. “It’s incredible that there are so many diverse roles within the insurance industry.”

New to a career in insurance? Get insights and resources from our experts.

Alison Gaudette spent her undergraduate years finding herself. After graduation, she worked as a flight attendant and for the Canadian federal government. After having worked in various roles and lived in different provinces, she moved to Bermuda and ultimately discovered her passion for research.

“At one point, I found myself unemployed due to a company closure. I was looking for a job, and the leading employer in Bermuda is the international insurance industry,” she says. “I originally started in an underwriting unit, but I wanted to strengthen my business acumen, so I completed an online MBA program.”

By then, she was hooked on research. Gaudette will receive a graduate certificate in Corporation Sustainability and Innovation from Harvard University’s Extension School in December 2020.

“Do what you are good at and keep pushing yourself forward.”

As a Sustainability Analyst for Argo Group, Gaudette helps craft the company’s ESG strategy. Some of the projects she worked on include drafting group-wide policies, identifying how to improve ESG indices; and calculating greenhouse gas emissions data.

“I think about it, and then I do research,” she says. “I do a ton of reading, and I pull out ideas and concepts, and I make up my own. I’ve found my niche. It sounds simple but do what you are good at and keep pushing yourself forward. That is what steered me in all those different directions. My line is not straight.”

Marcus Morissette had been planning to go to culinary school when he decided to attend law school instead.

After graduating, Morissette, now Assistant General Counsel and Chief Privacy Counsel for Argo Group, received a commission from the U.S. Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps. He spent almost five years on active duty with the Navy, where he served as a defense counsel and operational law attorney. When he left active duty, he was hired as corporate counsel for an information security software startup company and then took a job at eBay, where he eventually became chief privacy officer.

“You have to have certain things to be compliant, but a truly effective privacy program exists to enable the business to operate and innovate, take on new challenges, and manage risk,” says Morissette, who is based in Washington state and still serves in the Navy Reserves.

Insurance intrigued Morissette because of the opportunities and challenges he sees in the industry, including a number of relationships with brokers, producers and claims administrators that can be complex.

“This range of relationships and the complexity of those relationships are challenges that have to be overcome,” he says. “But they’re also intriguing, like a puzzle to be solved.”

Learn more about careers at Argo.

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