Fellow Gamma members,
My name is Aaron Augustyniak and I recently graduated from Illinois State University in 2012 and was president of the Alpha Kappa chapter. I currently work at Gen Re as a Property Facultative Underwriter in Philadelphia, PA. After graduation, I participated in Gen Re's extensive 10-week training program with 28 other trainees from around the world. This was an incredible opportunity to learn about the various lines of insurance as well interacting with other trainees from around the world.
Enough about me, I want to tell you a little bit about my day-to-day job and some suggestions I have from entering into the insurance industry.
Typical Day as a Property Reinsurance Underwriter:
8:30 AM - Arrive at office
8:30-9:30 - Check email (delete ALL irrelevant email)
9:30-12 Underwrite property accounts (depending on the complexity, can get 3-5 completed by lunchtime)
12-2PM - Client marketing (2 times a week roughly, i.e: lunch, office walk-through's, industry event, golf etc.)
2-3:30 - Underwriting
3:30-3:45 - Coffee break (oh trust me, you say now you won't drink coffee, but soon enough you'll learn, young grasshopper. Just like those 5-Hour Energy commercials.)
3:45-4 - Catch up with manager/mentor (imperative to your growth within the company to find a second to catch-up with a one of them if they have time. Ask questions.)
4-5:30 - Underwriting
5:30 - Leave depending on my work load (don't be afraid to leave, but ask another employee if you can help with anything. Be proactive.)
A Couple of Challenges I've Experienced after College:
1.) Remembering Names: Depending on your interaction with your clients or co-workers, you are the "new guy" and you will be introduced to an overwhelming amount of people.
Suggestions - write key points on the back of their business card, pick out something in cubicle to remember or just ask for their name again!
2.) Studying for the CPCU after work: Let me tell you, I should have passed more of those suckers in college! LISTEN when your professors tell you to take as many as you can in school!
Suggestions - a chapter a night right when you get home. Don't sit on that couch, go right to a table. Real Housewives of (name a city) can wait. Study on the train on the way to work or on the way home.
Suggestions For Post-Graduation:
1.) Ask Questions Now: This is the time to ask as many questions as possible and nobody will judge you. It's a lot easier said than done, but don't be afraid to ask for clarification not once, but maybe twice. Ask what can you do to help (i.e: company research, nitty gritty stuff, anything). Don't take it too far and be a brown-noser. Nobody likes them.
2.) Young Insurance Professional Group: Get involved. Take a step outside of your comfort zone. Try and bring a friend. I won't beat it into the ground because I know many of you already know, but networking is crucial in the insurance industry.
3.) Keep Those Gamma Connections: I relocated for my job out to Philadelphia from Chicago. Yes, it is extremely tough and is a lot easier said than done, but with my Gamma connections out here (Shout out to LaSalle and Temple), I've been able to expand my network and meet other insurance professionals that I will be doing business with in the future!
That's all. Please feel free to contact me with any questions about my job, or anything in between. I'd say I'm a pretty laid-back guy and open to anything. Aaron.Augustyniak@genre.com
Aaron "Augie" Augustyniak