As a young child, I was always asked the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I never knew how to answer the question and every time someone asked me, I had a different answer. The one career choice I never thought would be an option was in Insurance.
At the beginning of my 3rd year of college, I had transferred to The University of Texas at Dallas not knowing what major to choose. I had eventually declared my major in Marketing because I saw how the world is innovating in the realm of technology and found interest in that. Still, I was unsure if that was a career path I wanted to pursue in for the rest of my life. A peer who recently graduated persuaded me to join the Risk Management and Insurance organization on campus, which opened new doors for me like it did for him. I knew in my heart I wanted to pursue a career that allowed me to help and educate others and to implement fresh ideas. My internship with FCCI Insurance Group allowed me to do that and much more, far exceeding my expectations.
The more knowledge I gained through professional development and my academics, I realized how important it is to grow my network and build relationships. At FCCI, I learned how rich culture and core values are both important within the company in order to sustain growth in their employees and profitability. These core values are: loyalty, integrity, vision, excellence, and service. In the book, “A Legacy of Trust, The Story of FCCI,” by E.L. Wilks, he mentions, “We live by these core values, and each of these core values lives in us.”
Through my 8 weeks of interning with FCCI, I have obtained a better insight in the industry. I received training in all departments including Underwriting, Claims, Risk Control, Surety, Special Investigations Unit, Agri-business, and Inland Marine. Different projects that were assigned to me, such as the “Quote Not Taken,” helped me to become familiarized with insurance lingo. I learned the process of underwriting a new business application versus renewing an existing piece of business. I was given the opportunity to be a part of virtual conference calls with colleagues and interns from other regional offices. The agency visits provided exposure to additional roles at the agency which helped me understand the Business Development Specialist role and how important it is. Within claims, I was introduced to an attorney to discuss about ongoing claims and what we can do as a carrier to execute a “win.” I also had the opportunity to meet with an accident re-constructionist to learn about the programs used to reconstruct an auto accident, providing a clearer understanding of the case. I was also given some time to market FCCI to future interns by creating a handbook for the Southwest Regional Office. The information I gathered included an overview of FCCI, a head shot of everyone, their contact information, and “fun facts” about themselves. I felt that this was a wonderful way for interns to connect with team members before the internship even begins. This handbook is a source interns can use as a conversation starter.
My summer internship at FCCI provided me the perfect amount of exposure I needed to paint a picture of what goes on in the insurance world. During my internship, I have faced and conquered many challenges. I still remember my very first day of interning when I had the hardest time finding the entrance to the parking garage. I kept circling around the building until I finally found it. I still reminisce about the first day I walked through the revolving doors and saw how friendly the people were as I made my way up to the 10th floor. During the progression of my internship, every person I encountered became a mentor to me. They made themselves available when I had questions or needed them to elaborate on a specific topic. All in all, I can vouch that FCCI Insurance Group stays true to what they stand for.
I would like to personally say thank you to Sheila Kemp (who was my first point of contact from FCCI), for her approachable personality, and getting me excited about the Insurance industry early on in my academics. Thank you, Tracey Pfab and Don Saetre for always having your doors open, encouraging me to ask questions and emphasizing, “no question is a dumb question.” Thank you, Pete Duncan, Greg Galloway, Erveis Cortez, and Jessica Mead for your enthusiasm, making each day of the internship, another day to look forward to. I would also like to say thank you, again, to Tony LaRocca, Cathy Vasquez, Javier Contreras, and Greg Hare for interviewing me back in February and believing in me enough, to give me the opportunity to intern with FCCI.
Thank you, FCCI, for providing an unforgettable internship experience!