Office Hours with Career Connections: Unexpected Findings about the Insurance Industry


Office Hours is real look behind the scenes for aspiring professionals. Students who are curious, driven and willing to go the egg-stra mile are drawn towards this unique opportunity to ask their industry questions and get honest answers. On November 22, 2018, we gave a sneak peak into the insurance industry. Together with Trevor Buttrum, Campus Recruiter of the Year from Career Connections, we hosted an hour-long live chat for those who are interested in hatching their career in insurance.

Hello everyone, thanks for joining Office Hours with Career Connections! To log into the chat, please follow the steps below:

1. Click the message bar above to activate (“send questions or comments”)
2. Pick a screen name – your first name will do!
3. Enter your question(s) into the chat – they’ll be accepted into our moderation system as soon as you hit ‘send’!

We will be starting the event promptly at 4 p.m. EST – stay tuned!

Hello everyone, thanks for joining us for Office Hours! My name is Maria and I’ll be moderating today’s chat.

If this is your first time attending Office Hours, I’ll explain how this works. Over the next hour, you can submit your questions for Career Connections through the live chat box. Our guest eggs-pert will be answering as many of them as they can, so please be patient if your question doesn’t get answered right away.

If you pre-registered for our event and submitted an advance question, you can sit back and relax! Of course, if you have additional questions you’d like to ask, you can still submit them live at any time during the event.

Before we get started, let’s introduce our guest Trevor Buttrum, Campus Recruiter of the Year, from Career Connections!

Comment From Career Connections – Trevor
Hello! Hope you are having an egg-cellent Thursday! Thanks so much for joining us for Office Hours today! We are really glad you are here to learn more about how your education, skills, interests, and experience can add up to a great career in insurance! I am egg-cited for your questions… so, let’s get crackin’!!

Thanks, Trevor! And now to get things started, here’s our first question.

Jessica from Ryerson University
What soft skills do I need to get an interview/job in the Insurance Industry?

Comment From Career Connections – Trevor
Thanks for the question, Jessica! There are so many diverse roles in the industry – each one with its own set of unique skills, backgrounds, and experiences that can help set you up for success. I would invite you to check out the day in a life profiles in the TalentEgg Career Incubator, our profile page, and our website – to learn more about the wide array of opportunities available in the industry. That being said, there are some common workplace critical (or soft) skills that many insurance recruiters have shared with us that they look for in a candidate: Curiosity – asking great questions and making connections… with a strong desire to learn something new! Communication skills – the ability to write clearly, take something complex like insurance and make it accessible to others, making people feel welcome and valued, and strong interpersonal communication skills can go a long way… Solutions-focused – problem solving is one thing… but always thinking about how to arrive at the solution that makes the most sense in the moment and having a can-do attitude are things that insurance employers are looking for Critical Thinking – being able to take stock of a situation, evaluate sources/quality of information and make sound choices based on the facts/information that is front of you.

Saivarun from Algonquin College
How do I get my first job in the insurance industry?

Comment From Career Connections – Trevor
Saivarun, thanks for your question. Like any industry, insurance employers advertise on their own websites, in places like, or on our job board –…. They are also sometimes on campus! Check out our events to see when we will be on a campus near you!! Networking, putting together a solid resume (we’ve even got resume tips on our job site –…), connecting with professionals on LinkedIN, attending events/seminars/industry events (even volunteering), and applying to positions that resonate with what you are looking for in your career are all strategies that go into getting that first job. I’d also invite you to spend some time to identify your potential starting points – roles that fit with who you are and where you want to go in your career! If you are a little unsure, you can even take our quiz to help get you started –

Maksym from Humber College
What internship opportunities your company opens for students for the summer term?

Comment From Career Connections – Trevor
Makysm – thanks for your question! Insurance companies themselves do hire Summer students and interns. What I would suggest is checking out our jobsite –…. From there, you can link to 150+ industry employers. Based on your geography and what you are looking for in terms of an internship opportunity and summer job, you can connect to companies that might it with your goals. I’d also keep an eye out for insurance employers on campus and roles that are advertised on or through your Career Centre. Start early! And, don’t forget that networking can also help you identify opportunities!!

Make sure to follow Career Connections on Twitter and Facebook for updates!

Lily from University of Waterloo
I’ve been getting interviews [phone screens, first round], but I can’t seem to get to the second round, or land the job after the second round. What advice do you have? Should I be strengthening my interview skills, or is it just a matter of not being the right fit / skill set?

Comment From Career Connections – Trevor
Lily, your candour and question are appreciated. I certainly empathize that it can be tough when you are not quite sure what is getting in the way of you moving on to the second round. I would invite you to take a three pronged approach: 1. It might be helpful to connect with your career centre or check out some of the great content on that can help you in preparing for and nailing the interview. 2. Reflect on what went well in previous interviews, and, also on what you might be able to build upon for the future. Where possible write down the responses you provided to each of the questions and share them with trusted friends or career advisors to get their thoughts to. From there, you can identify what to keep doing and where you can improve going forward. 3. Sometimes, it is just about fit. Take some time to research the organization and the role. This might give you some additional clues about how to position your skills, experience, and mindset in ways that really resonate with the employer. Additionally, you will also get a sense about whether the company culture fits with who you are and what you are wanting from your career. You may choose based on your research to focus on another company instead. Also, I would suggest asking for feedback after you have received a notice that you are not moving forward. You never know, there might be some helpful tips that you can use to your advantage in the future. Finally, don’t get discouraged or give up. It might take multiple interviews before you experience success. If you honed your skills, been reflexive, and are open to feedback, it likely will only be a matter of time before you find yourself with offers on the table for your next great opportunity!

Comment From Sophie
What is the best way to get your foot in the door in the insurance industry?

Comment From Career Connections – Trevor
Sophie – thanks for your question! There is no one way to get your foot in the door in the industry. Why? Because there are multiple roles and entry points. First, you will want to consider where your skills, and interests lie in relation to what is out there in insurance. Explore roles on our profile or on our website – From there, it then is about identifying potential employers, growing your insurance network, attending insurance career events, taking part in seminars/events, and putting your best foot forward. A winning resume, applying to positions directly on-line (through companies, on, or our jobsite), and connecting with employers on-line are also key ingredients to success here.

Comment From Thomas
What are the different programs or certificates that can be transferred into insurance?

Comment From Career Connections – Trevor
Thomas – good question! The great news is that virtually any post-secondary education can be related to the sector! Whether it is Arts, Science, Engineering, Healthcare, Business… what have you, there is likely a connection to this industry as it is all around us and a part of nearly everything we do in life and in business. You can learn more on our website in the Post-Secondary students section about how your degree or diploma can translate into a starting point to further explore in our sector. There are also insurance-specific programs offered at colleges and universities across the country which actually embed insurance studies into their business curriculum. Some are even at the post-graduate certificate level. So, they can be complementary to your studies that you already have behind you.

Comment From Career Connections – Trevor
Perhaps the most important thing to take away is that insurance designations or licenses are not required to join the industry. In fact, more often than not, employers will support your completion of these credentials while you are already working in the industry.

Great stuff everyone, keep the questions coming!

Comment From Monica
Do you think jobs in insurance will always exist, or can AI affect jobs in this sector too?

Comment From Career Connections – Trevor
Monica – thanks for this! AI will have a role to play in the industry. We know this as there are already elements of it being introduced into the way our industry does business. That being said, insurance is embedded into the very fabric of our society. While roles may shift or evolve in step with technology, all of our current data (from our latest round of demographic research) suggests that insurance organizations are in growth mode and still very much focused on finding talent for their operational roles (underwriting, claims, actuarial, etc.) as well as emerging roles (business analysts, data scientists, digital strategists, etc.). What is likely to change is the complexity and nature of the risks professionals are dealing with – AI will take care of the simpler more consistent risks, while people will monitor to ensure the machines are learning/applying things correctly and manage more robust aspects of the business.

We’ve reached the halfway mark and we’ll introduce the poll now.

What interests you the most about the insurance industry?

  • Job stability (50%)
  • Lifelong learning (25%)
  • Career advancement (13%)
  • Personal satisfaction and growth (13%)

John from York University
I currently work in the sales/service side of the Insurance Industry. What are some of the career possibilities available that are either operational and more business related?

Comment From Career Connections – Trevor
Hi John – great question! Sales and service is just one aspect of the industry. There are so many other different facets – underwriting, risk management, claims, business development, data analytics, actuarial, etc. to name just a few. The think you will want to consider is where do you want your career to go – e.g. what interests you? Where will you feel most purposeful? Based on your reference to operational or business related career paths, I might suggest that you look to underwriting or risk management as potential starting points. You can learn more about these roles on your TalentEgg profile or on our website – If we missed the mark, and your true passion is say claims… you might want to check this area of insurance out as well. When in doubt, and you are unsure about where you might like to go, take our quiz!…. Hope that helps!

If you want to find your fit in the Insurance industry, check out Career Connections’ quiz!

Comment From Raihaan
What are some perks and benefits to working in Insurance?

Comment From Career Connections – Trevor
Raihaan – there are so many rewards and benefits to working in our industry! One thing to note is that according to the Institute’s latest round of demographic research, 97% of industry professionals note that they feel they contribute to their company’s success. 94% are proud to work in the industry. and 90% feel there is a clear link between their work and their company’s goals and objectives. These are some pretty great engagement stats – so, it is clear that the industry can offer a career that is a source of purpose and pride. Industry professionals I work with also report that they feel like they are a part of something and help contribute to the quality of lives of others. Others share that they are never bored and that there is always a new challenge awaiting them. And, finally, others tell us that what keeps them here is the people they work with and sense of community that they feel as an industry professional. This of course is in addition to satisfaction with total compensation, vacation, benefits, flexible working options, etc.

What roles and opportunities are available in the Insurance industry? Check out these career profiles and get cracking!

Comment From Crystal
How long would you recommend to stay in a role before switching companies? I would like to progress in my career but am worried about being negatively perceived as a job-hopper.

Comment From Career Connections – Trevor
Crystal – I appreciate the dilemma! Two things… First, it is ultimately up to you for when you decide to move on to another organization. There are so many factors that go into that decision – opportunity for growth, proximity to home, training, new opportunities, great boss, etc. But, I would suggest that you be mindful that how you leave a job is just as important as how you came to it. Essentially, you will want to be respectful, flexible, provide as much notice as possible, and not leave by burning any bridges. It is a small industry and your brand is key!!

Comment From Career Connections – Trevor
And, #2, I would also really encourage you to look inside your organization before you consider leaving. Have conversations with your manager about your career, talk to HR and learning teams, network or seek out mentors… the career growth you are seeking may be in the organization you are already a part of. And if not, you can at least truly state that you did everything you could to look for and see out that opportunity when you do leave.

Comment From Lauren
What would be the best entry-level role for someone who just graduated?

Comment From Career Connections – Trevor
Lauren – Thanks for your question! Insurance is vast and there is a wide array of opportunities available. So, there are multiple entry points. You might want to do some thinking and research about which one is a ‘fit’ with who you are and what you bring to the table. That being said, new grads can often find their place in insurance by starting out in a Broker/Agent role (if you like people, strategy, and service), Underwriting (if you are a relationship builder and enjoy making decisions), claims (where you can be part therapist or part investigator), and risk management (strategy and planning are your thing). You can learn more about these roles on our website – or event take our quiz –… to learn more.

Thank you for participating everyone! We have time for just a few more questions, so submit them before it’s too late!

Anjola from University of Winnipeg
Is a criminal justice degree relevant towards a career in insurance? Is there any specific program that is preferrable or required for a career in the insurance industry?

Comment From Career Connections – Trevor
Anjola, the short answer is… ABSOLUTELY! A degree in criminal justice could come in handy in claims as there is sometimes interaction with law enforcement or legal professionals to help get a sense of what happened, mediate, and settle claims. As well, your understanding of the law and precision in the use of language might help you as an underwriter and putting the insurance contract/policy into place. You might also find claims investigation or loss control (spotting trouble before it happens) rewarding pathways as well. There is lots to explore based on this educational background – it really depends on your skills and what you like to do that might help you narrow down which role might be the best fit for you! There is really no preferred program – just a desire to find talented, creative, and motivated people with some good solid critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills in our industry.

Dibya from Humber College
I can work when I am in the field but I can not show confidence in the interview. How do I overcome this fear?

Comment From Career Connections – Trevor
Dibya, my biggest suggestion is to take a deep breath and let yourself shine through in the interview. Remember, employers would not have invited you in if they did not see the potential for you to be a GREAT fit for the role. They are really just confirming their assumptions and wanting to learn more about you. That being said, interviewing is a bit of an art form. I would suggest that if it is still something that is not sitting as comfortably as it could, that you connect with your career centre. They can set up a practice interview to help you better understand your strengths and areas to work on. This feedback can also help in building the confidence that can help you stand out in the interview process. Practice each and every opportunity you can. It’s not intended to be scripted… but, rather, help you in feeling as comfortable and confident as possible. There are also some great articles you can check out on and around the Internet that can help you along the way too!

Reham (CPA Student)
What are all the possible career paths in the insurance industry for recent accounting grads?

Comment From Career Connections – Trevor
Accounting grads have lots of potential points to make a career connections, Reham! Whether it is in our accounting departments (yes, we have a need for accountants) or even in our operational roles – underwriting, risk management, or even actuarial (depending on how much you love the quantitative math and analysis in accounting). It ultimately comes down to what you would like to do and where you see your career going. There is actually an association for insurance accountants – Canadian Insurance Accountants Association (CIAA). Check them out! They have a job board, annual conference, and PD events!


That’s all the time we have for today! Thanks everyone for your egg-cellent questions.

We hope you’ve all taken away some useful information about the Insurance industry and how you can have a fulfilling career.

A very special thanks to Trevor Buttrum, winner of Campus Recruiter of the Year, for joining us today! Do you have any final advice to give our students and grads?

Comment From Career Connections – Trevor
Thanks so much for the opportunity to be here today! We really appreciate all of the great questions and comments from all of the students and new grads who took part in today’s discussion. Be sure to check out our website – for more information about how to find your place in insurance. You can also check out our profile and the Careers in Insurance Guide right here on for some additional tips, insights, and perspectives as well. Keep the conversation going with us on Twitter and Facebook! We’d love to hear from you and are happy to help in anyway we can!

And, of course… connect with us when we are out on campus! We’d love to see you at on of our events next term!!

Thanks again for joining us, everyone. Have an egg-cellent day!

Learn more about Career Connections and hatch your career in insurance today!