A Letter from the President – July 2019
During the month of June, Smith Brothers Insurance piloted an Emerging Advisor Intern Program with two college students – Ronan Jacoby (rising Junior at Wesleyan University) and Grace Smith (rising Sophomore at Babson College). Ronan and Grace excel in the classroom, are athletes who understand the importance of team, collaboration, and communication – and they spend time giving back to the community.
Our pilot program was intended to provide young people exposure to our industry and our agency through a short and intense curriculum of learning, doing, and shadowing. With help from several of our of carrier partners, clients, and Smith Brothers team members, Grace and Ronan learned about risk, how the insurance industry works, sales, service and operations, and the importance of company culture.
They visited with our carriers, attended client meetings, researched client prospects, participated in team meetings, and attended “soft skills” training (communication styles, conflict resolution, personal branding). They contributed to an external marketing team, demonstrating their skills and adding to our culture with their energy and work ethic.
In their summary presentation about their experience, they shared the following key takeaways:
- Insurance is NOT boring and this industry offers lots of opportunities
- The importance of building strong relationships (with yourself and others)
- The impact a strong culture has on a company and it’s people
- Big Data is key
- Soft Skill Development (Grit, Knowing your Communication Style and those you work with, Emotional Intelligence)
In the blog they wrote about their experience, the following stood out to me – “One of our favorite parts of the experience was the soft skill development we received. We went through a number of different learning opportunities – Communication Styles, Conflict Resolution (win/win), Personal Branding, Interview Preparation, Mock Interviewing, as well as other opportunities that helped set us apart from our peers in internships where there is not a reinvestment in them. The reason we thought the soft skill development was so important is because we feel it is something many people assume individuals have, yet, if you never work on them, there is a good chance the full potential of an individual is not met.”
We look forward to having Ronan and Grace back next summer for our Emerging Advisor II program and welcome in another group for the Emerging Advisor I program.