NAAAP Temple is proud to present one of our members and previous Director of Public Relations in Fall 2015, Nancy Le, as our first feature in our new Success Stories series! A senior, Nancy has managed to secure a job before graduation as a Catastrophe Risk Analyst in Aon Benfield, one of the world’s leading reinsurance intermediary and full-service capital advisor. She is currently majoring in Risk Management and Insurance while minoring in Management Information Systems (MIS). Prior to securing her full-time job, she has completed internships in reputable companies such as JP Morgan Chase & Co. as an Operations Analyst intern, as well as Philadelphia Insurance Companies as a Risk Management Services intern.
We managed to reach out to Nancy to learn more about her job search and how the experiences she’s gained throughout college has contributed to her success!
1) How did you get the job? What was the process like?
I found the job post online and applied. Weeks later, I got an email that I was qualified for a first round virtual interview. After my recorded response, I was extended a final interview at the Chicago headquarters days later. The interview was rigorous–10 interviewers asking behavioral (broker side) and technical (reinsurance and coding side) questions. A few weeks later, I got a call back with an offer.
2) How was your overall job search experience?
It was way more difficult than I thought. Temple has a reputable RMI program with a good job placement rate. However, I learned that insurance was going through a “soft market” at the time, which is probably why the demand for hiring was low. In the entire fall semester, I’ve gotten interviews for several companies, some rejections and acceptances. In the end, I really had to sit back and think of my preferences and priorities in my options, regarding the company, location, or career projection.
3) Why Aon Benfield?
I initially applied to be a broker at Aon Philly, but I never got an interview. Current Aon employees referred me to take the challenge and apply to its analytical sister company, Aon Benfield. Although I heard it was difficult to get into Benfield right after college, I learned that it has recently joined Aon’s overall LAUNCH early career development program for college graduates. After learning more about about the position, I thought it would be really cool to be a catastrophe risk analyst–looking at big data and risks and communicating that information to brokers, reinsurers and clients. Eventually, I would like to be a broker. This position will allow me to see the analytical component of insurance, and as a current Benfield employee told me…this experience could allow me to become a “super” broker. This will certainly be challenge but rewarding at the same time. Also, this is a great opportunity to relocate and try out a new, big city!
4) What experience contributed the most to your college career?
Definitely the RIMS DV Case Competition. Still to this day, I can’t believe I voluntarily competed in a case competition. To be honest, I wanted to do the competition to finally take the next step in becoming a better public speaker. This was a chance to voice out my opinion and have expert judges hear me out. The competition was about social media and its risks. My partner and I compiled examples of social media scandals and used ERM (enterprise risk management) process to divide the risks within its four quadrants: hazard, financial, operational, and strategic. In the end, we placed 2nd place and it was extremely rewarding that we placed out of all the teams! Although we were 0.5 points away from matching 1st place, I’m happy with what I gained in the experience: recognition and courage.
5) How has NAAAP Temple helped you?
Although I have achieved many of my college successes prior to joining NAAAP, NAAAP is a great reminder that taking opportunities was and is so worth it. I am grateful for every opportunity that I was offered and I definitely stand by NAAAP in continuing to provide similar opportunities for others. I like being able to share my experiences to those who seek taking risks and challenging themselves.
6) What is your message/advice to other students?
Learn how to say no. Even if you excel in class, you won’t always be handed over a job. One of my strengths that I tell employers is that I’m a well-rounded individual. Not only do I aim to excel in my classes, I also aim to excel (and enjoy) playing instruments, working out, etc. This is a great way to diversify your skills and develop a broader ability to tackle almost anything. However, a weakness that can come out of it is not knowing how to say no. The main reason why I want to be well-rounded is to find out, for myself, what I actually like to do. I always advocate to apply to as many scholarships, contests, clubs, programs, as possible, but in the end, if it becomes more of a stressor than positive, that’s when you need to take a step back and reconsider your priorities in order to be productive and happy.