Hedge Funds. Private Equity. Investment Banking. Venture Capital. Real Estate. Consulting. Accounting. Entrepreneurship…Insurance.
I am a soon-to-be first-year college student, and career planning and long-term goal setting are topics that require serious thought and consideration. When I talk to my peers, many of the above listed careers are strongly desired and sought after. However, when asking a friend what he or she wants to do after college, or graduate school study, not one has said, “To work in the field of insurance.” Obviously, there is some bias in that many of my friends happen to be offspring of physicians, lawyers, accountants, and business executives, but why has insurance lost its sex appeal as a professional practice?
There are many dimensions to this answer; however, I am writing to illustrate why the insurance field can be a great career for college grads to pursue.
Before I go in that direction, I think it is helpful to know a bit about my background and why I have even decided to scratch the surface of the insurance industry. Firstly, I come from insurance professionals on both sides. My father’s father started a brokerage general agency, Cotton Rashbaum & Associates. My mother’s father is currently the president of The Strauss Agency, Inc., a brokerage general agency in New York, which is a four-generation family business that also consists of my grandmother, mom, aunt, and uncle. To make things even more complicated, my grandfather’s father, Morris Strauss, sold insurance and Morris’ father, David Schiff, sold insurance upon immigrating to America. To say the least, I have been surrounded by insurance on all fronts my entire life.
To get back to my reason for pursuing insurance, there is certainly a tradition aspect, but there is a better underlying motive: The insurance industry combines good-deed, genuine, personal interaction with finance that, if done to the best of one’s ability and with integrity, can ultimately result in a limited risk career and comfortable lifestyle. In addition, the planning for providing security for one’s family adds true personal value to this career, rather than simply working on a mercenary motive. I have learned first-hand from my grandfather, Marvin Strauss, and from the spirit of my grandfather, Bernie Rashbaum, that success can be achieved in the insurance business. Through proactively gaining knowledge, establishing great relationships with their clients, and acting in the best interest of their clients, I have seen how emotionally and financially fulfilling this business can be.