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MyPath initiative introduces millennials to careers in the insurance industry


Getting young people to even consider a career in insurance has long been a challenge for the industry.

But an industry-backed effort launched in 2014, MyPath, appears to be piquing the interest of the millennial generation, observers and participants say.

MyPath is designed to demonstrate to students the breadth of career opportunities the property/casualty industry presents. The initiative is a collaborative insurance and risk management initiative coordinated by The Institutes, which is the operating name of the Malvern, Pennsylvania-based Insurance Institute of America and the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters.

“MyPath is dedicated to educating students and young professionals about the insurance industry, as well as about the limitless career opportunities it has to offer,” according to the initiative's website. MyPath “provides the insurance industry with a unified voice to educate and excite students and young professionals about the prospects of a career within the industry.”

In addition to providing general information about industry career opportunities, the website also features internship opportunities.

“It's hard to believe it's been a year,” said Peter Miller, president and CEO of The Institutes. MyPath's website received more than 1 million hits within a year of its launch, more than half of which were unique, he said.

“We think there's great match between what this industry wants and what millennials want,” he said. While the industry has had a “lot of fragmented efforts,” MyPath now has more than 100 participating companies and colleges.

One of those is Erie Insurance Group in Erie, Pennsylvania.

“I personally love the MyPath tool. It is a great way for us to communicate about the industry,” said Kim Reichert, recruiting supervisor at Erie Insurance. “It's one thing when you hear that from a corporate recruiter. From an industry perspective, we can really provide that unified voice.”

Ms. Reichert said MyPath is valuable to Erie in several ways.

“We talk a lot to students both from high schools and colleges,” she said. “We talk about the really limitless opportunities there are in the insurance industry. It gives them a way to look at the industry as a whole; looking at testimonials from people gives them an opportunity to learn about the different types of career paths.”

Erie also uses MyPath to attract interns.

“Our interns are our pipeline for our future talent; it's called the Future Focus Internship Program,” Ms. Reichert said.

Liberty Mutual Holding Co. Inc. also uses MyPath to attract interns and helped get the effort started, said Shawn Tubman, vice president of campus recruiting at Liberty Mutual in Boston.

“It's a good tool that can increase the reach of our marketing efforts for internship roles. The industry doesn't have too many stand-alone resources for those who want to learn more. MyPath has been a central repository,” he said.

College and university risk management and insurance programs also have found MyPath to be an effective way to attract students to the industry.

Earlier this fall, Tim Cook, director of the Risk and Insurance Studies Center at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, said he looked out at his basic risk and insurance class, and thought: “Here's a bunch of students who probably have no knowledge” of the opportunities insurance offers. So he offered extra credit for students who wrote a one-page paper on MyPath.

“Ultimately, it hit the mark. More than a third took it,” he said of the extra credit offer. “It helped me in getting a springboard for my program. It's really a fascinating tool that was long overdue.”

“One of the things we always have in risk management and insurance programs to be mindful of is attracting talent,” said James Jones, director of the Katie School of Insurance and Financial Services at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois.

“A big piece of that is explaining the diversity and robustness of the careers in the industry,” said Mr. Jones. “Most (risk management and insurance) programs are in the same position we are: You have a great reputation, but every year you have to market the program to students.”

“MyPath is a tool we didn't have in the past,” Mr. Jones said. “This gives us a tool that allows students to explore insurance on their own time,” and to give freshmen and sophomores greater understanding about the industry as a career.

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