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Ayesha West landed her first underwriting job at Chubb Ltd. in 2013 as a senior underwriter before moving to Axis Capital in 2016 as an underwriting manager and Navigators in 2018 in U.S. retail cyber and technology. She joined Everest Insurance in January 2019. At Chubb she initially wrote errors and omissions for law firms, taking advantage of her law degree from Fordham University, but realized she liked cyber better as it was a more dynamic market with continually changing variables and parameters.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the business?
Don’t neglect the people part of the business. Find a good mentor. Choose your boss and your direct manager just as carefully as you choose your company or team.
How will your work change going forward?
In the short term, having to do what used to be in person via technology, whether video or another remote situation. I don’t know how business travel will be impacted for the rest of 2020, but maybe 2021 will be somewhat back to normal.
What should the industry do to attract more young people to work in it?
I think we need to be better at on-campus outreach and improving our image as an industry. Show bright young people that there is not only a career option available but that it’s interesting and vibrant and not as boring as it sounds on paper.
What do you know now that you wish you knew at 18?
Focus on the people part of the business. If I could tell myself then what I know now, it would be to not only be book smart and academically focused, but to round myself out with building relationships and connections with people.
What is your favorite meal?
Pizza — it’s my comfort food.Click here to Watch Video