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Growing up in central Pennsylvania, Karen Toto wanted a career in politics, so she attended colleges in the Washington area for both undergraduate and law school. While attending George Mason University law school, however, she decided she actually wanted to practice law. While working as a summer associate at Wiley Rein, she fortuitously was located on the same floor as the insurance group and quickly developed an interest in the subject matter. She was named a partner of the firm last year.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the business?
Seek out good mentors and use them as a resource. Also, keep your eyes open and be open to different things. Your career is going to take you to places you didn’t expect.
How will your work change going forward?
Everyone has learned very successfully how to integrate technology and virtual platforms into the things we do all the time, such as claims resolution and litigation and things that you just never would have seen in a virtual operating environment a couple of months ago. We are all looking forward to being back in person with people, but some of it will carry over, and it will be fascinating to see what we can do more efficiently and better now using technology.
What do you know now that you wish you knew at 18?
You don’t have to have it all figured out: Karen at 18, relax. Life is going to take you in places you don’t expect, and some of them will be difficult, some of them will be great, and it’s OK, you don’t have to have your entire life and career mapped out at 18.
All-time favorite movie?
“Goodfellas,” but if you ask me again in 20 minutes, I’ll have a different answer.
What is your favorite meal?
Pork chops and apple sauce.Click here to Watch Video