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Employee Snapshot: Esmeralda and Stephanie

Most view insurance as a necessity that operates in that background of one’s life, protecting them from a possible eventuality, like a collision or a basement leak. For many, a career in insurance may not even come to mind. Insurance Careers Month aims to demystify the world that is insurance, by inspiring people to choose it as a career that is stable, rewarding and limitless. We spoke with Esmeralda Mejia and Stephanie Berry, two of our Telephone Claims Adjusters who joined Peace Hills with no previous insurance experience, to get their perspectives on entering the industry, the transferable skills they brought to the table, and the wealth of knowledge they have surmised along the way. Their stories shed light on the often-overlooked connection between strong customer service skills, a desire for change, and a flourishing career in insurance.

Despite coming to Peace Hills from different backgrounds, Mejia in retail and Berry in automotive, they both shared the ability to show empathy towards people, a skill that should not be underestimated. “It’s easy to email and explain what needs to be done with a claim,” remarked Berry. “But being able to convey emotion and sincerity when speaking with an insured is a valuable skill. It’s important to be able to relate to each customer and have them feel supported and heard during the process.” Mejia concurred, adding, “I was given endless opportunities to connect with people and try to help resolve their problems face-to-face [in my previous job]. This helped me gain confidence and develop my communication skills, while also learning to think quickly and critically.”

Mejia and Berry started their roles in November 2022 and May 2023 respectively. “[Insurance] wasn’t a job I considered,” Berry admits. But when coming to the decision to make a career move, Berry was looking for a common denominator that would carry over from her current role; for her, that was auto. “Telephone Adjuster [in an auto claims department] seemed like a good transitioning position from a Service Auto Advisor. Both dealt with people and cars, all I needed to learn was the logistical portion of insurance.”

Meanwhile for Mejia, the insurance industry, and even Peace Hills specifically, was not completely foreign to her. “I have known about Peace Hills Insurance for over a decade from working in surrounding businesses over the years and meeting different employees from the company before I started,” she reflects. After going on to enroll in the Insurance program offered by MacEwan University, Mejia recalled the stories she had heard from Peace Hills staff about the organization and claims that “Peace Hills was my first choice when [looking for] an organization to work with, and I was lucky that they were hiring.”

 "It's an extremely positive environment with great support from management." - Stephanie Berry

A common component that jobseekers look for is a thriving and welcoming company culture. The culture that Berry has observed in her 9 months at Peace Hills Insurance is the biggest difference compared to her last job. “[Previously,] it was long days where I felt like I had no life outside of work because I was so stressed and tired all the time. Peace Hills has a strong emphasis on work-life balance. I appreciate how much they really do to ensure the workload doesn’t drag you down. It’s an extremely positive environment with great support from management,” Berry exclaimed.

"It has a massive playing field with [the ability] to move up or around, with most organizations encouraging growth by supporting and sponsoring their employees through certification programs." - Esmeralda Mejia

A positive and unique corporate culture remains paramount to Peace Hills’ success and is something we continue to strive for when appealing to new talent. But what might be stopping people from searching “Insurance Careers” when they are browsing job sites? Mejia believes that what might be holding them back is the is the misconceptions and lack of awareness about the field as a whole. “I used to think that you needed to have a particular personality type to be successful in insurance, but the industry has opportunities for all kinds of people,” she said. “It has a massive playing field with [the ability] to move up or around, with most organizations encouraging growth by supporting and sponsoring their employees through certification programs.” Mejia herself aspires for continued education, with aims to complete her CIP designation and climb the leadership ladder within Peace Hills. “I appreciate the way in which my management team supports my decisions and I hope to be able to do the same for new members in the Auto Claims department [one day].”

Beyond the perceptions that people have of the industry, Insurance does not simply offer a job, but rather a dynamic and fulfilling career. Peace Hills Insurance exemplifies a supportive environment with opportunities for growth and learning; we are committed to nurturing talent that facilitates healthy and profitable growth for our business. If you are a jobseeker with a strong customer service skill set and a yearning for change, consider taking the leap that Stephanie and Esmeralda did and begin paving the way to a gratifying career journey ahead.