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Old 01-10-2010, 09:28 PM
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,359 posts, read 10,464,468 times
Reputation: 3792


Congratulations on being ambitious and in your new degree. I'm chuckeling a bit in your go-getter attitude as it reflected mine when younger too.

My advice is to make an appointment to sit down with your supervisor (company president if you can) and have a chat about what your career options are to move up where you are if you like the atmosphere. Believe me they will be thrilled to see that you are someone who is interested in getting ahead and don't mind working hard to get there. Find out what licenses you can get, in what time frames, and what income you can expect from them. See if they think a CPA license would be an asset to them or what they suggest as a path within their company. At the very least the initiative will result in a positive attitude towards you and make you stand out. I don't think retail management pays as well as your potential here.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:41 PM
7 posts, read 35,583 times
Reputation: 12
That is a good idea sgoldie, our company president is a nice guy and easily accessible so I'll definitely set up a meeting with him and see what he has to say.

If you don't mind me asking sgoldie what are you up to nowadays? How was your transition from college to career? I like to see other peoples career paths to get a better idea of where I'm going with mine.
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:05 PM
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,359 posts, read 10,464,468 times
Reputation: 3792
I'm retired. Not necessarily because I wanted to be but I'm use to it now. I found a combination of ageism and not fitting into the usual paradigm of being able to report a supervisor on job applications having been employed by myself most of my life to be incomprehensible to HR gatekeepers. Since then I've taught medical students, tough high school dropouts and right now I'm terrorizing a bf and his unaccomplished middle aged son with my military style organization. Thinking about running for political office but it interferes with my current north/south lifestyle.

I didn't get my degree until late in life after a successful business career and mostly as therapy for a divorce. Logic would have it that I should have graduated in the field I spent my life in however, I found those classes something I could have taught instead and decided on something I wanted to accomplish for myself that was new and upcoming (new technologies).

I'm familiar with the industry you're currently in as most of my relatives chose that path and did well. Lots of legal jargon to read and understand, must be good with numbers, and especially good with people (something like politics). Mostly owners, re-insurance (selling ins to ins co's), claims. Wish you luck.
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:06 PM
243 posts, read 1,481,816 times
Reputation: 187
Originally Posted by el98464 View Post
I want to start off by saying that this is my first post but I have enjoyed reading different posts and discussions in this forum over the past couple of months.

A little about myself: I am a 24 year old (turning 25 in March) recent college graduate (Dec. 09) with a degree in Management. I currently work for an insurance company as an underwriting administrator with a salary in the low 30 thousands. I am very grateful that I have a job but now that I am a college graduate I would of course like to make more money.

After reading numerous posts and discussions in these forums I have seen comments such as if you don't have a degree in accounting, nursing, or engineering then basically you went to school for nothing. This is very discouraging, as a management major did I really just waste 6 years of my life?

I'm looking for a salary between 40 - 50 thousand/year. As a 24 year old management major with over 6 years experience in fields such as retail, government, manufacturing, and insurance...what kind of jobs should I be looking for?

Should I continue my education? My current job pays for insurance classes and exams 100% and these classes would be very useful if I decided to stay in the insurance field (underwriting, claims, etc.) But I don't know how much longer I can willingly continue to be content making a little over 30 grand a year. For all of you insurance professionals-is the insurance field a good field to stay in? I already survived one wave of layoffs at my current place of employment and who knows when the next one is even though the president of the company assures us that we are in "great shape" (same thing he said before the first round of layoffs).

I was thinking about going back to school immediately and getting my associates degree in accounting. Combined with classes that I already completed I would only need to take another 3 or 4 classes to complete the associates program for accounting. Would this be a good move seeing that accounting degrees are so important? What kind of career opportunities could i be looking at with a bachelors degree in Management and an associates degree in Accounting?

Or should I go into an MBA program and get my graduates degree and hopefully that would open more doors for me? In the meantime what kind of jobs should I be looking for now?

As you can see I have a lot of stuff running through my head lol. Like I said I am 24, very responsible and I have a great work ethic. I've owned my own condo since 22 and while making around 30 grand a year i've been able to manage thus far but when the student loans start kicking in (around 15-20,000) I wanna be ahead of the curve or at least on the right track.

Thanks for reading and I appreciate your advice and/or opinions
Hey El,

I'm 24 too. I graduated back in 2007 and I don't even make 30k. But anyways, what I am doing is going for a Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Accounting from a local university. After that I would have enough credits to sit for the CPA exam. I'm going to relocate to a bigger city after that, because my current city (Richmond, VA) is not big enough.

You just got to stay optimistic and remember that this is not the end of the road. Our time will come, but for now we just have to pay our dues and keep grinding it out. You just have to remain humble. It's just like pledging a fraternity, where pledging (although very hard and grueling) is the easiest part of it all.

~Best of luck~
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:32 AM
Location: Moon Over Palmettos
5,974 posts, read 16,863,722 times
Reputation: 4977
OP - I came from Hartford, and yes it still is the insurance capital and will continue to be so for a while. If you decide to stay with property/casualty, you can start taking your CPCU courses and be accredited that way. Underwriting will plateau at some point but you can specialize and move on to the bigger brokers (Marsh e.g.) or siddle up to the liability side (Executive Risk, Chubb, etc.).
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:13 AM
Location: Denver, CO
1,278 posts, read 1,771,407 times
Reputation: 911
Originally Posted by el98464 View Post

f_m: There is no way I see myself becoming a manager of any sort in my current company, the company is rather small (around 100 employees in my current office) and it's filled with a bunch of "settlers" those are people who are content with doing the same thing they are doing now (entry-level type duties) everyday for the rest of their careers until they retire and that is the total opposite of the type of person I am that is why I am here looking for direction.
Wow, are you sure we aren't the same person? Haha, I know exactly how you feel. I graduated in April of 2008 and I moved out to Denver to find a job. I'm also working and very grateful to be doing so, but I'm in a dead end company and the frustration is building. You pretty much summed up the attitude of my co-workers as well. As long as they're getting a paycheck, they don't care at all about career mobility. The president of our company is also constantly boasting how well we're doing, though we haven't had any lay-offs...yet. On the other hand, I haven't had a performance review or a raise in a year and a half, so I don't see how we're doing all that great.

I'd suggest that you figure out where you want to go first before you pursue anything else. It sounds like you want a managerial position, which is an excellent choice. You can apply directly to those positions, but many companies want you to have some experience with their business before they throw you in a position like that. With that being said, you may have to work your way up to get there (i.e. pay your dues). Personally, I would not choose to pursue another AA/AS degree unless A) you absolutely need it and B) you're going to truly enjoy it.

As some other posters told me, stay ambitious. If you're not satisfied with this company, keep looking for other jobs. The larger firms tend to offer more in the way of career advancement. Never allow yourself to stagnate. Your time will eventually come, whether it be with this company or another.

Best of luck to you! Keep us posted on your advancement as well.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:24 AM
7 posts, read 35,583 times
Reputation: 12
@Mtaylo - We definitely gotta stay optimistic. You sound like you got a plan with the accounting path, go for it! I'm pretty sure I'm going to take the advice from posters on this thread and skip the accounting classes for now because frankly it's not what I want to do.

@Bibit - Thanks for the advice! My current company pays for all the classes, books and examinations for the CPCU and that is an option that I am seriously looking at because if I have to stay here for the time being I definitely want to take advantage of the free resources that are presented to me and enhance my "portfolio".

@mcb - Lol our frustration levels must be at the same point! I too only get a performance review once a year luckily I got my first review a couple of months ago and everything about me was exceptional yet I only got I think a 3% salary increase? There are no holiday bonuses, mid-year raises, or perks of that nature so I would have to wait another whole year before I see another 3% salary increase! lol That's just not me and I'm glad that's just not you either.

Yeah I'm going to skip the associates in accounting because like I said I really don't want to do accounting and people are telling me that it is useless so I'll save my money (the little that I have lol)

I'm going to keep pushing, keep working hard, establish new relationships and I have no doubt that I would get where I want to be! Thanks for the kind words of encouragement
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:26 PM
Location: Pennsylvania
5,345 posts, read 9,338,923 times
Reputation: 8358
Make sure you are on LinkedIn and take advantage of networking opportunities outside and within your company.
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:59 PM
Location: Pennsylvania
999 posts, read 1,090,406 times
Reputation: 1245
While money is important you do need to be happy. There are many people with college degrees struggling to find work right now. People with management degrees are a dime a dozen. Not all, but many management positions are attained by those willing to climb the ladder and proving themselves over time. You said you don't see any possibility of getting into management at your current company, while that may be true, you could also stay there and some people above you could move or retire and who knows how that can promote you. My father has been in the car business almost 40 years, anybody I've ever seen in a management position did not start out there, but started lower and worked their way up. With most things in life you have to start at the bottom.
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