Employee Benefits Consultant

Ami Shah

Tell us about your work---what do you do? I interact with corporations and assist them in implementing an employee benefit program that meets their corporate objectives primarily on a financial and recruitment/retention basis. What skills are needed? This position requires a person who is analytical , has strong oral and written communication skills, and good people skills . What was your major? I have a dual major in risk management and insurance and human resources . How did you get started in your career? I did an internship at Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company . What experience do you need in this job? An internship with an insurance carrier or insurance brokerage firm would be helpful but not necessary. Describe your "typical" workday: There is no such thing as a "typical" workday. Depending on how you view the need for structure in your career, this is either a good or bad thing. Each day will be very different from the other depending on what type of consulting projects you are working on for a client or what emergencies have occurred for one of your clients. The only constant about a "typical" workday is the ability to expect a fast-paced day. What is the hardest aspect of your job? Since the insurance industry has typically been viewed as a blue-suit gray-haired male-dominated environment (even though that does not fit the recent evolution), it can be difficult at times for a young woman to gain credibility. However, in the last few years of employment, I have seen a drastic shift in the proportion of females to males in the industry. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? Since each day is different, you are never bored with the same routine. Also, as a consultant, much of my time is spent interacting with my clients. What are your suggestions for someone considering this field? It is a creative and dynamic field. It is important to be patient in the early years to make certain that you have a strong technical and analytical foundation in place. It tends to be a demanding position where some aspects are considered "sexy" (traveling, entertaining clients, etc.) but there are important routine tasks (contract reading) that must be given high priority.
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