Job Title: Project Manager
Type of Company: I work for a large insurance company in Hartford, CT.
Education: BS, Business Administration, University of Connecticut
Previous Experience: I worked in product management for a large insurance company before moving to an actuarial department where benefit information was needed for analysis.
Job Tasks: I work at a large insurance company whose customers include small businesses, large businesses, even international businesses. We also provide coverage on an individual basis, both in person and via the web. By a "large" company I mean one that employs about 35,000 people, with a few of them scattered throughout Europe.
Currently, I supervise a small group of actuarial consultants whose main responsibility is to create a database of information used for actuarial and financial analysis. We do this by sorting and cross-relating information from a number of databases to extract statistics we can use in determining the pricing and rating of our medical benefits. These applications take into consideration information such as demographics, level of benefit to the member, and timeframes.
This part of my job is extremely time-consuming and manually intensive, since it's done in a non high-tech way. It's very hands-on for about two weeks of each month.
The supervisory part of my job requires a different set of skills. Not everyone should manage people. You need to be adept at communicating with people if you hope to manage them well. I find this part of my job rewarding as I can help guide people and use my experience to alert them to potential changes they need to make in order to do a better job or have a more rewarding work life. I'm very organized which is also an important skill for a detailed job like mine as well as being able to handle a team of people, even if not a huge group.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is creating something new that is employed by an increasing number of departments within the company. It increases our knowledge which allows upper management to make decisions based on several different kinds of information.
The worst part of the job is that now that we know what we're doing, it's the same thing over and over and sometimes it can be tedious. This is when you insert other projects and other smaller parts of the job into your daily life to break up the parts that might get boring so that you can still pay attention to the details that are so important.
1. What I've found is that even little bits of information that you gather in an entry-level job can come in handy in a later one.
2. Listen to people. Even if you don't understand everything someone is saying, pay attention and try to figure out the important parts.
3. Ask questions. If you don't understand something, ask. You aren't dumb, you're simply uninformed.
Additional Thoughts: Keep in mind that some of the most important things you need to do in a job may not be the most glamorous or exciting but they still need to be done and be done well.
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