Welcome to the next post in our blog series: My Path to HJI. These are stories from associates on how they got started in insurance, what led them to their role at Hausmann-Johnson Insurance, and advice for others thinking about making a start in the industry.
This week's featured associate is Brooke Parker. Read on to learn more about Brooke and connect with her on LinkedIn if you'd like!
What’s your role at HJI?
I’m a Commercial Account Manager.
What was your career path that led you to HJI and your current role?
I did not originally think I would end up in insurance. It was kind of by accident that I ended up here. I previously worked for a small window & door supplier. We had started a family and I needed a career and benefits. I applied to HJI with limited knowledge of the agency and what Surety was. I started out in the Bonds department but due to my lack of financial statement knowledge, I made the leap to Commercial. I started out as a Commercial Lines Associate. I thought about heading into a management role, but changed my mind and decided to take the Commercial Account Manager career path.
What do you wish you’d known when you were just starting out?
I’m not really sure what I wish I would have known when I started out, but I do wish I would have majored in something in the business school. I think that may have prepared me better for life in the ‘office’ workforce.
What inspires you to come to work everyday?
I love knowing that I can potentially help my clients solve issues so that they can continue their everyday operations with limited interruptions.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? How does that influence what you are doing now?
I think I wanted to be a sports trainer/physical therapist. Then in high school I wanted to be a lawyer. I guess reading insurance forms is a lot like reading contracts.
What advice would you give someone thinking about going into insurance/starting their career?
I would tell them to major in risk management in college. I know insurance sounds boring to the outsider, but it can actually be exciting. Things are changing every day with court cases and it’s sometimes hard to keep up. But that’s what makes it exciting. You’re always learning new things.
Tell us a bit about yourself outside of work.
My family & I live in Mt. Horeb, where my husband grew up. The town is known for its Norwegian Trolls. I have 2 daughters; Zoey – 13 & Bailee – 9. They both enjoy sports and I coach them both in basketball & softball. In the winter, most of our weekends are consumed by basketball and the summer is spent watching softball. I grew up outside of Chicago & therefore am a Cubs & Bears fan. I went to UW Madison and met my husband & ended up making Wisconsin my home. My brothers still live in the Chicago area so we get down to the city frequently. We love our new home and when we don’t have something going on, prefer to sit by the fire (indoor or outdoors) and watch movies together.