I am quickly approaching the end of my first year as an AEDP participant. The program is based in group underwriting where I learn about our group benefit products and how to price it. While the majority of my time is spent in underwriting I also have the opportunity to partake in activities that are typically reserved for those on the business development side.
I knew I wanted to work in group benefits and I knew I wanted to start my career at a large company. Sun Life is one of the top insurance providers and I knew they had a particularly strong group benefits department. I think starting a career at such a reputable company offers the strongest possible base to build from.
Knowing what I wanted helped me stand out, the fact that I knew this was where I wanted to work showed that this wasn’t just another interview for me. Anyone can (and should) google Sun Life before an interview to learn a little more about the company, but showing a genuine interest in Sun Life and explaining how my skill set fit the needs of the job helped showed the interviewers that I was a good fit for the position.
I get into the office in the morning and begin going through my emails and responding to advisors requests. I spend most of the day ‘doing quotes’ which essentially means assessing the risk of a particular group and pricing it appropriately. Every two weeks or so I will have a business development activity added to my calendar, this could be anything from a session to develop sales skills to a meeting with a Regional Vice President (RVP) to shadowing an Account Executive (AE) for an afternoon. I really look forward to the business development activities as they provide insight into my future at Sun Life.
The role I am in now isn’t inherently social, while I genuinely like the people I work with the work itself isn’t conducive to socializing. I am a very social person and find it difficult to sit at my desk for extended periods of time. The business development activities I am included in give me a chance to be more social and get away from my desk; they give me something to look forward to when I am craving socialization.
The most satisfying part of my job is the actual learning that I am doing. It is crazy to think of the group benefit knowledge I have gained after working here for only 10 months. I know how applicable this knowledge will be in my future role and I am grateful that I was given the time to develop it.
Sun Life really is a nice place to work, everyone here is friendly and very approachable. My colleagues are wonderful and I look forward to seeing them every day. I find the culture to be progressive and I like that Sun Life does its best to always be moving forward and isn’t afraid to change.
My 5 year plan was always to end up in an Account Executive type role. This program is allowing me to accelerate the process and see further down the horizon. Further down the road I see myself owning my own business. I genuinely feel this is the best way to start my career. Underwriting provides a wealth of knowledge on product, risk, pricing, and customer service. The Account Executive role will teach me more about sales, organization, time management and product expertise. These are learnings I can take anywhere.
It really is a good company. You are going to feel supported and welcomed. It is an easy transition from school as it doesn’t have a large company bureaucratic feel but still offers the perks of a large company.
Among our many honours, Sun Life, for the fourth year in a row, is proud to have been named one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People in 2019.