Comparative Studies in Literature & Culture

Lindsey parlayed her academic concentration in literature and economics into a job in the health insurance industry, which allows her to help others and offer her clients peace of mind.

In what ways did a liberal arts education help shape your career aspirations?

The primary reason that I chose a liberal arts education was to receive a well-rounded educational experience. You’re given the freedom to choose majors that can intersect with one another, or you can choose majors that are completely different. I chose two unrelated majors as an economics and Comparative Studies in Literature & Culture (CSLC) double major. Economics allowed me an understanding of legislative policies and laid the foundation for me to apply to jobs in the business industry. The CSLC major allowed me to explore ancient Greek mythology and literature in a critical manner.

I didn’t truly figure out what I wanted to do with respect to my career until the summer preceding my senior year, when I had an internship with an insurance broker working in their employee benefits department. After that internship, I decided I wanted to pursue a career in the health insurance industry. One of the interviewers commented that I was utilizing both sides of my brain in school. Economics triggers the left side of the brain while CSLC allows for so much creativity. I began using this duality to my advantage. When interviewers would ask me what I would contribute to their company, I would tell them that my majors gave me the ability to think both logically and creatively.

Essentially, my liberal arts education helped me set myself apart from others who were applying for the same position. I gained confidence knowing that I had the tools to complete tasks that exceeded the expectations of my managers.

What inspired you to pursue a job in your current industry? 

During my junior year, I was determined to find a summer internship so that I would have a better foundation for applying for jobs. I wanted to do something business related, so prior to the Occidental Career Fair, I made a list of all of the business-related companies attending. I stopped at each of their tables to introduce myself and learn more about their companies. Soon after the career fair, I received an email from Gallagher, which is one of the largest insurance brokers in the country. After a couple of months of interviews, I was chosen to be one of their summer interns.

Throughout that internship, I learned how vast the insurance industry is. Most people think of Geico or State Farm when you say you work in the industry, but there are a plethora of other options. Healthcare is a hot button issue, and I realized that by being an insurance broker—specifically on the employee benefits side—I could help my clients find solutions that would give their employees peace of mind. I always wanted a job where I could help others, and working as an employee benefits broker gave me the opportunity to do so.

Healthcare is a hot button issue, and I realized that by being an insurance broker—specifically on the employee benefits side—I could help my clients find solutions that would give their employees peace of mind.

Describe the process you went through to land your first job out of college.

My senior year, I was introduced to my current employer, Bolton & Company, by a friend and mentor of mine. He told me that he knew another broker, and to send him my resume if I was interested. Within three days of doing so, I received an email from Bolton’s talent acquisition manager inviting me to come in and begin my interview process.

I went to Bolton for my first interview in the fall to meet with the talent acquisition manager and director of sales. I told them that I wanted to be a producer, the ones at the company who are responsible for bringing in new clients. In October, I received a call from the talent acquisition manager telling me that they did not have a position for me at the time, but that they wanted to keep in contact. I continued my job search process with other employers, and in December, the talent acquisition manager reached out again to inform me that they were interested in creating a training program that would allow for me to be a producer.

My second interview consisted of meeting with the director of sales, the head of the Property & Casualty department, and three of Bolton’s young producers. This particular interview is what made Bolton my top choice. I loved having the opportunity to talk candidly with producers about some of the challenges and advantages of coming into the industry at a young age.

At the end of February I was invited in for my final interview, during which I met with the CEO, the COO, and the Director of Organizational Development. I was very nervous, but it was one of the best interviews that I’ve ever had—the majority of the interview was them taking the time to get to know me. At the end of March, I received the call offering me a position as an associate broker.

Any advice for current students at Oxy?

The most important piece of advice that I can give an Oxy student is to utilize all of the resources that are available to you. I would not have landed my internship or my job without the help of the Career Center as well as other administrators, faculty, and staff. Each person that helped me along the way had a host of knowledge to offer, and by working with them I was able to put my best foot forward.

Additionally, remember that a “no” does not always close the door. Sometimes it means “not at this time.” My interview process with Bolton came to a halt for a couple of months, but keeping that door open enabled me to land a job with an amazing company.