Finding the Right Career Track
Amanda’s career was on track — until it wasn’t.
While pursuing a communications degree at Stockton University, her younger brother, Vince, began racing QM cars at Wall Township Speedway in New Jersey. Amanda loved racing and set a goal of becoming a sideline reporter for NASCAR, the national motorsports organization.
“I used to go to his races with video equipment I rented from Stockton and create videos as practice,” she said. “Most of my school projects were around his racing.”
With her interest in sports piqued, she interned for the ECHL, a minor league hockey association, between her junior and senior years.
“I learned to love hockey and game–day management, she said. “I was actually hired for a full–time position before I graduated from Stockton.”
While employed by the ECHL, the [NHL’s] New Jersey Devils were in the process of purchasing the Trenton ECHL franchise. Amanda’s friend sent her resume to a contact there, and she was hired after an interview with the Devils’ executive director.
Amanda joined the Devils’ ticket sales team. She excelled at group sales (20 or more tickets), which paid higher commissions. She introduced the successful Mites on Ice concept, in which youth hockey teams that sold Devils tickets play between periods of a Devils game.
“That job taught me how to develop and execute a strategic plan and connect with people, she said. “It also taught me how to wrangle 20 elementary school–age kids on and off the ice within six minutes, so they didn’t interrupt game operations.”
After three years, she felt her Devils career had plateaued and began seeking the next step in her career. She considered moving to North Carolina, where NASCAR is headquartered, but decided to stay closer to home and her close–knit family.
Several friends worked at NJM and suggested she apply.
“I was familiar with NJM since I had family members who were longtime policyholders,” she said. “I was looking for a good company that offered stability, flexibility, and opportunity for growth.”
Amanda applied and joined NJM as a training coordinator in the Treasury Department.
“I applied for a different job in the department, but the hiring manager, who became a mentor, thought I had greater potential with the training position,” she said.
In this role, she helped implement a new accounts receivable/payable system by handling employee training and working with third–party vendors throughout the project rollout.
“Because of that project, I met many business process personnel in other NJM departments,” she said. “One was from the Workers Compensation Claims (WCC) group, which wanted to hire a functional analyst.”
She was hired by WCC, having acquired many of the skills required for the job while working in Treasury. Amanda learned the financial side of the business in Treasury. In WCC, she learned the claims process and was involved in coordinating a major technology upgrade to the existing claims management system. She was also part of the first state expansion team when NJM began writing in three new states — Connecticut, Delaware, and Maryland.
“That exposure required me to learn the statutes for each state,” she said. “It also allowed me to work with Marketing to develop new promotional materials, which enabled me to apply the creativity I used in college creating racing videos.”
Her experience working with Marketing piqued her interest. Eventually, a position opened for a technical analyst with the Marketing Business Process Unit. It was a perfect fit.
“The hiring manager knew my skillsets from working on those joint projects when I was with WCC,” said Amanda, who was later promoted to project coordinator. “It was an easy transition since I was familiar with the department and their processes.”
Among the projects she has helped coordinate are a new workflow management tool to consolidate multiple project ticketing systems into one and the development of materials supporting NJM’s new independent agent strategy — a critical piece for the Company’s business insurance product and geographic expansion.
“Each manager I’ve had at NJM has encouraged me to do the things I’m most passionate about and bring new ideas to the table,” she said. “My career has come full circle. I’m grateful every single day.”
Amanda’s advice to others?
“Always be willing to take risks in life,” she said. “Try new things, don’t be afraid, and follow the things you are passionate about. There hasn’t been one time in my life that the risk hasn’t outweighed the reward and been worth it.”
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