Career Tips

Finding the Right Fit

Headshot of NJM employee Carl in front of NJM office.

Carl was in his last semester of college and in the process of interviewing for jobs. He received an offer from NJM Insurance Group, which he immediately accepted. Why?

“NJM met my three criteria,” he recalled. “First, it was close to my school, The College of New Jersey in Trenton, NJ, so I knew the area well. Second, NJM has a reputation as a great employer. Finally, NJM is in the property casualty field, which I found much more interesting than other insurance sectors.”

Carl, like many college freshmen, wasn’t sure what career he wanted to pursue. He excelled in math, so he decided to major in Applied Statistics and received his B.S. in 2007.

It wasn’t long after joining NJM as an Actuarial Analyst he was able to apply that knowledge.

“In my first few months on the job I was able to make decisions or have conversations with decision–makers, including NJM executives, that impacted hundreds of thousands of customers,” Carl said. “It was a great confidence booster to be able to make an impact fairly quickly while still learning about how insurance, Excel, programming languages, etc., work in practice.”

Within two years he was promoted. Two years later he was promoted again to Senior Actuarial Analyst.

“That phase of my career was special,” Carl said. “I was lucky to touch so many different areas of the company, and so many actuarial functions. I credit my success early on to the supportive nature of two bosses I had throughout those years. They made sure our group had the intellectual freedom to analyze whatever topics we wanted, in whatever way we wanted, with the caveat that it fit into the ‘big picture’ tasks we had to complete.”

In 2014, he was admitted as a Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) Fellow after passing a series of 10 examinations that included studying more than 300 hours for each. The training for those exams was funded by NJM and helped accelerate Carl’s career.

“I was named a Financial Services Actuary at NJM after I attained the CAS Fellow credential,” Carl said. “I focused most of my time on overseeing reserving money for all lines of business. It was a role that opened up for me when the Chief Actuary retired. It required making quarterly projections of what would be needed to pay claims on existing and previous insurance policies, and providing supporting data to the NJM leadership and Board of Directors on why the money should be added (or cut) from NJM’s loss reserves.”

He was promoted to Manager, Actuarial while in that role. Five years ago, his job focus shifted to NJM’s Personal Lines Department, where he leads its pricing. He received another promotion, to Director, Actuarial.

“In my current role, I help to ensure overall rates are appropriate for each state and line of business and analyze rating factors and new product ideas or data to determine if each segment of customers can be priced more accurately.”

It was during this time that NJM expanded its footprint beyond New Jersey to become a regional insurer.

“One of my proudest moments at NJM was helping to design our current New Jersey auto product, helping expand our Personal Lines products to Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Ohio, and Maryland, and leading a team of great analysts who have grown to surpass me in many ways,” Carl said.

NJM met his criteria for an employer and it led to a very successful career. He believes having it as a point of reference is an important key when researching a future employer.

“If you want to find a company that has a culture in which you’ll enjoy working and have a chance to succeed, be sure to research it well,” said Carl. “See what its employees and customers say about it. It’ll be time well spent and will benefit you in the long run.”

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