Career Tips

You Create Your Own Experience

Headshot of NJM employee and Rider alumna, Kathryn.

Kathryn, Class of 2000, graduated from Rider University with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Law and Justice. Her long list of achievements include: receiving the Certificate of Excellence in Law and Justice, serving as Vice President of Kroner Hall, as well as membership in the Law and Society Club, Residence Hall Association, Student Government Association, Senate Board, and Sociology Club. These early leadership opportunities at Rider helped Kathryn explore her interests in law and sociology while developing essential skills for career success.

Her strongest mantra? “You create your own experience,” she says. “The more involved you are, the more you get out of your academic and professional pursuits.”

She maintains that belief to this day. As a Claims Administrator at NJM , Kathryn leads a department of property damage, bodily injury, and litigation supervisors and their staff. She believes that the opportunities NJM offered her at the beginning of her career were instrumental in her advancement within the company.

Rising Through the Ranks

Kathryn’s first experience in the workforce was as an intern at the Lawrence Administrative Court in New Jersey. She spent a year there, handling traffic violations, summonses, complaints, and warrants.

After graduation, she applied, and was hired, as a Property Damage Representative.

Kathryn set a goal and angled her professional development choices toward it. “I tried to get involved as much as I could,” she said. “I took a lot of classes and used the resources NJM provided. I felt like the company had a plan for me, and I always felt very supported and trusted in my roles.”

Throughout her career at NJM, Kathryn gained experience and steadily climbed the ranks by participating in networking events, continuing her education with Rutgers University, mentoring coworkers, participating on a business process improvement team, and taking on new roles in varying business units at NJM. She soon joined the litigation team, and in 2020, she became an administrator.

“In order to expand your knowledge of insurance and keep yourself sharp, you have to keep up with the classes and professional development opportunities,” she said. “The more classes you take, the more expertise you have, and you’re a better employee for it. We’re always learning new aspects of the job and how to work with people. Those classes teach you how to deal with different people and situations, which is very valuable.”

Kathryn’s Advice to Students

Today, Kathryn’s son attends Rider University, too. She gave him the same advice that drove her success in college: “You create your own experience.”

Her advice to college students is to fill their schedule with activities that will make their resume stand out.

  • Explore all the classes available in your discipline.

  • Join activities that build your professional expertise.

  • Develop your soft skills, especially public speaking.

  • Embrace self-improvement and use this opportunity to learn more about yourself.

  • Make a lot of connections; they may be valuable references for future positions.

  • When applying for jobs, look at the whole package, not just the base salary.

  • Learn from your mistakes.

“I’m very grateful for all the things I’m able to have,” Kathryn said. “That includes being a part of the company’s success over the years, my appreciation of everyone I work with, and working in NJM’s Hammonton office. I love being here!”

NJM is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to attracting, retaining and promoting an inclusive workforce that is fully representative of the diversity that exists in the communities in which we do business. Equal Employment Opportunity Notice.