On Wednesday, June 7th Sarah and I made our first company visit to Patrons Oxford Insurance! We were both looking forward to this visit because it was the first one of our internship, and we really had no idea what to expect. When we arrived in the morning, we met with Rachel Bannister, Assistant Vice President and Nina Barron, Executive Assistant, who started our day with a grand tour of Patrons beautiful new building. Rachel and Nina told us about how they had made the move to their new space just a year earlier and were happy to show us all of the new benefits and conveniences. My favorite part was the open floor plan and a mural which used pictures of Patrons previous two locations and their new building. The tour was a perfect way to start the day.
After the tour, Sarah and I got to sit down with George Mackinnon for a presentation on underwriting. This was particularly interesting because I was not totally sure what an underwriter did or what responsibilities they had. George’s presentation was detailed and he explained to us the role of an underwriter, and gave us more insight on what it is truly like to work for an insurance company. When, George shared his career background to us, it brought a realization on how many people “find themselves” in the insurance industry. His personal journey started at the University of Maine where he bounced around majors until he decided on Economics. After graduating he began working as an insurance agent and before he knew it he was at his current position as the VP of Underwriting. After hearing how George got to where he was today (and that he was also a Black Bear), I was excited to learn more about insurance and the many opportunities it apparently holds.
Following the presentation on underwriting, a group of Patrons Oxford employees, Sarah, and myself, went out for lunch. It is always fun to get to know a group of new people, and even more fun when that group of people is also interested in insurance and even more fun than that when that group of people is from Patrons Oxford! At lunch, we had a superb time discussing everything from college, to future plans, and of course having more of our insurance questions answered by experienced professionals. Lunch was a great part of the day, because it allowed Sarah and I an opportunity to informally learn about the people in the industry by in a more casual space outside of the office.
Next, Rachel brought Sarah and I back to Patrons Oxford to hear the next presentation on Claims with Eric Swanson and Jennifer Gray. These two were an excellent resource that explained every answer to the questions Sarah and I had. Their presentation showed us everything from their day-to-day operations, to some of Eric and Jennifer’s personal experiences in claims and insurance. Sarah and I developed a deeper understanding of claims and the duties of the job.
Overall, our day at Patrons Oxford was an invaluable experience. Thank you to Rachel Bannister and Nina Barron for being our guides for the day, Eric Swanson, George MacKinnon, and Jennifer Gray for their fantastic presentation, and the rest of the Patrons Oxford staff for having us for such an awesome day! We are looking forward to our next visit on Wednesday June 13th at the Maine insurance Agents Association in Hallowell, Maine!