R&I: How did you come to work in risk management?
Almost all of my jobs have been related to insurance, starting with the HMO and including work in the coordinated care/utilization review department at a hospital while I was in college. I was interested in what I learned in those jobs, so I decided to major in risk management and insurance while I was at UW-Madison. Through my classes, I realized that a career in risk would allow me to do several of the things I love — problem-solving, negotiating and building strong relationships with people.
R&I: What are the benefits of internships and college graduate training programs? Are they a good tool for attracting more young people to the field of risk management and insurance?
I think they’re a great way to start building a network of contacts early on, and a great way to get new graduates familiar with different aspects of the industry. As recruiting tools, I think they will be important programs because they offer new graduates a foot in the door and a clear path forward, as well as hands-on training that gives you experience right off the bat.
R&I: What is the risk management community doing right?
Developing and improving upon analytics to help drive decisions, including predictive analytics for claims operations and platforms to help determine limits and retentions to manage volatility. There is still room for these platforms to continue to improve and evolve, but the growing commitment is great to see!
R&I: What was the best location for the RIMS conference and why?
San Diego. What is not to love about Southern California after a long Minnesota winter!
R&I: What emerging commercial risk most concerns you?
I think it will be very interesting to see how the industry changes as new risks around Internet of Things and technology continue to emerge.
R&I: What’s been the biggest change in the risk management and insurance industry since you’ve been in it?
In addition to greater use of data and analytics, I appreciate that risk management is moving beyond just traditional insurance. We are getting more comfortable with risk-taking and more creative with alternative risk transfer solutions.
R&I: How much business do you do direct versus going through a broker?
We do everything through a broker.
R&I: Who is your mentor and why?
I am fortunate to have met many people I admire and respect over my years in the industry and they have taught me so much about how to be successful. Currently, I have several mentors both in the insurance community and internally at Target. It is helpful to have both as I continue to develop. Sometimes I am looking for guidance on career development or risk management-specific concerns, and other times it is great to talk through more general ideas such as how to become a better manager or team advocate.
R&I: What have you accomplished that you are proudest of?
I ran the Twin Cities Marathon several years ago.
R&I: What is your favorite book or movie?
“Love Actually.” I watch it every Christmas while making cookies.
R&I: What is your favorite drink?
Craft beer. I like IPAs or saisons. Currently, my favorite is Insight Brewing’s Sunken City.
R&I: What’s the best restaurant you’ve ever eaten at?
That’s so hard to decide. I am currently working my way through the Eater.com list of best restaurants in the Twin Cities and try to go to restaurants on those lists everywhere I go.
R&I: What is the most unusual/interesting place you have ever visited?
Iceland. It is so bizarre but also amazingly beautiful.
R&I: What is the riskiest activity you ever engaged in?
I am a very risk-averse person … maybe zip lining?
R&I: What about this work do you find the most fulfilling or rewarding?
I love that every day is different and that we get to learn about what is going on and support so many areas of the company. The days are full of problem-solving to help the company achieve its goals — either through helping to keep team members and guests safe, protecting profits or finding creative ways to support new business initiatives.
R&I: What do your friends and family think you do?
Most of the kids I know are disappointed to learn that I am not a cashier at their local Target store. Most others settle for a business job at the corporate office or “something related to insurance.”