Meet Abby Ahern, Senior Account Manager in the Commercial Lines Division, and our third spotlight for Insurance Careers Month.
Please share a few sentences on why you chose insurance as a career? Was it your intention to build a career in this industry or did you fall into it and decide to stay for a particular reason?
I graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a communications degree and no idea what I wanted to do with it. At this time I took notice of my Uncle Tony who owned his own insurance agency as well as a neighborhood bar as a hobby. I loved his stories about the different clients he met through networking or just listening to patrons behind the bar. Insurance afforded him a comfortable life, the opportunity to provide jobs for others at his agency and help his community through the policies he wrote. I was in!
I chose to work on the service side of the industry rather than sales because I am not as free a spirit as Uncle Tony. I’ve spent the last 15 years in the insurance industry because of the people I have been lucky to meet and work with—many of whom have become great friends. I like the excitement and fast pace, every day is something different. My job never feels monotonous as I am always working on different types of accounts and learning about so many different industries.
You shook things up and took a break from insurance in 2018. Can you tell us about that?
Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico at the end of 2017, and I just didn’t feel right having so much while others had lost everything. I decided to travel down there to provide some help, but also to take a break to review my life and decide if what I really needed was a career change. Because I’m a huge animal lover, I spent two months volunteering in Puerto Rico at animal shelters and hospitals to help care for the increased population of stray dogs and cats.
During my time away from Alper, I considered other industries and even different jobs within insurance. Ultimately, the break helped me see that I love the diversity of Clients I encounter in my job, the fast pace of work and, most importantly, my co-workers. At the time, leaving my safe life for a trip to a hurricane devastated island seemed completely out of character. Now I think I may have more of my Uncle Tony’s free spirit in me than I thought.
Interested in an exciting career with growth opportunity? Contact HR Director Cindi Elstien for current openings at Alper Services, CElstien@AlperServices.com or 312-867-7352.