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TIA | The Insurance Apprentice

Elizabeth Ngaruwe

Senior Insurance Specialist

Did you choose a career in insurance, or did you fall into the industry like so many others? Briefly share your story.

Like many others, I fell into insurance industry. One of the requirements for my Honours degree was to complete a 1-year internship with any company. It was after many rejections that I got introduced to the Director of Olemera Financial Services, an Independent brokerage. At that time, I knew nothing about insurance, all I had was an open mind, my determination to succeed and eagerness to learn. Fast forward, I got a role as an insurance service desk Intern, and few months later, I was offered a permanent role. Since then, I have been passionate about insurance and risk management and I should say, right now, I choose a career in insurance

Why did you choose to enter The Insurance Apprentice?

I learnt about The Insurance Apprentice through Linkedin, this was at a time when I needed more exposure in the industry as an insurance professional and new challenges to        help me develop at a professional and personal level.  

In your mind, what qualities should an ambassador of The Insurance Apprentice have?

An ambassador of The Insurance Apprentice should be professional and authentic, they should have a passion for insurance, people and building and growing relationships. They should also have basic understanding of core marketing principles.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career and why?

While I have many people who have played a role in my career, my previous Manager Grant Khoury, the Managing Director of Khoury & Associates stands out above the rest. I had the privilege of working alongside Grant for 6 and a half years. He saw and believed in my potential more than I sometimes did. He pushed me out of my comfort zone, first starting with the responsibility of managing clients, expanding my knowledge and experience beyond short term insurance and into sales and business development. I learned hard work, determination, commitment, self-confidence and perseverance from Grant.

In a tweet of 140 characters explain why insurance ROCKS!!!

The insurance industry offers many exciting opportunities, there is something for everyone! There are opportunities for Insurance agents, Underwriters, Risk Managers, Brokers, you can also be in Marketing, IT, Accounting and Operations.

A career in insurance gives one an opportunity to educate people and help manage risk exposures. It is a career that makes a difference in people’s lives, people have unique needs and trying to get the right coverage often provides one with new challenges which makes it interesting to work in insurance.

Insurance is not going anywhere, for as long as people continue to need medical care, drive cars, acquire assets and run businesses there will be a need to protect their risks. Insurance can provide job     security.

What would be your dream Apprentice task and why?

With most insurers now limiting cover for incidents arising out of power failure, my dream task would be for the candidates to sit down with an affected client, to explain how they can mitigate this exposure, as South Africa is possibly headed to a Grid collapse that would severely impact businesses, should there be no adequate planning for this.

What song would you choose for your Insurance Apprentice victory dance?

Fly by Nicki Minaj

A message to all the TIA sponsors?

To the TIA sponsors, thank you for investing in us, for giving us a platform to learn, grow and work together to make a difference in the insurance industry. Your support is immensely appreciated.

How important is winning for you?

I do not believe anyone enjoys losing. Winning is very important to me, we are born to pursue and achieve goals and ambitions, and winning validates that.

Advice to yourself about what you should remember and focus on as you are going into the competition.

Elizabeth, your participation has gotten you this far, I know you are feeling pumped up and have all the positive feelings but remember this is the beginning of a whole new challenge. Be in the moment, focus on what is happening, do not be relaxed, you need to stand out in your peers. Remember to be patient with yourself and give it your best.