Think your major won’t fit at Progressive?

Four employees share how they applied their majors to careers in claims

5 min read

November 2022

Adult male wearing a headset smiling in front of computer while on a phone call.

When you chose your major, a career in insurance probably wasn’t on your mind. And now that you’ve graduated and are looking for a job, it probably still isn’t.

Here are four employee stories to get you thinking differently about a claims job and how your seemingly from-left-field major could fit in at Progressive.

English & Political Science Major: Greg’s Story

Greg was underneath a vehicle writing an estimate in a customer’s driveway when he had a “how did I get here?” moment. Majoring in political science and English wasn’t exactly a bright green arrow pointing to “insurance job!”, but Greg’s passion for reading and analyzing poems—paired with his car hobby—transferred perfectly to a claims adjuster job at Progressive. His career spans nearly two decades and includes roles as a claims generalist, injury claims adjuster, catastrophe adjuster traveling the country, property adjuster, and category manager.

Greg’s transferrable skills are many. His analytical skills helped him read policies and apply coverages. Leveraging communication skills helped him work effectively with customers, attorneys, and body shops. In his latest role, he’s using negotiation skills in vendor-contract procurement. As vice chair of the LGBT+ employee resource group, Greg applies skills learned from his political science education to lead others.

“When you choose a major and earn a degree, you can think narrowly about what you can do with that degree. But if you think bigger and ask yourself what it was about a subject that interested you or what your favorite part of learning was, you realize the world is far more open to what you can bring. Take the things you’re good at and passionate about, apply them in unexpected ways, and you’ll feel more fulfilled at your job.

“With those things in mind, my journey makes perfect sense.”

Psychology Major: Kassie’s Story

Kassie’s decade-plus career with Progressive includes roles as a claims generalist, estimator, auto-damage adjuster, supervisor, and manager. But before working in claims, she majored in psychology.

In college, Kassie enjoyed classes about the psychology of human motivation. “Today, I’m a manager of an organization, and motivation applies to so many different things. I learned through my degree how to cultivate a great culture.”

However, one thing worried her about working for an insurance company.

“I was always drawn to the real-world application of my skills, but I knew nothing about cars. Now, I know all the intricate details that go into fixing a car. I even know how an engine is put together. It’s absurd!”

Kassie’s career advice? “Your major doesn’t matter. You can go anywhere and do anything that interests you at Progressive.”

Kassie developed lasting friendships and sees Progressive demonstrate genuine care for its employees through offerings such as employee resource groups. She even met her wife here.

Theater Major: Jeremy’s Story

As a theater major, Jeremy studied acting, tech, and directing. “I never thought, ‘Hey, I’m going to be a claims adjuster one day,’” he says. “I was completely focused on theater those four years I was in college.”

But once Jeremy came to Progressive, he quickly put his transferrable skills to work. The skill that’s had the most impact? Empathy, which helped him build rapport with customers and enabled him to show genuine interest through conversation.

Jeremy built a career at Progressive that spans more than 15 years. He’s been a claims processor, an auto-damage adjuster, multi-line representative, catastrophe rep, and a claims supervisor.

When he became a manager, Jeremy realized a lot of what he learned as a director in theater applies to management, which is about collaboration, feedback, getting ahead of problems, and making sure everyone does their best.

“As a director in college, I learned how to work with everybody and communicate among departments, such as lights, sound, costumes, and the actors themselves,” Jeremy says. “It’s like that in claims, too. I work with different departments to drive goals for the organization.

“There are so many things you can do with a giant company like Progressive. You’re bound to find something that’s going to fit your expertise.”

Political Science Major, Master’s in Economics & Air Force Veteran: Abigail’s Story

Abigail majored in political science and minored in philosophy before joining the Air Force. Later, she earned her master’s degree in economics, became an economist for the Internal Revenue Service, and was a child-support investigator. While living in Memphis with a friend in 2010, she started working at Progressive. She was a claims generalist, became a catastrophe claims rep traveling the country, was a multi-line representative, and now is a supervisor.

“Being on the catastrophe team was the perfect transition from the military,” Abigail says. “My ability to leave in a moment’s notice to travel and help others came from the military.”

Her minor in philosophy also prepared her for her position in catastrophe claims. “Philosophy helped me with talking with customers in their worst times. It taught me to have the wherewithal to remain calm and be that column of strength for them.”

Abigail didn’t expect to find a career, let alone fulfillment, working at an insurance company like Progressive.

“I really thought it was going to be this strait-laced, cold environment,” she says. “But it isn’t. I love that I’m allowed to be an individual here. I’m surprised at the autonomy I’m given.

“Claims jobs aren’t just about insurance. If you like solving problems, want autonomy in how you do that, and want to be appreciated, you should come to Progressive.”

Progressive has more than 50,000 employees with diverse, captivating backgrounds. Learn more about other employee stories at Progressive, or see what career pathways are available for students and recent graduates.

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