Insurance Program Promoted at GCC

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Glendale Community College is promoting a new insurance program for students interested in a profitable and person-oriented career. The new program, established with the help of desperate members from the insurance industry, is the first of its kind at any community college.

“The insurance industry really stepped up to the plate to create it,” said instructor Nancy Germond. Germond explained that the program started 2 years ago at Rio Salado Community College. The insurance industry introduced half a million new job openings within the next year, but there was a lack of talent and diversity.

Employees that had been members of the industry introduced the Associate in Science program and the insurance certificate to students. Now offered online through Rio Salado, GCC has adopted the courses, offering them as in-person classes instead.

Gary Marrer, chairman of the business department, recruited Germond for the task of managing these classes. Germond had worked for 30 years in risk management before assuming the role, believing she had what it took to get the program off of its feet. She believes offering support and encouragement to her students helps them succeed.

“That’s what part of my role here as an instructor is, to try and build self-esteem… I’ve had an amazing career and I wanted to give back,” Germond said.

A big incentive to the program is the amount of networking students get when taking the classes. Germond invites people from the industry in to lecture to students about their job and experiences. She believes this helps people learn more about the area of focus they would like to pursue in insurance. It also serves as a way to network and find a job.

“People think the insurance industry is boring but it’s really anything but. It is so fascinating. For example, what happens in insurance is it responds to society. As society changes, then there has to be an insurance product,” Germond said.

Andie Andrade, a student in the program here at GCC, agreed with Germond.

“Insurance always plays a big part in how the world revolves. Insurance adjusts itself to the world we live in,” said Andrade.

Andrade came across the insurance program at GCC through another program called SWFI. The program assessed her skills and directed her to insurance. She then started taking classes at GCC.

“Insurance has a wide variety of avenues that allow me to still have options yet still grow so even if I don’t stay in one department, I could go into another department and continue to grow,” Andrade said.

Andrade is currently focusing on helping wealthy individuals insure their belongings and properties.

“It’s really a helping profession you’re dealing with people—especially in claims—dealing with the worst day of their lives,” Germond said.

The program is continuing to expand, hopefully introducing a new associate degree option in risk management next year.

“We’re not numbers, we’re people, and insurance allows you to be that way,” Andrade said.