April 2021 Member Spotlight

Thu, 04/15/2021 - 12:15
by Nicole McAllister, Executive Director

Olivia Wood, CPCU is an Underwriting Analyst Team Lead, Structured Risk Team​ at Continental Underwriters, Inc.

  • What year did you receive your designation? How long did it take you to obtain your CPCU?

2020, approximately 2 years after graduating from college.

  • What has been your greatest takeaway from completing your CPCU designation?

I have truly valued the comprehensive perspective of the insurance industry that I've gained from completing my CPCU designation. The majority of my career in insurance so far has been working in the Commercial P&C realm, so the opportunity to delve more deeply into topics such as Personal Risk Management and Financial Planning, Risk Financing, and beyond provided knowledge beyond that which I deal with day to day.

  • Do you have any advice for anyone thinking of getting the designation?

One of my favorite quotes has always been, "Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today". Even at this early stage in my career, I felt the growing pull of new responsibilities begin to make taking the time to study after work or on weekends increasingly difficult. So to prospective CPCU candidates who may be just getting into the workforce, I would encourage you to get started today! And for those who may be further along in their insurance careers, if the CPCU designation is something you've been meaning to tackle, don't wait any longer to start working towards your goal!

  • Why or how did you start in the insurance industry?

Often you'll hear people say they "fell into the industry", but I had the unique experience of intentionally choosing the insurance industry while still in college at VCU! Initially drawn in by the travel opportunities, scholarships, and internships, once I got into the workforce I realized the incredible careers available in insurance. From Risk Assessment to Underwriting to Claims, there is truly something for everyone.

  • What is the best career lesson you've learned so far?

When speaking recently to a group of current VCU RMI students, my #1 piece of advice to them was "say yes"! Be the go-to person in your office that is willing to jump in on new projects and initiatives with an eager spirit. This not only services to gain you the appreciation and respect of your peers but also keeps your job fresh and interesting!

  • What book did you read last?

"Becoming" by Michelle Obama

  • If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?

Invest and live off of the interest! I would also donate a large portion to Richmond charities.

  • What would you do (for a career) if you weren't in Insurance/Risk Management

If I did not work in Insurance/Risk Management, I would love to own and operate a coffee shop at the beach. Resisting drinking all of the coffee would be the hardest part...

  • What is your favorite movie?

"Jaws" is and has been my favorite movie since I was about 5 years old

  • Are you Android or iPhone?


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