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Philadelphia VP Uses His Degree To Help Mitigate Risk For Clients

Kevin Smith, Vice President, CPCU, ARM of The Graham Company is based in Philadelphia. Smith develops solid risk management agendas for various businesses. He starts with assessing coverage and uncovering any type of breach in existing insurance programs.The Technical Development Division at The Graham Company is a 10 person team who ensures their employees are up to date on the latest information, trends and policies in company protection against cyber-attacks.

(Photo Courtesy of Kevin Smith)

What kind of degree is needed to secure a job in your field?

"A bachelor's degree is required to secure a job as an insurance broker. I graduated from Temple University with a bachelor's degree in business administration, with a concentration in risk management and insurance. Bill Graham, the founder of The Graham Company, one of the largest insurance brokerages headquartered in Philadelphia where I work, actually pioneered a non-traditional hiring strategy that involves recruiting young professionals from outside the insurance industry with a proven track record for success – such as attorneys, engineers and accountants - and providing them with world-class education and training to develop the most outstanding Producers, Account Managers and Claims Consultants."

What's the most challenging aspect of your job?

"One of the most challenging aspects of helping businesses mitigate the risk of data breaches is staying one step ahead of cyber criminals who are constantly finding new ways of stealing data. My company makes this a lot less challenging because it has a Technical Development Division that consists of 10 people who are dedicated to ensuring my colleagues and I are up to date on all the latest trends and strategies for protecting businesses against cyber-attacks."

 After graduation, how hard was it to transition into the working world?

"I've been fortunate throughout my career to work for companies like The Graham Company that offer opportunities for career development and leadership training. Through the Technical Development Division, I get access to continuing education, which helps me better serve our clients. I didn't start my career at The Graham Company, but employees who do go through six months of full-time, in-classroom training led by staff in the Technical Development Division. All Producers go through a three-year, on-the-job training program in which a mentorship with a veteran Producer is a requirement to help them transition into the field. During that time, they learn how account managers, claims consultants and certified safety professionals come together as a team to exceed the demands of an account."

 What advice would you give someone who is pursuing a career in cyber security?

"My advice would be to look for a company that invests in its employees and is focused on nurturing the next generation of employees who will be the future leaders at the company and in the cyber security industry. If you are a millennial seeking a rewarding career helping protect businesses from data breaches, I would highly encourage you to explore opportunities in the insurance industry."

Christina Thompson is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. She reports on various topics such as: Social Media, Local Events, Entertainment, Food and Drink and more. Her work can be found at

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