All smiles at the first Insurance Professional completion ceremony

July 9, 2024

All smiles at the first Insurance Professional completion ceremony
Last month, NorQuest College buzzed with an air of celebration as the inaugural cohort of the Insurance Professional program prepared to graduate. On June 18, a completion ceremony was held to mark the culmination of four intensive months for twenty-four dedicated students, each equipped with newfound skills ready to tackle work in the Insurance industry. 

The program is designed for anyone who wants to start a career in insurance or is a current Insurance Professional who wants to gain the skills to be more successful in their role. Part of the online program included diverse guest speakers who provided invaluable insights on various career pathways in insurance. One standout networking experience was a special lunch and learn visit to Lloyd Sadd, where students engaged with the CEO and VP of Human Resources. 

At the completion ceremony, speaker Jelena Bajic underscored the industry’s stability and growth prospects. She highlighted Alberta's robust insurance market, where opportunities abound for career advancement and personal growth. The Pensions and Insurance industry in Canada employs over 140,000 people, spanning various sectors, while the province of Alberta’s property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry plays a crucial role in supporting the economy, and directly contributed $2 billion to the province’s GDP in 2022-3. Insurers and brokerages directly employ 17,000 Albertans in communities across the province, with 60% of these jobs held by women, helping to further gender equality.  

This resonated deeply with the graduates, reinforcing their choice to embark on this transformative educational journey. The students were from different backgrounds, including a few Language Instruction for Newcomers (LINC) students who took the course. Reflecting on their experiences, graduates shared their stories of personal and professional growth. Darren Hardy, one of the program’s success stories, spoke passionately about his decision to switch careers and the abundant opportunities the program offered.

His sentiments were echoed by Zama Nhlapho, whose newfound confidence and skills were nurtured through collaborative learning environments and comprehensive course offerings. Zama shared, “I appreciated having courses that covered various aspects of working in the insurance industry and not just insurance, such as the development of soft skills and the emphasis on professionalism, adaptability, and resilience.” 

Elma Greffard, inspired by the program’s emphasis on customer relationships and data-driven decision-making, now sets her sights on a career as a broker. For her, active participation in group discussions and real-world case studies were instrumental in honing her skills and defining her career trajectory. Elma said “To anyone who wants to do the program, just know that to do the program well one must understand the commitment and participate actively in all interactive elements such as group discussions, projects, and case studies. You will have all the support you need.” 

Imelda Laureles stumbled upon the program serendipitously but found it to be a perfect complement to her role as a life insurance broker. “It was just an accident that I registered to this program. I missed an orientation day that led me to explore the school’s website. I thought this would enhance my current role as a life insurance broker. I’m glad I was right.” She praised the mentorship opportunities provided during the program, where industry professionals imparted practical wisdom and encouragement based on their own experiences. 

The students’ journey, supported by NorQuest’s innovative program and industry partnerships, serves as a testament to the transformative power of education. Sheldon Smart, Director of Fund Development and Alumni Relations, took a moment to acknowledge the generous support of five key donor companies - Lloyd Sadd, CJ Campbell Insurance, ARC Insurance, Wawanesa and Northbridge Insurance. Their contributions not only helped establish the program but also provided financial aid, ensuring accessibility and inclusivity for aspiring Insurance professionals.  

With Alberta’s insurance sector playing a pivotal role in the economy and offering ample career prospects, these graduates are well-positioned to thrive and contribute meaningfully to their communities and beyond, and we wish them all the best!  

Learn more about the program here