All posts by Mia Landeck

Business Expo 2018 Reveals Need for Insurance Professionals

Greg Nenstiel Speaking to an Audience at the 2018 Fall Expo

At the Fall Business Expo 2018, the Hospitality and Tourism, Risk Management and Insurance communities came together with SPC’s College of Businesss to offer employment preparation and career development for SPC students and alumni.

Workshops, advising, networking, club information, and internship  and employment opportunities were available to all attending. For roughly three hours, SPC students and alumni were able to take in the valuable advice of professional guest speakers and recruiters. Other highlights were catering and a raffle giveaway. A few lucky students left with not only experience and a network, but gift-cards and an iPad, too.

Demand High for Insurance Industry Professionals

insurance professionals

Dave Newell of the Florida Association of Insurance Agents (FAIA) shared what the Insurance and Risk Management industry was looking for. For those who may have never considered it, there is a great demand for individuals of all careers; home inspectors, commercial inspectors, claims, workers compensation, and injury specialists are needed, as are managers, HR professionals, IT professionals, marketing professionals, and social media specialists. Additionally, there is need for onsite talent.

“If you like data, if you like technology, if you like working with numbers, there’s a place for you in the industry,” Newell said. There are a lot of mid-level managers retiring from our business, so we’re losing a lot of education and institutional knowledge. So, we need people who want to learn, that want to grow, that want to be community minded and strive to help people.”

Insurance is, at its core, a responsive industry. For worldly disasters like hurricanes and fires, those employed in the field can help those in need: those looking for guidance, while also adapting to societal changes. New and complicated issues, like those surrounding autonomous vehicle protection, drone liability, active shooter coverage and medical marijuana, require discussion that those working in the insurance industry must respond to.

As Newell explains, “People see a need, and create the product for that need. Our industry is always looking for what will be the next thing people need, and I’m really proud of that.”

Learn more about opportunities in the field

Insurance professionals

Interested students can check out InsureMyPath.org, an official site that offers extensive information on the industry, opportunities, and even offers quizzes to see if you’re a good fit for the business.

With over 60,000 jobs in Insurance and Risk Management, Newell and recruiters who attended SPC’s Business Expo were hopeful. The state of the industry is ever-changing, and is always ready to welcome students and graduates.

 “Anything we can do to help you as students, we’re more than happy to do it, Newell said.”

Interested in a career?

The College of Business is also home to Business Administration, Management and Organizational Leadership, and Sustainability ManagementSt. Petersburg College also offers degrees in Hospitality & Tourism.


SPC Hospitality & Tourism Expo Showcases Industry’s Diversity, Positivity

Recruiter speaking to a student at the Hospitality & Tourism Expo

More than 20 employers met with students at the Hospitality and Tourism Expo held Feb. 20 at the St. Petersburg College Seminole Campus. They offered insights into career opportunities as well as tips on the traits and characteristics they look for among prospective hires.

“Employers are always looking for those smart and hardworking people,” explained Jacqueline Meyer, recent Stetson University graduate and employee for Levy Restaurants. “But what I love about Levy is that they also focus on you as a person.”

“They genuinely hire nice people. That is something they are always looking for.” – Jacqueline Meyer, Levy Restaurants

Levy Restaurants representatives talk with students at the Hospitality and Tourism Expo
Jacqueline Meyer of Levy Restaurants

When asked about the most important trait in hiring, Meyer said, “Positivity and a good attitude are a huge part of it. If you are positive, I feel like more people are drawn to you, and you may have a better opportunity to learn more about the field you’re interested in because more people are willing to teach you.”

Keynote speaker Jim Burns

Jim Burns, Vice President and Managing Director of Grande Lakes Orlando, stressed the amount of diversity in the industry and the positivity of its employees.

During Burns’ presentation,  he shared his belief that,  “Hospitality represents diversity.” There are currently more women and minorities within the industry’s leadership than any other industry in the United States, he said. Due to the nature of the service industry, many are multilingual.

Approximately a third have bachelor’s degrees, and all are often strong in technical writing, critique, and linguistics. And there are particular characteristics that define them, he said.

“Energy and character are some of the most important considerations while building a relationship as an employer,” he explained. Employees’ positivism, sensibility, and pride enrich the warmth found within the hospitality and tourism industry.

Burns also shared with students five “words of wisdom” to follow if they wanted to make their mark in a hospitality and tourism career:

  • Be great at the job you’re doing.
  • Build your network. Relationships trump resumes.
  • Take risks. You will never be fully ready for the job you take.
  • Do more! Always be curious and willing to expand your role and learn.
  • Make your boss look good! Go above and beyond. Don’t just do the obvious!

Jim Burns Speaking at Seminole Campus for Hospitality and Tourism
Jim Burns at the Seminole Campus

Hospitality and Tourism program at SPC

SPC offers a Hospitality and Tourism Scholarship Program made possible by the Pinellas County Hotel and Motel Association. It covers the tuition of your first Hospitality course. Learn more here.