IBAO Mentorship Program Connects Brokers with Rising Talent
Erin Hough, Membership Coordinator, IBAO
Earlier this year we launched our  mentorship program connecting Humber College students in the Insurance Management Program with brokers across Ontario. We announced the partnership on LinkedIn, which resulted in a waiting list.  Mentor/mentee relationships were formed based on what line of insurance students were interested in and where students would be located after graduation.   We successfully paired 25 students with broker mentors, which gave students new connections and insight into the industry and in some cases provided brokerages with new hires. 
What students found most inspiring about their mentors was their business experience and their dedication to the broker profession.  
Varsha Shetty
Humber Grad
Jordan Switzer
Personal Lines Manager, isure Insurance 
Varsha started out in software engineering but became interested in insurance from working with one of her clients. “I got an opportunity to render service to a US insurance client. A major part of my work was to develop online policy pages and forms and to integrate rating algorithm into the company portal. I did some research and found the Humber program.”  

Jordan had previously been part of a successful mentorship program but had one main reason for volunteering his time: “I’ve always enjoyed training and coaching,  which is one of the reasons I became a manager. I wish I had a similar program when I first started in the industry—I had so many questions and no one to answer them.”  

Prior to the program, Varsha hadn’t pictured herself in a broker role, but after visiting  isure she had a change of heart. “I saw how brokers are equally knowledgeable like any other underwriter. They know their products very well and are valued for their expertise. When Jordan showed me around the office, I saw employees satisfied in their roles and  learned how teams are interdependent and work together.”   

Jordan was extremely impressed with his mentee. “She has had to overcome a lot in her transition to Canada. Learning entirely new subject matter is no easy feat. Varsha took full advantage of the Humber program by attending events and getting involved in the industry to get ahead of the curve. It was very inspiring.” Varsha’s main takeaway from the partnership was a piece of advice Jordan gave her.  “Insurance is dynamic, it’s challenging, and it’s rewarding. Amidst this pandemic where job hiring is on hold, I learned a great deal on how to stand out in an interview from Jordan.”  
IBAO’s Mentorship Program is an excellent step to showcase all the reasons why these students should totally become brokers.
Apurav had been referred to Humber’s Insurance Management program from a prior student. “I was told this industry is great because it’s dynamic and has lots of potential. I was provided so many opportunities after getting my RIBO license,  even during a global pandemic, and secured a job, which is proof this industry is  amazing.”   John wanted to participate in the program to better the industry as a whole.  “There are many challenges associated with bringing the next generation of brokers into the business. One of the most basic is giving visibility to our rewarding vocation. IBAO’s  Mentorship Program is an excellent step to showcase all the reasons why these students should totally become brokers.”   Apurav had been attracted to the broker channel for some time. “A broker is essentially a combination of all the roles and is at the forefront of providing all the necessary solutions to their clients. The idea that the broker is always available to help clients is what inspired me to pursue this role and this mentorship opportunity.”  
One of the highlights for John was Apurav’s positive attitude. “He came to us full of enthusiasm and questions. So much of what we do can’t be taught in a classroom, which makes mentoring students all the more important. There’s no substitute for learning first–hand from brokers.”   As part of our push to recruit new talent to the broker channel, we’ll be implementing this program at other Ontario colleges beginning this Fall. Thanks to all our participating students and brokers.  
Apurav Bharti
Humber Grad
John McClelland
Founder of miBroker 
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