Women in the Workplace | Brenda Koeslag

Featuring With Brenda Koeslag, Prolink

Ethics, constant learning and a positive attitude have been the key pillars of Brenda Koeslag’s successful insurance career. Brenda celebrated her 50th year anniversary in the insurance industry in May. She shared the story of her career, her advice for those who are new to insurance and what continues to get her jazzed about insurance.

How did your career path begin and what advice has helped you along the way?

May 19, 1972 was my first day in insurance. I had been selected from a high school job fair to work at a local brokerage and it was there that I met my first career mentor, W. Roy Carscadden. I loved working with him and it became very clear early on that our values aligned—ethics and knowledge were at the forefront of everything Cardscadden did. I eventually followed him as he opened a brokerage of his own and it was there that he really encouraged me to take a leadership role, get my agent and life license and do more. He was such a huge supporter of mine and being a woman in the office really did not matter in his eyes, it was more about who was best for the job.

Fast forward to today that same way of thinking has been mirrored in my current role.  Wolf and Derrick Leue have been such great mentors for me at Prolink and that has played a big role in my job satisfaction.

What are three pieces of advice you would give to women in the workplace?

Be your own advocate. Make sure you’re open and honest with your communication. Always strive to like what you’re doing and if you’re not – speak up! If you like the employer you’re working for, make it known to them what you like to do and what you do not. There’s so much time spent in the workplace that you need to make sure you truly enjoy it. That’s something that’s made a huge difference in my career. Early on in my career I saw the difference this made. Carscadden really embraced this way of thinking and was very open about altering my role to make it something that I love.

Learn as much as you can. Your job and your role is going to be constantly evolving so you need to as well. Learn to love lifelong learning and you’ll be just fine.

The sky is the limit! Go for the role that you want. Women have made such incredible progress in getting executive and senior level roles within the insurance industry and there is more work to be done.

“Be your own advocate. Make sure you’re open and honest with your communication. Always strive to like what you’re doing and if you’re not – speak up!”

Looking back, what has been the most rewarding part of your career?

Client service and working with people. I get the most job satisfaction from this element of the role. I love helping people, it’s very rewarding. The insurance industry really allows you to have a role in the front lines to help people prepare for what could potentially be some of the most stressful times in their lives.

What keeps you excited about going to work every day?

I love what I do, and I love who I do it with. From W. Roy Carscadden to Prolink, I have been very fortunate to have values that align with my company and colleagues. Our job is to protect the public and I am very passionate about doing just that—and doing the right thing while I’m at it.

Like what you do, learn a lot and try to make a difference.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.