I Survived the Two-Week Prep Course
Erin Hough, Membership Coordinator, IBAO
Working reception at IBAO for almost two years meant interacting with RIBO walk–ins daily. I helped people register for the course and answered questions about writing the exam and finding a job after passing it. Many walk–ins wouldn’t know the difference between being an agent or a broker—it was my job to sell the broker channel and all the opportunities this industry has to offer. I got a new opportunity myself when I was recently promoted to Membership Coordinator. My first step was taking the RIBO course to get a better understanding of insurance and experience part of what brokers go through to be where they are today. I had gotten to know Lyall, the instructor, with his Hawaiian shirts while I was at reception. But taking the course I learned that the way he connects with his students is both meaningful and helpful. When he explains a scenario he uses life experiences and quirky phrases that stay with you. When a question came up on the exam about the definition of
I heard Lyall’s voice in my head say, “Elvis has left the building. Vacancy means no intent to return.” For two weeks I stayed in the office studying until 7 or 8 o’clock and came in on the weekend. I spent a great deal of time getting to know my classmates. Our group meshed after the first coffee break on the first day of the course.
Ashish is a newcomer to Canada who was looking for job opportunities within the insurance industry. “With the RIBO license, I was able to get my first opportunity to work with a broker and the course taught me foundational knowledge and the principles of insurance. Previously I was working for an insurance company dealing in trade credit as an Accountant & Controller. The course required a lot of hard work and time management, but if managed and focused on well, it makes writing the exam easier.”
Ashish Bhatia headshot
Sales Operations Analyst Aon
Ashish Bhatia
Before deciding to take his RIBO, Jon worked in the publishing industry as an Account Manager for Canadian Underwriter. “I learned alot about the insurance industry. That new perspective was the driving force behind starting what I hope to be a long career in an ever–evolving industry.” Jon left the course feeling empowered and excited to start his new career. “I’m transitioning into my new role as a broker and anticipate settling in by the end of the month. In the meantime, I’m continuing my learning and have decided to start working towards my CAIB designation.”
Jon Hogg headshot
Customer Service Representative iSure
Jon Hogg
The night before our exam my new RIBO friends Jon and Ashish and I hosted a study group where we quizzed each other and practiced case studies. About fifteen students helped each another prepare for the exam and cheered one another on. One of our study methods was to read our definition sheets each night before we fell asleep. I often drifted off and had insurance dreams throughout the night. The terminology also seeped into my thoughts on the weekend. I saw the movie
Knives Out
midway through the course and during a scene where a building’s set on fire all I could think about was Basic Fire Policy. I had the idea during the course to speak to my classmates about my role at the IBAO and the ways we help our Member Brokers. I explained the benefits of getting your CAIB designation, becoming active with your local Affiliate and our new job board OntarioBrokerJobs.ca. I will now be presenting to every Two-Week course in my new role. After the two weeks I felt a lot more confident about my technical insurance knowledge—something I really wanted to improve. I’ve gained a better understanding of the industry. Certain topics I’d listened to keynote speakers and brokers talk about came together for me. It was a great feeling applying myself and successfully coming out the other side. Taking this course gave me an entirely new perspective and appreciation for brokers, and how they continuously learn on the job every day. Thanks Lyall—Brokers Rock!
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