If you were asked to give up your favorite hobby, spend your lunch hour reading a textbook, or stop watching the news on TV, what would you say? Most likely, the answer would be, “No, thanks.”
But for four Crawford & Company employees, these sacrifices were just part of what they were willing to do to complete a major professional achievement. At the recent 2012 CPCU Society Annual Meeting and Conferment Ceremony, Emily Brock, Anita Drage, Morgan Maclellan and Scott Pond received their CPCU designations.
Founded in 1944, the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (CPCU) Society is a community of credentialed property and casualty insurance professionals. The Society’s more than 22,000 members hold the CPCU designation, which requires passing difficult tests, meeting experience requirements and agreeing to be bound by a strict code of ethics.
Earning the CPCU designation is no easy task. The group studied nights and weekends, gave up hobbies and carried flashcards everywhere so that they could absorb the material.
“I found that I did my best studying when I blocked off large amounts of time, so I dedicated about two weekends of intense study for each test,” Morgan, a claims analyst with Broadspire, said. “I messed up my scheduling one weekend and had to cancel a trip because I realized on Saturday morning that my accounting test was scheduled for Monday! I made sure to triple check my appointments after that.”
Scott, a senior software engineer, even took his books and flashcards on vacation. “The more I studied, the more interesting the material became,” he said.
Why take on such an arduous program? Anita, vice president of financial planning and analysis for Broadspire, wanted to expand her horizons. “I pursued the CPCU designation to continue learning. My background is in finance so I thought it was a great opportunity for me to expand my knowledge about the business. I also considered that the company encourages the pursuit of certifications to further career prospects,” she says.
Anita, Morgan and Scott all agree that it was worth the effort. “Once I discovered that Crawford would pay for all my materials, testing fees, and provide a very generous bonus upon completion, I didn’t have to think twice about working hard to obtain the designation,” Morgan said.
Their advice for someone considering pursuing the CPCU designation?
- Find out how you study best early on, and stick with it.
- Give yourself enough time to study before the test. Don’t procrastinate.
- Seek help from others. Morgan joined the “CPCU Candidates” Facebook group to find tips on each test and get help with specific questions.
- Scott suggests you take the ethics course first. Since it’s free, it’s a good way to figure out if you are serious about an ongoing course of study without making a big investment.
- “Go for it! It is a great learning experience,” says Anita.
Congratulations to Morgan, Scott, Anita and Emily (a workers compensation adjuster with Broadspire) on this enormous accomplishment!