MMG wants local kids to ponder insurance careers

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Many insurance companies around the country are trying to identify the next generation of employees, including MMG Insurance in Aroostook County.

The property and casualty insurer’s recruiting efforts have been targeting local high school and college students, said Bonnie Beaulieu, MMG’s HR business partner.

“We want to get them when they’re young,” Beaulieu said. “There are wonderful careers in the insurance industry right here in their backyard. You can start off at an entry level position, and who knows where you’ll end up?”

MMG Insurance has more than 190 employees in Presque Isle and is usually need in of employees in a range of positions such as in claims, underwriting and technology — all of which are opportunities for local students thinking about their future prospects, Beaulieu said.

The company recently held a “lunch and learn” event for 13 freshmen and sophomores from Presque Isle High School.

The students got a taste of what it’s like in the property and casualty insurance industry, with role-playing activities meant to simulate customer relations and concepts like asset valuation and risk management. For instance, they learned why homeowners need to have insurance to protect them in case of a fire, and how trampolines at home can pose some hazards for young families.

High-schoolers with an interest in insurance can go to college locally and look to intern with MMG before they graduate, earning $13 an hour working during the summer and often receiving a job offer afterwards, Beaulieu said.

MMG has also been collaborating with the University of Maine Presque Isle through a new professional development and distance learning center, which offers MMG employes continuing education classes and training.

Four MMG employees currently are taking a risk management class from the University of Southern Maine through the learning center, with a live-feed from the USM classroom and online class tools.

Eventually, Beaulieu said, MMG wants to offer the risk management class to UMPI students who are planning to work in the insurance business. MMG is also among the corporate sponsors of the Aroostook Aspirations Initiative, which supports local high school students attending college in The County.

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