101 in 1001 #39: Attend a lecture or seminar at work.

I rarely say this, but sometimes I do miss aspects of my old, Big 4 accounting firm job. I loved working with a team of people who were predominantly my age, it was great to be able to coach, teach and mentor on a daily basis, and the mileage reimbursements for driving to client sites didn’t hurt either. I’ve also found myself wishing that I had more opportunities for good professional development and continuing education in my current role. In public, there’s so much emphasis on continuing professional education (CPE) because it’s required to achieve a certain number of hours annually to remain an active CPA. Here, employees pretty much have to go outside the company to achieve it, or rely on a limited number of offerings throughout the year.

My new boss recommended that I enroll in a “Principles of Insurance and Risk Management” class offered every fall that he took in his early days with the company. He thought it would provide a solid foundational knowledge of both the insurance industry and of my company, so I signed up along with another new-ish employee in my department. The class met for ten Mondays from 7 to 9 am and covered fundamentals of risk and insurance, with a lot of editorializing by my professor (HA) on how it all applied and was interpreted at my specific company. I was cautiously optimistic at first, and then my attitude (and motivation) took a complete nosedive when I realized that the entire course’s worth of material consisted of information I covered literally in my first insurance-specific training at my Big 4 job.

Unfortunately, I think the selection of this class in particular for me was a mistake given the fact that I came out of insurance audit and already had close to a hundred hours of industry-specific training. The majority of my classmates were fresh-out-of-college hires participating in our company’s development program, and the class was very much geared to people who didn’t know anything about insurance in the first place. While this did mean that certain sessions bored me to tears, it also meant that I could tune out to a degree on the basics, and focus in on the company-specific information that added value for me.

We had our final yesterday morning, and while the extent of my “studying” consisted of skimming the textbook while drinking a glass of wine on Sunday night, I am thrilled to officially put this seminar to bed. I’m glad I took it for a variety of reasons…curried a little favor with the boss, met a few new people in the company, blah blah blah. I do regret wasting twenty hours of my life covering material I already knew, though, and I feel like, given the option, I could have found a much more value-adding alternative. That said though, it never hurts to try something, and if that’s the only true knowledge I’ve gained from Principles of Insurance and Risk Management, hey, I’ll take it.

Sorry for the downer post! If nothing else, I guess it proves that not all of my bright ideas always pan out into something awesome. Oops! Go take a peek at my 101 in 1001 list to find a ton of other, way more fun things I’ve done and am planning on doing before 2/11/17 here!