Play it safe and keep July Fourth fun

By on July 2, 2015 at 1:50 PM

Posted in: Safety and Insurance Issues

July 4 graphic Independence Day: For many it’s the pinnacle of the summer season. Perhaps you tie it into a vacation, use the day to host a barbecue, or take a trip to a city festival. And, the holiday certainly wouldn’t be complete without catching a fireworks display.

If you plan on hosting a picnic or attending one, perhaps you’ll enjoy an adult beverage or two. Remember to make responsible decisions if you consume alcoholic beverages:

  • Find a form of public transportation, a cab or a ride-hailing service to get you to and from your party, or assign a designated driver. If a friend serves in that role this time, consider returning the favor on Labor Day.
  • Enjoy some food with that drink. Have a burger and a dog, and why not double down on all the other fixings?
  • If you’re hosting a party, offer non-alcoholic beverage options like soda and water.

For those who will pick up the tongs and don their favorite apron to master the grill, we have a couple tips. A burnt burger isn’t the end of the world, but singed eyebrows … not so good.

  • First and foremost, never leave your grill unattended and keep it far away from your house, deck or other structures that could catch fire.
  • If you use a charcoal grill, wait until the coals cool completely before disposing of them in a metal container.
  • Clean off excess fat left over from food and remember to replace your grease tray. This will prevent a grease fire from starting on your grill, which is often tough to extinguish.

Have a happy Fourth of July and enjoy the red, white and blue. And if you want to celebrate your independence from high insurance prices, visit geico.com to see if you could save some green.

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Emerging Leaders Program grooms promising associates for management roles

By on July 1, 2015 at 7:50 AM

Posted in: IT @ GEICO, Working at GEICO

GEICO’s highly selective Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) offers two distinct career tracks to qualified graduates of top schools: Operations Management and Information Technology. I had the pleasure of speaking recently with two associates who’ve completed the program: Carolyn, who went the Information Technology route; and Anna, who proceeded through the Operations Management track. Both have made an impact within GEICO and are very well known for their work ethic and drive to succeed.

Carolyn photoCarolyn is in her fifth year with GEICO. During her time in the ELP, Carolyn worked on many projects that customers use today, including the iPad app, mobile app and mobile website. She also:

  • Worked with the GEICO.com Team and made changes to the website using CMS,
  • Came up with requirements to implement new product initiatives with landing pages and internal pages, and
  • Conducted research and analysis for building an enterprise customer-facing text messaging system.

After she completed the ELP, Carolyn was a lead systems analyst on the GEICO Mobile Team. After working on that team for half a year, she took a lead position on the newly formed Digital Experience Team, which is where she is today.

“What I love the most about GEICO,” Carolyn said, “is all of the career growth and development opportunities available. GEICO’s organization is very flat and the culture is like one big family. The ELP gave me the opportunity to network and build relationships with different members of management who helped mentor me while I was in the program and thereafter. GEICO’s internal job posting provides the opportunity and flexibility to work within the same company but in different positions.”

Anna PhotoAnna has been with GEICO for 8 years. As an ELP participant, she:

  • Developed guidelines to make processes better,
  • Planned Warren Buffett’s visit to the Fredericksburg office,
  • Created a Maryland claims training manual,
  • Analyzed and reported the Associate Opinion Survey for Fredericksburg, and
  • Created and supervised the 2007 Fredericksburg Summer Intern Program, which received a 2008 Corporate Quality Award Nomination.

After completing the ELP, Anna held claims management positions in GEICO’s regional offices in Virginia Beach and San Diego before taking on her current role as liability director in our Lakeland, Florida, regional office. She oversees 800 associates and a variety of claims, liability and theft departments. She recommends the ELP and her company.

“GEICO is growing and we have a lot of potential for millennials and the young work force,” Anna said. “The ELP development is very special: you get assigned a mentor and you will understand all aspects of the position. The structure and mentoring is top-notch.”

If you want to learn, be mentored and grow within a great company that offers many career paths, check out GEICO’s career site for more information.

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Memory of the Month: Let me take you to the beach

By on June 26, 2015 at 2:06 PM

Posted in: Working at GEICO

beachEach month, we share an image from GEICO’s past and invite you to comment or exercise your caption-writing skills.

As I’m writing this, we’re expecting the temperature to approach or possibly exceed 100 degrees today in the D.C. area. What better time to take a trip to the beach (at least, in our minds)?

This photo depicts a scene that used to be a regular occurrence in GEICO’s early days – the annual beach picnic for employees and their families. Every summer, the entire company would be invited to spend a day at Chesapeake Beach on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. This sort of outing was easier to pull off back then — the company’s employee population numbered fewer than 100 until the early 1940s, and they all worked at GEICO’s Washington, D.C., headquarters.

These days, the all-company outing is a distant memory – can’t exactly gather 33,000 people from all around the country – but the tradition lives on in a smaller-group format. My department, for example, has annual outings that have taken us on a variety of adventures: to tour the Mt. Vernon home of George Washington, to eat crabs on a skipjack, to visit Nationals Park twice (once for a tour, once for a game), to dine in a variety of fine restaurants and the occasional bowling alley.

We haven’t been to the beach yet, but maybe this is the year!

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GEICO’s a top place to work in Indiana

By on June 23, 2015 at 3:40 PM

Posted in: Working at GEICO

3IndyGroupPicYou’ve seen our commercials and you know what a great value GEICO insurance is, right? But did you know that GEICO is also a great place to build a career? In fact, GEICO has been recognized as a top workplace in several states, most recently in Indiana by the Indianapolis Star. Its Top Workplaces list is based on responses from surveys about satisfaction and engagement in the workplace completed by employees.

The 22-question employee survey covered topics such as company values, leadership, management, benefits, pay, growth opportunities, training, appreciation, retention and work/life balance. GEICO offers competitive starting salaries, a comprehensive benefits package, continuing education, career growth opportunities, community engagement opportunities and a friendly, supportive workplace.

GEICO’s office in Indianapolis, which opened in March 2013, already employs more than 800 employees and continues to grow rapidly. We plan to hire more than 400 employees in Indianapolis this year for positions in sales, service and emergency road service.

“As we celebrate our second anniversary in Indiana, it is a special honor to be named one of the top places to work in Indiana by our associates,” said Eric Stafford, assistant vice president of GEICO’s Indianapolis office. “We’re proud to provide a supportive and satisfying workplace for our associates who demonstrate their hard work and dedication to our growing company each and every day.”

Interested in building a career at GEICO? Go to geico.jobs and check out the opportunities we offer near you!

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GEICO’s a matching outfit

By on June 19, 2015 at 1:54 PM

Posted in: Odds & Ends, Working at GEICO

LAYCwCapOne of the things about GEICO I find most endearing is the company’s support of causes that are important to its employees. GEICO not only offers us the opportunity to give back to the community by joining its volunteer corps – GEICO Corporate Community Citizens (GCCC) – but also by matching our individual donations of at least $15 to our favorite local charitable organizations and causes dear to us.

Charitable matching is one of GEICO’s most significant benefits, as my colleague Jose Moris will tell you. A graduate of Hofstra University (New York), Jose works as a video producer/director at GEICO’s Washington, D.C., corporate headquarters. I recently spoke to him about his work with the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) in D.C. Jose began volunteering shortly after moving to the D.C. area; he contributes his time, talents and cash to the LAYC.

“Growing up, my parents encouraged me to go to college but they didn’t know much about applying to college, “Jose recalled. “LAYC’s College Access Program helps kids in similar situations, and with more troubled backgrounds, with the college application process, pays their application fees and offers them an opportunity to take college classes and live on campus during the summer.”

Jose also presented LAYC with a contribution from GEICO’s Philanthropic Foundation in the amount of $10,000 to support LAYC’s programs that provide resources for homeless children and teens. The donation was awarded based on the LAYC’s positive impact on community, their good financial health and accountability, and Jose’s significant involvement in fundraising and volunteer recruitment of associates for LAYC activities as well as other GCCC auxiliary group activities at GEICO headquarters.

“GEICO’s contributions help support our work with homeless children and youth,” said LAYC President & CEO Lori Kaplan. “We use the funds to get them into safe and stable housing. We start there because if you don’t have a home, you can’t move on to the other pieces of your life. GEICO is the main sponsor for our Dance-a-Thon. The proceeds from that event fund short-term housing, long-term independent living and group home placement for Latino and African American youth, who for one reason or another can’t live at home or have aged out of the foster care system.”

GEICO not only matches Jose’s individual contributions to LAYC, but those of other GEICO associates who also support the LAYC. “It’s encouraging to them, when they realize that their $15 is actually $30, with the match,” Jose explained. “When I learned that I could also present LAYC to GEICO’s Philanthropic Foundation board for sponsorship, I was really excited; they seemed really enthusiastic as well. It’s nice that we as employees get an opportunity to direct some of GEICO’s Philanthropic contributions to our communities.”

Charitable matching: another great reason to work at GEICO. Apply today at geico.jobs. Follow us on social media to learn more about GEICO’s Corporate Community Citizens and how #GEICOgivesback.

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Fluffy fur, smooches and lots of love in the air at Paws for a Cause

By on June 16, 2015 at 4:18 PM

Posted in: Odds & Ends, Working at GEICO

BellyRubAt GEICO, it’s no secret how much our associates love animals; especially an adorable green lizard who speaks with a chipper British accent. (Or is it Australian?) The third annual Paws for a Cause adoption event provided plenty of evidence that our love of critters isn’t restricted to the Gecko, or even to reptiles in general. Dozens of furry, four-legged friends paid a visit to our corporate headquarters outside Washington, D.C., and won the hearts of many of our associates.

It was a grey day, but that didn’t stop hundreds of employees from coming by to meet dogs and cats looking for a good home. A few even took time to fill out forms to begin the adoption process, bringing them one step closer to finding a new best friend.

WomenWithDogTo top it all off, several pet-lovers-themed raffles were held to raise funds for the Washington Animal Rescue League, the Washington Humane Society, Mutt Love and the Human-Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI). Additionally, a few food trucks rolled onto the property to serve sweet and savory creations. Who doesn’t love ice cream during the workday?

Well, that’s probably enough from yours truly. You can see the real stars of the show in the pictures on this page. Just brace yourself for some extreme cuteness, and get ready to say, “Aww.”

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Don’t get caught off guard this hurricane season

By on June 12, 2015 at 9:37 AM

Posted in: Claims, Safety and Insurance Issues

Hurricane Prep ArtworkKatrina. Andrew. Hugo. These are more than names for millions of people. Rather, they stand for the full wrath of Mother Nature in the form of a strong hurricane. Hurricane season is upon us, so now’s the time to prepare properly if you live near the coast. Taking these steps will make your life a lot easier should a hurricane hit.

  • Review your homeowner’s policy. Make sure you have adequate coverage and that you’re fully aware of the amount of your deductible. Consider buying flood insurance if you live in a flood-prone area. There is a 30-day waiting period for this coverage, so don’t procrastinate.
  • Create a document of everything that’s in your home and save it in an email or cloud-based storage. This way you’ll have it even if your computer gets destroyed, and it will lead to far less stress when filing a homeowner’s claim.
  • Map out an evacuation route in advance. This isn’t the time to experiment with the road less traveled.

If a hurricane is headed your way, we recommend taking these precautions:

  • Follow advice of local authorities. If they say evacuate, then evacuate. Don’t return until the authorities say it’s absolutely safe to do so.
  • Tie down or move outdoor items (grills, patio sets, etc.) so they don’t become projectiles in heavy winds.
  • Improve your trees’ wind resistance by removing dead/dying branches.
  • Install storm shutters on exterior windows or nail plywood to the frames just before the storm hits to better protect your home.

Most importantly, don’t be lulled into thinking the big storm is going to miss you. Last year might have been unusually quiet, but that doesn’t mean the trend will continue in 2015.

To keep posted on the latest catastrophes, visit our recent severe storms page on geico.com.

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Tips for grads, part 3: Interviewing

By on June 9, 2015 at 11:57 AM

Posted in: Odds & Ends

InterviewIn this three-part series, I’ve tuned you in to some resume and cover letter secrets, and provided you with job-hunting tips. This series-ending post will help you stand out with interview advice.

Here are a few “need to know” tips for your next interview:

First, you have to prepare for the interview. Research the company to get familiar with its mission and goals for the future. This will give your answers meaning to the interviewer and make you stand out from the others. Doing that research can help you  prepare you for the question many employers ask: “Why should we hire you?” If you know the company’s mission and future goals, you can paint a picture of how you can contribute to those and why you are a great fit for the position.

Now that we have that important question down, there are so many others that could be asked. Before the interview, it is best to think about the different types of questions you may be asked and prepare your answers. To help you, here are the top 31 most-asked interview questions and how to answer them.

The tricky part of the interview is usually after the standard interview questions; the behavioral questions are next. They are usually the hardest to answer; and they’re the most important. The interviewer will pay very close attention to your answers to make sure that you possess the right skills for the job.

After the interview is over, take some time to reflect on your answers. You will learn what you think you did well and what needs to be improved for next time.

Now that you are well prepared for your next interview, tell us about your interviewing experiences and your best practices in the comments! As always, be sure to check out our open career opportunities to put your skills to the test. Good luck!

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You still have time! Tell us your story and you could win $100

By on June 5, 2015 at 1:08 PM

Posted in: Safety and Insurance Issues

BrakeTheHabitIf you follow GEICO on Twitter (@GEICO), you may have seen us talking about our #BrakeTheHabit video contest. If you’re between the ages of 15 and 25, we want you to show us why you don’t drive distracted.

Got 15 seconds to spare? Just post your video to Twitter using the hashtag #BrakeTheHabit and mention @GEICO to enter. Each week, we’re giving one winner $100, and that could be you!

The contest runs through June 30, so get your videos in ASAP to qualify! Weekly winners could be featured in the national GEICO anti-distracted driving video on YouTube and have a chance to win $500.

Want to see who has won so far? Check out the entries below:

These folks have set the bar high, but don’t let that stop you! Show us what you got! BIG thanks to everyone who has entered so far! Keep ‘em coming because we can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

Check out the contest rules for more details.

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Tips for grads, part 2: Finding the right job

By on June 2, 2015 at 1:09 PM

Posted in: Odds & Ends

Job hunting 2If you’re like most of us – and let’s face it; you probably are – job hunting is a daunting task. In this second post of my three-part series, I’ll give you some useful advice to help you start your job search and find that job that’s right for you.

Recent graduates often feel pressured to find the job that will kick-start their future in their chosen field. It doesn’t matter if that pressure is from parents, friends or society, but this can make finding a job stressful.

Job hunting can be an emotionally arduous process. No one wants to be denied a job that they feel fits them well. You might look back at your degree or course work and think that you are not good enough. Well, I am here to tell you that you ARE good enough and there IS hope. Here is a great article that will help you stay positive while you are applying for jobs.

It also may come to a point where you just want to give up. Read this article; it will give you hope and advice on what to do when you start to feel that way.

For others, job hunting might not be the scary part. It might be moving to the city in which you always wanted to live after college. A new city means new career opportunities and a different job market. Here are some great tips to help your job search in that new city.

Now that you have these great job hunting tips, tell us in the comments what your best practices have been for your search! Also, check out the GEICO career site to learn about our open opportunities.

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