The spirit of holiday giving: GEICO donates vehicle to local organization in Louisiana

By on December 20, 2013 at 7:41 AM

Posted in: Claims, Odds & Ends

GEICO_Recycle_RidesI love how GEICO continues to find ways to give back to its local communities, so I was especially pleased when I recently heard about how one of GEICO’s auto damage managers helped make spirits bright in Louisiana during this season of giving.

Family Promise of Ouachita, a nonprofit that provides support to help families find employment, recently received a gift from GEICO: a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500.

Through the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides program, GEICO partnered with Performance Finishes to repair and refurbish the vehicle to help the organization fulfill its mission of serving at-risk families in the community.

Melvin Ingram, GEICO’s auto damage manager, presented the truck to Sandra Jones, executive director of Family Promise of Ouachita, on Thursday, Dec. 12, at Performance Finishes Collision Facility, located in Lafayette, La. Representatives from the auto repair shop and Family Promise also attended the event.

“We are pleased to participate in this effort that helps support underserved communities,” said Ingram. “This vehicle donation will allow Family Promise to continue the work of making a difference in our communities.”

Without reliable transportation, Family Promise wouldn’t be able to complete its mission in helping at-risk families transition to successful, sustainable independence. I’m glad to be a part of a company that continues to give, especially during this time of year.

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Six cold weather driving tips

By on December 17, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Posted in: Safety

Snow covered roadMuch of the country is already experiencing cold temperatures and winter storms – we certainly are in the Washington, D.C., area – and the challenging driving conditions they bring. Preparation and knowing what to do in case of an emergency can help you stay safe even in the worst climates. Heated seats don’t hurt, either.

  1. Make sure your vehicle is in good condition. You (or your mechanic) should check tire pressure and wear, battery charge, fluid levels and all belts and hoses. A well-maintained car will be less likely to fail when the temperatures drop.
  2. Keep a “survival kit” in your car in case of emergency. It should include a flashlight, ice scraper and snow brush, small shovel, sand or kitty litter, cell phone and charger, blankets and warm clothes, matches, road flares and non-perishable food.
  3. Visibility is crucial, so make sure your wipers are working, the wiper blades are in good condition and your washer fluid is full before driving on salt-covered, slushy roads.
  4. Is your car covered in snow and ice? Start your car and turn on the front and rear defrosters to help soften the frozen stuff. It will also help warm up your car while you work to clean it off – in some jurisdictions, failing to clean off your car can be illegal. And don’t forget the roof; ice flying off of your car on the highway can be a hazard to other drivers.
  5. If your car skids, follow these steps:
    - Don’t panic.
    - Don’t slam on the brakes.
    - Take your foot off the gas.
    - Steer your car in the direction you’re skidding until you regain control.
  6. Stuck? Avoid the temptation to spin your wheels; you’ll only dig yourself into a deeper hole. Clear the snow behind and in front of all four tires, and liberally spread sand or kitty litter in front of and behind the drive wheels. To get moving, drive in as straight a line as possible to minimize resistance.

Check out more safety tips at geico.com! And don’t forget to share your winter driving tips in the comments.

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Memory of the Month: Winter wonderland

By on December 12, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Posted in: Odds & Ends, Working at GEICO

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

I’m not sure when this photo was taken, but it was on a day much like this one. I’m writing this post on a snowy, icy morning when many D.C.-area businesses closed or delayed opening, but not GEICO.

We take seriously our pledge to be available for our customers around the clock, every day of the year. It takes a LOT more snow and ice than what’s in this photo, or on the ground outside our headquarters today, before we consider closing the office. I could count on one finger the number of times we’ve closed in my nearly 30 years here.

Sure, I grumble about it when I have to get out of my nice, warm bed, clean off my car and get to work while my neighbors sleep in, but you know what? I’m actually kind of proud that my company doesn’t let an inch or two of snow – or six or seven – paralyze it like so many organizations do.

I think it says something good about GEICO. What do you think?

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Everything’s bigger in Texas, including opportunities at GEICO

By on December 3, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Posted in: Working at GEICO

HoustonEventGEICO has a long history in Texas, dating all the way back to when we were founded there in 1936. Yesterday, we proudly announced the opening of our 15th major office location. Located 30 minutes from downtown Houston, our new office in Katy is already growing and hiring. Our goal is to hire up to 400 new associates over the next year and grow to 1,000 associates within three years!

“GEICO has had a presence in the Houston area for many years,” says Tara Carthew, general manager of the new office in west Houston. “However, with GEICO’s continued growth, it made sense to expand our operations in Texas and open a larger office. We are proud to join the Katy community and we’re bringing hundreds of jobs with us!”

We’re looking for great people

In our Katy office, we have many full-time opportunities in our auto claims operations. Newly hired associates will attend industry-leading training and learn how to assist customers who have been involved in accidents or other disasters.

“We’re looking for candidates with a genuine desire to help others,” advises Jeanine DeSalvo, the newly appointed hiring manager for the claims office. “Strong communication skills, a customer-oriented attitude, and the ability to multi-task and problem-solve are important characteristics that will help someone be successful here.”

GEICO is hiring claims representatives who assist customers in non-disputed claims, and liability claims representatives who negotiate and settle claims involving liability disputes. In 2014, we will begin recruiting college graduates for a fast-track Management Development Program with a focus in claims.

Watch GEICO’s claims career path video

 Apply today to join our team                            

Interested job seekers are encouraged to learn more and apply today at geico.jobs/houston. You’ll be asked to create an account and profile. We recommend completing the online application via a laptop or desktop for the best experience.

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Memory of the Month: Giving thanks

By on November 27, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Posted in: Odds & Ends

GIving ThanksKids, you won’t believe this, but once upon a time, televisions did not have flat screens, and if you wanted to change the channel, you had to get up and walk to the TV to do it. The only time the words “high definition” went together was when you were looking up the word “high” in the dictionary. Which was a book, not the Webster’s website, because the Internet didn’t … oh, never mind.

Back in those days, a fellow like the one in this photo, who was a contest winner, would be quite pleased and thankful to receive a fine appliance like this – even if the chap behind him appears to be unimpressed. And seeing as how it’s late November, I’m in a thankful frame of mind myself, and I thought I’d share some of the things for which I and my fellow blog authors are thankful.

For example, I’m thankful to work for a company that takes time out now and then to celebrate the achievements of its employees – or birthdays, anniversaries, engagements, etc. It’s nice to have some playtime in the workday once in a while!

Here’s what some of our other authors had to say:

“Ten years ago, I met my husband at GEICO. Today, we have two beautiful girls. I am extremely thankful for that momentous day, each and every day.” – Shannon Smedstad

“Like a lot of people, I’m thankful for my family, friends and health. Most of all, I’m thankful for all of the traditions that we’ve been able to keep going through the years. From gathering at the same place to eating the same homemade food while watching a full day of football, it’s my favorite time of year. This year, I can even be thankful that the Steelers will be playing on Thanksgiving! Sadly, I’m not thankful for the Steelers’ record this season.” – Nathan Erb

“I am thankful for my family, new baby niece and having such a great job. I am grateful this year for my easy transition to GEICO’s corporate office and the opportunity to work with such wonderful associates.” – Hope Buehler

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GEICO internships give tomorrow’s leaders real-world experience

By on November 26, 2013 at 7:46 AM

Posted in: Working at GEICO

By guest blogger Brittany Thompson, college recruiter

Interns photoThis past summer, 14 university students gained real-world business experience as interns at GEICO’s regional office in Fredericksburg, Va. Our internship program offers a multitude of opportunities, as college students interact with management, complete projects that may be implemented at GEICO and build their leadership, time management and communication skills.

“I expanded my business knowledge and cultivated unexpected, incredible friendships,” said Theresa Livelsberger, an intern from Christopher Newport University. “I don’t think that any other internship could have provided me with such an in-depth and hands-on experience,” added Heather Rocholl from James Madison University.

Our team worked with interns from other Virginia schools as well, including the University of Mary Washington, Virginia Tech, Lynchburg College and William and Mary. We were also happy to have had students from Penn State and Appalachian State with us for the summer.

In addition to working on projects focused on sales, customer service and claims, the interns participated in experiential learning events. They traveled to The Martin Agency, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) and an intern summit at GEICO’s corporate headquarters just outside of Washington, D.C.

In Richmond, The Martin Agency offered an up-close look at a successful business and advertising partnership. At IIHS, interns saw first-hand how GEICO contributes to protecting drivers by funding research for the improvement of vehicle safety. During the summit, GEICO interns heard from senior leaders and learned more about careers after graduation.

We are so proud of our interns’ accomplishments that we’ve extended several full-time job offers! Mark Boggs, one of our former interns, has already joined our Management Development Program, claims track. “I like that GEICO is very education-driven and is always looking to better employees. It seems like everyone is there to help and it allows for people to grow.”

GEICO will continue its internship program again during the summer of 2014. Hiring for interns in Fredericksburg starts this month. We are looking for rising juniors and seniors with strong leadership qualities, analytical skills and a desire to work in a leadership position after college. Interested students are encouraged to apply at geico.jobs/internships; the Fredericksburg program is job ID 1477. You can also connect with a college recruiter.

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Math degree + insurance industry = job opportunities

By on November 20, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Posted in: Working at GEICO

GEICO Math Careers IconWondering how to use your love of numbers after graduation? Curious about what career opportunities there are for math majors? If you haven’t thought about a career in insurance, maybe you should.

Insurance is a complex industry overflowing with all sorts of numbers:  loss frequency and severity, underwriting ratios, expense ratios, costs, profits, losses, rates and the list goes on. All these numbers need to be analyzed, organized and properly assessed, which is exactly why math majors can do well in the insurance industry.

CAREER PATHS FOR MATH MAJORS

Often times, math majors will consider a career as an actuary. At GEICO, we frequently hire math majors as Actuarial Assistants in our pricing department to help our company determine how we set insurance rates. Actuaries also work in our reserving department and help us determine how much money to keep in the GEICO “piggy bank” to pay out future claims.

One key to an actuary’s career success is passing a series of exams. For actuaries working in property and casualty insurance, like GEICO, the exams are through the Casualty Actuarial Society. We will help support you throughout the exam process by offering paid study hours, financial support and even first-time passing bonuses!

Many insurance companies will also hire math majors to work as analysts within a variety of departments. GEICO hires motivated college graduates with a mind for math, finance and economics as analysts in underwriting, product management and other key areas.

Big data, little data – in insurance, there’s a mountain of data to keep math majors engaged and challenged. If you’re thinking about careers in math, then we want you to think about working in insurance. Better yet, think GEICO.

LAUNCH YOUR CAREER IN MATH AT GEICO

We’re hiring math majors for entry level actuary and analyst careers in our Washington, D.C., area corporate headquarters. Math majors can also get on the fast-track to management by joining one of GEICO’s leadership programs, offered in major office locations across the country. Apply today by completing GEICO’s online job application and uploading your resume.

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GEICO’s ‘Hump Day’ extravaganza hits the streets Nov. 13 – Wednesday, of course

By on November 12, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Posted in: Marketing & Communications

HumpDayBy guest blogger Tony Blue

“Guess what day it is?” The catchy phrase used by the camel in GEICO’s “Hump Day” commercial has taken the country by storm; it has generated more than 17 million YouTube views. The TV spot is part of GEICO’s “Happier Than…” marketing campaign, which highlights the happiness of those who save money with GEICO. It has spawned a multitude of Hump Day spin-off videos from professional sports teams, television news crews and any cute kid with a big voice and a camera phone. 

GEICO is bringing its “Hump Day” phenomenon to a town near you on Wednesday, Nov. 13. The company will be hitting select locations across the country to encourage its fans to take a superimposed photo with the GEICO “Hump Day” camel. Participants will receive a free “Hump Day” T-shirt while supplies last.

“The ‘Hump Day’ commercial has been a tremendous success,” said Vince Giampietro, GEICO senior marketing manager. “We are excited about the opportunity to come out and engage our fans on a more personal level.”

Look for our teams from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at these locations:

  • Dupont Circle and Gallery Place Metrorail stations, Washington, D.C.
  • 34th St. and 7th Ave., New York, N.Y.
  • Market City Cafe, Cherry Street, Macon, Ga.
  • Circle City Monument, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Broadway between 4th and 1st Streets, San Diego, Calif. 
  • Bishop Square, Downtown Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Sundance Square, Ft. Worth, Texas
  • Downtown Kissimmee, Kissimmee, Fla. 
  • The Virginia Beach Town Center, Virginia Beach, Va.
  • West Broadway Blvd. and South Church Ave., Tucson, Ariz.
  • Willard and Wisconsin Avenues, Chevy Chase, Md.

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IT @ GEICO: Every associate has a story to tell

By on November 6, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Posted in: IT @ GEICO, Working at GEICO

In this installment of our IT blog series, where we introduce you to members of our information technology team so that you can hear what it’s like to work in IT @ GEICO, you’ll meet David, a senior programmer analyst in our D.C. area headquarters.

DavidDeWittServerDavid D., Sr. Programmer Analyst II, Mobile Web Infrastructure

GEICO associate since 2005

With his 10-year GEICO career milestone within reach, David continues to explore the possibilities inside and outside of GEICO’s IT department. What drew him to GEICO was the commitment to being a low-cost provider. He believes this business model creates a culture that is more open to ideas and innovation … more so than any other place he has worked. 

HOW INNOVATION AND MOTIVATION DRIVE DAVID’S CAREER GROWTH

Before GEICO, I worked at a bank data center. I remember telling my co-workers that GEICO’s advertising is transforming the auto insurance industry. Just a few years later, a GEICO recruiter said he had the perfect job for me, and for once it was actually true!

In 2005, I started working in Information Technology at GEICO on the software that monitors the health of all our servers. After a few years, I moved to a different department working on the software that uses the monitoring information to ensure that outages are resolved and avoided. 

Eventually our CIO, Greg Kalinsky, introduced the “Innovation Project,” seeking ideas from everyone. One of my ideas was selected for an executive presentation. In preparing this presentation, I had the opportunity to meet with associates at all levels within the company. Afterward, a position opened up on our Mobile team and I began working on another innovative project using mobile technology

I am focused on learning more about the insurance industry and overall business operations at GEICO. With that in mind, I recently started a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter course offered at GEICO. My time here has helped me realize that you can be a dynamic player and have major influence on various aspects of the business.

Favorite moment at GEICO

There are a lot, but it’s not hard to choose. My favorite GEICO moment, by far, will always be the time I met the woman who became my wife. 

Career advice for job seekers

I’ve heard a lot of good advice in my time here, but the best was probably, “You are responsible for your career.” Several people have said it and it’s true. The world is rarely laid at our feet. We must rise up and go meet the world. The greatest opportunities at GEICO, or anywhere for that matter, are likely not defined and contained within a degree, job or course. They reside in how we manage ourselves and how we treat those around us. 

If you have a passion for technology and innovation, GEICO’s IT team could be the right fit for you. We’re hiring in web and mobile development, analysis and testing, for our Technology Development Program and much more! Watch our brand new IT video to hear from other members of GEICO IT divisions.

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Hey, students! GEICO wants you to create the next ‘Don’t Drive Distracted’ music video and T-shirt

By on November 1, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Posted in: Marketing & Communications

Distracted driving contestGEICO’s annual safety contest is now underway! This year, we’re challenging students to use their creative skills to help spread awareness about the dangers of distracted driving through two new contests – music video and T-shirt design.

High school students (grades 9-12) are eligible to create their own “Don’t Drive Distracted” music video using one of GEICO’s soundtracks and adding their own original lyrics. The GEICO music tracks can be downloaded from the GEICO Music Video Contest website, where you’ll also find contest rules and submission instructions.

All students (grades 1-12) can submit a T-shirt design that depicts how to prevent distracted driving. The design can be hand-drawn or computer-generated. You’ll find contest rules and submission instructions on the GEICO T-shirt Design Contest website.

Judges will select one national music video winner who will earn a $1,500 cash prize and one national T-shirt design winner who will receive a $500 cash prize. Additional cash prizes will also be awarded to finalists.

And remember, distracted driving not only involves texting, but also include talking on the phone, eating, grooming, and adjusting the radio or GPS navigation system while driving. Contestants can use any form of distraction to convey the message that it’s dangerous.

Do you or your teen, niece or nephew have what it takes to be the grand-prize winner? Deadline for submissions is Jan. 24, 2014. For more information about guidelines, rules and submission, please visit www.geicosafetycontest.com.

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