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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Tips for grads, part 1: resume and cover letter

By on May 29, 2015 at 1:54 PM

Posted in: Odds & Ends, Working at GEICO

Dream Job, next exit creative road sign and cloudsCongratulations to all of the recent and upcoming graduates! If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to start searching for that dream job of yours. But first – do you know how to put together a resume and cover letter that will make you stand out from the rest of the applicants? In this three-part series, we’ll help you start your career search with some advice, tips and great resources to help you be successful.

First things first, and that is to help you put together that awesome resume. Here are some key tips and ideas to make sure you are providing your best story to employers:

Once you have your resume under control, start working on your cover letter. I believe this is the most challenging part; when I wrote my first cover letter, I didn’t know where to start. Here are some great tips that helped me and can help you, too:

Now that you are filled to the brim with advice about how to make a resume and cover letter stand out from the crowd, put your skills to the test and write your own. I know one employer that you could test those skills on … if you guessed GEICO, you are correct!

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Memory of the Month: A river runs through it

By on May 28, 2015 at 2:36 PM

Posted in: Odds & Ends, Working at GEICO

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

OK, maybe it’s more of a stream or creek than a river. Heck, it might have only been a gully. But whatever it was, GEICO associates crossed over it easily in the early 1960s, thanks to this lovely little pedestrian bridge between the parking lot and the corporate headquarters building.

The headquarters building, where I work, is still surrounded by what we like to call a “scenic, park-like setting,” including a variety of flowering trees and some of the most spectacular azaleas you’ll ever see. This particular bit of scenery, though, is long gone. A few short years after the original building was finished and occupied, it became clear that more office space was needed. Where this bridge and the adjacent trees once stood, there’s now another wing of the building.

The property still retains much of the beauty that initially attracted a young Tony Nicely, who was hired by GEICO in 1961 as an underwriting assistant. “You walked over a bridge, and there were trees that blocked the view of the building,” Nicely recalled. “I remember walking down and saying, ‘What a pretty building!’ and ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to work in a building like this?’ I didn’t know anything about insurance; I just thought it would be nice to work in a building like this.”

Evidently, it was. Nicely became GEICO’s CEO in 1993, and still works in that pretty building.

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Behind the scenes: a crash-test exclusive

By on May 26, 2015 at 2:50 PM

Posted in: Safety and Insurance Issues

BelAirTwisted metal. Shattered glass. Blown tires. You might think I’m wandering through a junkyard, but that’s not the case. I’m talking about the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Vehicle Research Center, which I had the opportunity to visit recently.

This state-of-the-art facility, nestled among the farms of central Virginia’s idyllic countryside, is visited by engineers and journalists from all over the world to observe crash tests and learn more about the vast world of auto safety.

“They sure don’t build them like they used to…”

slingshotI’ve heard my grandparents and my parents say this more times than I’d care to count. With cars, this statement is definitely true – because now they’re built way better. Just look at what happened to the 1959 Chevy Bel Air that was crashed into another car head-on at 40 mph. It’s a grisly sight; the whole occupant compartment collapsed around the crash dummy. A human driver would have been killed or, at the very least, would have sustained severe, life-altering injuries. In a modern vehicle, the passenger compartment would not have crumpled this way, and a driver’s injuries would have been far less severe.

The highlight of my visit was observing a live crash test. I witnessed a small-overlap crash test, which is supposed to simulate a car striking the corner of another car or a fixed object like a telephone pole. The engineering know-how needed to pull off this test is fascinating. The car gets hooked up to a hydraulic slingshot mechanism and, after four minutes of charging, the test commences. In just a few short seconds, everything ends with a BANG … literally. Yeah; that’s not going to buff out.

Mazda6While the collision facility might be the main attraction, the Vehicle Research Center does much more than just crash cars. It also looks at the level of protection provided by child booster seats and regular passenger car seats, tests the overall strength of vehicle roofs, and has a separate outdoor track to test brakes and other new car safety technology.

And IIHS’ findings aren’t taken lightly – manufacturers continue to make improvements based on them, bringing even safer cars to you and me.

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Paying respects to those who served

By on May 22, 2015 at 2:19 PM

Posted in: Odds & Ends

MemorialDayMSAsI’ll admit it; when I see Memorial Day coming up on the calendar, what immediately comes to mind is a long, sunny weekend with a cold beverage or two and maybe a swimming pool to cool off in. But each year I also make it a point to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday: recognizing those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.

I believe it’s also important to honor those who serve in the military now, and I’m proud to work for a company like GEICO that honors current military members each year through the GEICO Military Service Awards (GMSAs). The GMSAs, held for the 27th year recently in Washington, D.C., paid tribute to members of each service branch who volunteer their time and energy to improve their local communities by promoting drug and alcohol abuse prevention, fire safety and fire prevention, or traffic safety and accident prevention.

GEICO will continue to support members of our armed forces and veterans later this month by teaming up with the USO of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia and the City of Virginia Beach for the second annual Warrior Week. The week-long event will give men and women throughout the country who have experienced the difficulties of military conflict the opportunity to challenge themselves through athletic events like cycling, surfing and many other activities.

So whatever fun plans you may have this Memorial Day, be sure to also take some time to remember those who served our country and support those who continue to do so today.

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Protect yourself from identity theft

By on May 20, 2015 at 4:05 PM

Posted in: Safety and Insurance Issues

IDtheftBy now, you shouldn’t need to be reminded that your personal information is always at risk, by way of your smartphone, your computer, even your trash. As hard as you work to build up your credit, identity thieves are working even harder trying to steal your identity for monetary gain. Identity thieves will use any possible means to gain access to your personal information.

I have heard horror stories where thieves rummage through someone’s garbage or the trash of businesses to steal information. Identity thieves have a knack for contacting you by phone or email, pretending to work for legitimate companies in an attempt to get you to reveal important data. It could be as small as asking for your name and address just to build a profile on you.

Identity thieves will also hack into your personal computer and mobile devices as a way to steal your information. That’s right; your mobile device. Something as simple as setting your mobile device to pick up a Wi-Fi signal while you are sitting in a coffee shop can compromise all of your personal information. The open nature of public Wi-Fi allows anyone to snoop in on your device.

And once your personal information has been compromised, identity thieves can access your bank accounts and open credit cards using your name. If you have unexplained withdrawals from your bank account or unfamiliar charges on your credit card bill, or if you receive calls from debt collectors about bills that you aren’t familiar with, these are among the red flags that can mean someone has stolen your identity.

If your wallet, Social Security card, or other personal, financial or account information are lost or stolen, contact the credit reporting companies and place a fraud alert on your credit file. Check your bank statements and other financial account documents for unusual activity. Make sure you always secure your personal computer by keeping your security software up to date, and limit access to your wireless network with encryption and strong passwords.

And by all means, don’t click on any links or reply to emails or pop-up messages that ask for your personal or financial information. Legitimate businesses don’t ask you to send sensitive information through insecure channels. And never, ever connect to a bank or other sensitive accounts over public Wi-Fi. In fact, pull out your smartphone right this minute and disable the Wi-Fi function, so it does not pick up a signal automatically.

Determined identity thieves are hard to stop, but if you follow these suggestions, you’ll improve your chances of keeping your personal information secure. And for extra security, here’s how GEICO can help protect your identity.

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