Some might call it woman’s intuition; that drive, enthusiasm and ambition that led GEICO’s Julia Chapman to give auto damage (AD) adjusting a whirl. Julia knew nothing about cars, but she loves a challenge – and she wouldn’t be the first or last female in her family to make her mark in a male-dominated profession.
Julia’s mom owns a car dealership. Seeing her mom hold her own in a male-dominated industry inspired Julia, who will celebrate eight years with GEICO this year.
“I just loved watching her interact with people who had a lot of tenure, while she was the ‘new kid on the block,’” Julia said of her mom, “but she owned it, and she was willing to learn everything she needed to do to build strong relationships.”
During Julia’s final rotation in GEICO’s Emerging Leaders Program in 2009, she opted to work in the field, driving a GEICO-wrapped car, writing estimates and issuing claims checks. That meant moving from GEICO’s San Diego office – where she’d already completed rotations in sales, service, underwriting, planning and liability claims – to her assigned AD territory in San Francisco.
Julia completed three months of AD training, including the “boot camp” at GEICO’s AD school in McLean, Va. Her class of 34 included only two other females. She found this experience as rewarding as it was challenging.
“There was something about doing something totally new, in a male-dominated position,” Julia recalled. “I never felt I had anything to prove, but it always felt good when someone was impressed with my level of knowledge.”
Julia had fully transitioned from Emerging Leader to AD supervisor when her younger sister Elana Abramov – a recent college graduate with a biology degree – was rethinking her plan to apply for medical school. Julia thought Elana would also be great in AD. “I told her, ‘If you want a job with a solid company, come to GEICO.’
Elana applied to GEICO and became an AD trainee in 2013. She finished in the top five of her AD basic training class of 60 (including eight females). Elana didn’t know cars any better than Julia had, but working as a certified emergency medical technician while in college had prepared Elana for the rigors of AD training. “It was really challenging, but I loved it,” she recalled.
After six months at GEICO, hoping to fast-track her career in AD management, Elana applied to GEICO’s Management Development Program (MDP) and was accepted. She was promoted to supervisor 14 months from her start date. Elana currently works as an AD supervisor in Northern Virginia (Alexandria). Julia is now a Corporate MDP and Supervisor Prep Program coordinator working in Virginia Beach (her hometown).
Great support for women in GEICO AD
“I get excited talking to women who are applying for AD,” said Julia, who is still involved in AD hiring. “The skills that I feel come naturally to a lot of women are what I look for when I’m hiring for AD. You have to love people and know how to manage your time. With the challenge comes the sweetest sense of satisfaction.”
Watching GEICO AD careerists like Tatiana Royster (drive-in claims manager), Alison Johnson (Elana’s manager, recently promoted) and Richmond AD supervisor Candi Jett had a huge impact on Julia. “All of them have a natural tendency to care for people,” said Julia. “They have quiet competence and they are willing to stand their ground when challenged. They all have that feistiness, that spark, and they’ve earned respect for what they do.”
Elana’s greatest GEICO AD inspiration is, of course, her sister Julia, but her former supervisor, Lawrence Gibbons, also made a huge impact on Elana. “When I was an adjuster, he always proved to me that I know more than I think I know,” Elana explained. “He motivated me and explained things effortlessly when he was my supervisor, and still does today as my mentor.”
There’s nothing like touring across this great land in an RV. But what if you could enhance your RV experience while on tour? With more than 485 campground locations throughout North America, Kampgrounds of America (KOA) allows you to roam across the country with ease, and find safe harbor at one of its 60,000 RV sites, packed with wonderful amenities like Wi-Fi, cable TV, swimming pools, mini-golf, bike rentals and fishing holes.
“GEICO and KOA are striving to enhance the camping experience and promote RV travel as an excellent way to spend time with family, visit great destinations and connect with other RV enthusiasts,” said Lorne Armer, vice president of brand development for KOA Inc.
Planning a trip? Check out KOA’s trip planner to find the KOA sites within five miles of your selected route. You can then select the desired location along your route and easily book a reservation in advance. It’s just one of the many resources KOA provides, giving campers and families the freedom and flexibility to choose any destination at their convenience.
GEICO provides campers similar flexibility where RV insurance is concerned, offering specialized coverage for RVs of all shapes and sizes, including towing, vacation liability and emergency expense coverages to go along with you. With GEICO and KOA on your side, you’ll be RVing with the best!
By guest blogger Rick Hoagland, regional vice president, Buffalo
Recently, my colleagues and I in GEICO’s Buffalo regional office were fortunate to be paid a special visit by none other than the Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett. Warren made the trip to meet associates and congratulate our region on an outstanding year in 2014.
“The Oracle of Omaha” is well known for dishing out sage advice. Among other pieces of wisdom, he has always stressed how important it is to never stop learning, to be patient and to give credit where credit is due. In a special Q & A session with our associates during his visit, Warren offered a few nuggets that stuck with me long after he had left.
When asked what he tells classrooms of college students who visit him in Omaha, Warren said he offers them a simple suggestion:
Pick out one of their classmates who they admire and would “buy 10 percent of” if they could
Write down the qualities of that person
Try to be that person
Warren also spoke about the importance of providing outstanding service, echoing one of GEICO’s core operating principles. “The customer is all-important,” he said. “When a company starts thinking it’s more important than its customers, it’s just like having termites in the basement. Eventually the biggest mansion tumbles.”
With our associates taking Warren’s advice to adopt the qualities of peers they admire and always put customers first, there’s no doubt in mind that GEICO’s house will continue to be termite-free for years to come.
With Distracted Driving Awareness Month underway, it’s the perfect time for a friendly reminder to keep your eyes up and “brake the habit” as we like to say.
If it’s raining, you wouldn’t even think of driving without running the wipers (I hope). Same if your windshield fogs up – you wouldn’t want to move until the defroster gets going because in both cases you’d be blind.
But if you glance down to read a text, an email or even that jury duty notice that came as snail mail, you’re driving blind. Pretty scary thought knowing you could miss the length of a football field if you take your eyes off the road for a few short seconds. Sadly, this occurs far too often with distracted drivers.
“But it’s only newer drivers in their teens and 20s doing it because they’re so absorbed in their phones …”
Not exactly a true statement – distracted driving’s a universal problem. Yes, younger drivers like me are more likely to use their phones while driving. But even those of you who may have taken your driver’s test in your dad’s AMC Hornet back when the Bee Gees and Donna Summer were topping the charts aren’t off the hook. Decades of experience behind the wheel doesn’t compensate for choosing to drive distracted.
And driver distractions stretch way beyond just phones. Other activities to avoid include shaving, styling hair, programming the GPS, eating and singing/dancing along to music to name a few. Don’t let rowdy passengers take your attention off the road, whether that’s a group of close friends or Fluffy, your miniature Poodle, who definitely shouldn’t be riding on your lap.
If you’re a mother, father, sister, brother, husband, wife, friend or neighbor, do your part to set an example by not driving distracted. And for our teens in the audience, show us how you plan not to drive distracted by entering our #BrakeTheHabit contest.
Anyone looking for a job these days starts with an online search to get a glimpse at a company’s workplace culture. You watch all the YouTube videos, scan job board listings and comments, and maybe even follow the company’s LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ pages.
At GEICO, we, too, enjoy connecting with you on social media. We first began using social media for recruiting in 2008, and we continue to expand our social media presence, with you in mind.
So, accepting four new national awards from global research firm Potential Park, including a No. 4 ranking for social media interaction, at a special ceremony in New York City in February, was a huge honor for us. It affirms GEICO’s status as a leader in the social media recruiting space.
Potential Park’s newly released study of 127 major U.S. employers’ online talent communication in 2014, has GEICO also ranking No. 4 in the broader category of overall Online Talent Communication. With more than 25 percent of all traffic to the geico.jobs coming from mobile channels, we landed at No. 25 for Mobile Talent interaction. The GEICO Careers website (mobile optimized since August 2013) earned the No. 3 ranking. And we’re looking to keep the momentum from our award-winning efforts going.
If you’re in the market for a new job, and even if you’re not, (can’t hurt to keep an eye out for opportunity, right?) visit us at geico.jobs and interact with us on our Careers social networks:
Feeling nostalgic for the 1990s? So were we, so we’ve brought back the 1997 version of geico.com today.
After years of adding online quotes for more than 20 insurance products, online self-service capabilities, text messaging, mobile apps, and much more, we’re going back to one of our original designs. We like to call it the “giant, flying, golden telephone” design.
We’ve even brought back download links to modern browsers like Netscape Navigator.
As you’ve probably already realized, it’s April Fool’s Day! This design will stay in our history books, but it’s exciting to see how fast technology has advanced since then. This website was created 10 years before the first iPhone!
Want to be a part of the next 10 years of technology and design at GEICO? Check out our Information Technology Careers and you could be part of our team.
For many reasons, kids from urban communities generally have few opportunities to learn and participate in the sport of tennis. But GEICO is helping to change that with its sponsorship of the Game On program. The insurance company and the Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC) have teamed up to bring high-quality tennis instruction and educational enrichment to students in Washington, D.C., who wouldn’t otherwise have access to tennis facilities.
Working in collaboration with GEICO, DC Parks and Recreation, DC Public Schools and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, Game On offers state-of-the-art tennis and life skills lessons to more than 120 local students. The goal: to promote academic achievement, health and wellness and team-building, all in a safe and fun environment. Game On selects participants between the ages of 4 and 18, and provides training that could lead to scholarships at colleges and universities.
Game On is modeled after the ideals and principles of the late tennis great Arthur Ashe, who believed tennis could be used as an avenue to reach students, helping them learn the sport while enhancing their educational processes along the way. Ashe emphasized the importance of thinking, interpretation of ideas and demonstration of knowledge; fundamentals that can help one advance in the game of life.
Because of GEICO’s generous support, dozens of area students have been given the unique opportunity to learn tennis instruction, receive professional tennis equipment and participate in educational enrichment courses.
GEICO has been instrumental in promoting the sport as well as offsetting student expenses and, more importantly, helping to send students to major colleges and universities across the country on full academic scholarships. Well played, GEICO!
Most people know GEICO for its commercials touting savings on car insurance, but the company is much more than affordable rates and lovable ad icons. Welcome to GEICO More, a new online branding and content hub designed to serve customer needs through insightful tips and inspirational storytelling.
Many people think insurance is a bland, impersonal subject, until they need it – then insurance becomes extremely personal. GEICO More tells related stories and provides useful tips about how insurance works and fits in your life, helping customers understand how these products are used to protect assets and provide peace of mind.
“We want our customers to get out there and enjoy life; that’s the point of having good insurance,” said Julia Dubner, creative services director. “GEICO More is a conduit, a meeting place, for customers to engage with aspects of the brand that interest them, and better understand how GEICO protects their lifestyles now and in the future.”
To put it simply, when you need to know more about GEICO, check out GEICO More.
While it was a little chilly on opening day, anglers from all over the world converged at South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell in late February for the 2015 GEICO Bassmaster Classic. GEICO-sponsored David Walker and Mike McClelland were among the dozens who took to the water for three days in the hopes of catching the biggest bass and/or the most bass (by weight).
McClelland finished in 8th place, but it was Walker who earned perhaps the highest honor, for something other than his fishing skills. On the last day of practice, Walker pulled a drowning man from 40-degree water after his boat sank on Lake Hartwell, possibly saving his life. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers presented Walker with an award for his heroic effort on the water.
On Sunday, Feb. 22, South Carolina native Casey Ashley took home the coveted Classic trophy after catching bass totaling 50.1 pounds. GEICO was ever-present at the event, giving away tickets to the exclusive area in front of the stage and handing out goodies. Want to hang out with us? The GEICO RV will be rolling around to cities and events around the country all year, so check out the schedule and join us!
You choose a video, and then – BAM – an ad pops up, blocking your immediate access to visual delight. What do you do?
Hover over “Skip” for 5, 4, 3, 2… but wait! It’s already over! Phew. GEICO’s latest online ad campaign makes a dreaded pre-roll ad seem like a breath of fresh air, since the ad’s message is delivered right at the beginning; the rest is pure entertainment.
But what goes into making unskippable ads? The recipe calls for straight faces, suppressed laughter and impressive willpower! Here’s what you didn’t see behind the scenes and on set:
A custom remote-controlled vacuum cleaner was built for the Cleaning Crew ad enabling it to zip around and wreak havoc.
Bolt, the large and very hungry St. Bernard, had a body double in case he got fed up (pun intended) with the food takes. The stand-in, much to his chagrin, wasn’t needed.
Speaking of takes, Bolt starred in 15 in order to get the perfect shot. Beethoven would be proud. On the last take, Bolt just went after it, which resulted in the extended, and most popular, cut… and one happy hound. The knocked-over salad and spilled milk were all unplanned, but Bolt’s favorite snack was definitely the meatballs.
The high-five guys were suspended for 56 seconds in harnesses before the camera cut, all with the help of apple boxes. The longest they went without apple boxes was 24 seconds.
Aside from a few blinks here and there, the elevator business men were staring pros! We all know what a lengthy smile can do to your cheeks!