“I was never really interested in insurance as a teenager," Kelsie Dunckley admits. “I just knew it was something everyone should have."
After taking several business classes during her first two years at Dryden High School in New York, she set her sights on an accounting career. “Then I heard about the InVEST program from my teacher Linda Bruno and wound up taking the class in both my junior and senior year," she explains.
Listening to a variety of guest speakers and attending field trips to insurance offices and conferences, Dunckley developed a strong interest in insurance. “With the help of Mrs. Bruno, I even found a part-time job in the mail room at Dryden Mutual Insurance," she says. “They love to give InVEST students a chance to work part-time and get a feel for how a real insurance company operates."
After holding several different positions at Dryden Mutual in the last eight years, Dunkley is currently a personal lines underwriter and in training to become a commercial lines underwriter as well.
She says the best part of the job is the diversity in her day-to-day responsibilities. “One hour I could be underwriting new business and talking with insurance agents, and the next hour I could be creating flow charts on how our company performs certain tasks," she says. “I'm constantly learning and growing in my career by asking questions."
Dunkley believes she would not be where she is in her career without the initial help of the InVEST program and today enjoys visiting her alma mater and other high schools to talk about the industry.
“I would certainly recommend insurance as a career. There are so many different types of insurance jobs and different types of companies out there," she says. “Don't be afraid to explore and try something new. You might be surprised at what you find."