Careers

IT Division Profiles

 

Irv

Enterprise Architect, Innovation

How would you describe your job to someone who has no idea what you do?

I manage our Innovation program at Symetra. That means I provide structure to our effort to be leaders in the digital transformation of our industry over the coming years. I help establish and facilitate programs leading to a corporate culture that empowers rapid change.

How did you get into your line of work?

Being an entrepreneur and seeking new ways of doing things has been a lifelong passion. I started my first business while I was in college, and started my own dot-com company and independent consulting firm several years later. It prepared me well, with a broad background in business, computers, innovation, finance and marketing. After spending several years demonstrating these skills at Symetra, I eventually worked my way into this new role that was created just for me.

What skills do you use most in your job?

The ability to present complex ideas in ways that are engaging and easy to understand to a broad audience is absolutely critical. I need to help business people understand technology, and help technologists understand business.

How does your job help Symetra’s customers, your coworkers or the company?

Digital innovation is largely about creating fantastic user experiences for our customers and distribution partners. We do this by enabling our employees to bring ideas to the table, working with others to refine them, and getting them in front of executives who might be willing to fund them.

What keeps you at Symetra?

I absolutely love what I do, and Symetra empowers me to do it. It’s that simple. Of course, I also get to work from home and be close to my family, but it’s really about doing what I love.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in your field?

Be passionate—passion breeds success. Learn how to present complex ideas to all audiences. Learn to listen. Learn how to build support for your ideas.

What would people find most surprising about your job or Symetra?

I think people assume Symetra is just another conservative insurance company. But I see a Symetra that is very different. I see excitement and energy around the concept of innovation. I believe we’re at the tip of a transitional period for Symetra where we explore new products and new product lines. One where we empower our employees to create, build and share their ideas. And one where we have the processes in place to enable individuals, and the company as a whole, to pursue those ideas. It’s exciting to see the company embarking on that journey.

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Kelli

AVP, Information Security

How would you describe your job to someone who has no idea what you do?

My team and I work together to ensure the protection of our customers’, partners’ and employees’ data. Security is everyone’s business at Symetra.

How does your job help Symetra’s customers, your coworkers or the company?

I like to say that we are the insurance policy for an insurance company. We are here to make sure data stays protected and we respond quickly to any events.

What keeps you at Symetra?

The culture! We eat, live and breathe our Core Values here. Also, I feel very grateful for our women leaders at Symetra—they are strong and incredibly inspiring.

What do Symetra’s Core Values mean to you? How do you apply them to your daily work?

Our Core Values are what make Symetra such a great place to work and stay. My personal favorite (which is hard to pick) would be, “We win as a team.” There is so much research about the value of having engaged employees. It starts with building a strong, diverse and unified team.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in your field?

Keep learning and ask for feedback! If you are self-aware and open to feedback, you will grow quickly in the field. Also, check out some of the master’s programs in cybersecurity and find a mentor in the field.

What would people find most surprising about your job or Symetra?

We are a long-term company with a start-up mentality. We are doing a ton of work around innovation, and it is really exciting!

What else would you like people to know about you, your job or Symetra?

Come work here, it rocks!

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