Kevin Walsh, a native of county Meath, arrived in Boston excited to search for his “dream job” on the IIIC J-1 IWT visa program. He had a Masters Degree in International Trade and Finance from Leeds Metropolitan University, and had dotted all of his i’s and crossed all of his t’s while researching and applying for dozens of year-long internships in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and even Texas. With the constant support of the program Manager, Jude Clarke, and Director of Intern Placements, Megan Carroll, Kevin put his application materials in working order. Megan provided document review, interview preparation, and discussed possible opportunities from the IIIC Internship Bank. Kevin expanded his search from fund/floor credit analyst, consulting, and investment positions to the insurance business with much success.
Kevin networked at every opportunity, even showing up and speaking to people outside of a private event for the President of Ireland, Michael Higgins, at the Seaport Hotel in Boston. Kevin cast a broad net and included from Megan a dozen personal and professional contacts at financial institutions, banks, and HR business partners of same. She called and wrote to several CEOs and human resources departments on Kevin’s behalf, asked Kevin to check their companies’ open positions and to choose up to 3 for each so that she could try to open the door for him from the inside. Kevin then either directly applied or sent Megan his custom-made documents for each company. After Kevin wasn’t able to get past the interview stage and some of the companies were not returning his calls, he started to get slightly discouraged about what seemed like a bleak situation with only a couple of weeks to go and only one job interview left. With only a week left before he had to return home, Megan and Kevin had to make a plan B so he wouldn’t have to return home.
Just a couple of days before Kevin’s last week to find work began and an anticipated job fell through, Megan met with Boston-based Ironshore Insurance’s HR Manager, Jen Svenson. Ironshore, long a part of the IIIC Internship Bank, “is a huge fan of the Irish International Immigrant Center. We have had excellent experiences with all of our endeavors with the IIIC and are fortunate to have hired extremely dedicated and talented employees, through their J-1IWT program and otherwise.”
Everything fell quickly into place after Kevin sent a customized resume and revised cover letter directly to Jen. She met with two managers the following business day at 1pm and by 4pm, Kevin had an interview and job offer as a Trainee in Commercial Underwriting, a formal internship program that had already begun for the summer. Megan reminded Kevin to write his thank you notes, but he already had done so.
About the opportunity and how his skills will be developed, Kevin expressed, “I am helping to collect information on applicants, evaluate exposures and study claim files in order to gain a solid grounding in underwriting. The key skills that I am using include financial and data analysis skills. Research skills aligned with analyzing risk exposure will also be very important. This type of job should expand my opportunities in insurance, and in underwriting on a commercial level in particular. I offer a strong skill set to Ironshore, but I am also gaining invaluable experience in the industry. Learning and working with the many experienced and successful people in the insurance industry will be very beneficial for my career in the long run.”
Says Kevin, “I am delighted to have started working at Ironshore. The experience so far has been very positive. I have been pleasantly surprised on how welcoming my new colleagues have been. The staff here consists of dedicated and experienced professionals within the insurance industry and it will be a pleasure to work alongside them. I look forward to contributing to Ironshore and its future successes over the duration of my time here.” The IIIC thanks Kevin Kelley, CEO of Ironshore Insurance, for his support and faith in the program.