Broker Corner: Staying the Course

We spoke to Stephanie Jibodh of JLT Canada about how she got her start, life at JLT and finding motivation

Life doesn’t always go according to plan—but that doesn’t mean it won’t work out. Sometimes an unexpected detour leads you in an exciting new direction.

That is what happened to Stephanie Jibodh, an assistant vice-president and account executive with JLT Canada. After studying sociology at Simon Fraser University, the B.C. native had a brief stint in marketing before landing a gig at a large insurance broker in Vancouver.

Like many in the industry, she hadn’t planned on getting into insurance. But almost 10 years later, she’s shaping up to be an industry veteran.

“I realized that I like a very quick pace early on,” she says. “I really enjoyed the chaos of it all, and I just kept going.”

But it’s not just the pace that’s appealing to Jibodh—it’s also the size and complexity of her accounts. A few years into her career, she had her eyes on the prize: getting into the mining sector, an area she still specializes in today.

“I’ve always loved things that are larger and complex,” she says. “I like looking at larger projects and accounts that have some size, dynamics and a little bit of complication to them.”

A new beginning

After a promising start in the industry, Jibodh had actually decided to leave it behind. But—again—things didn’t go quite as planned.

“I was getting a little too comfortable after a couple years, so I handed in my resignation,” she says. “I wanted to get out of Vancouver and leave my comfort zone. I decided that insurance wasn’t for me.”

Jibodh intended to relocate to Toronto and start a new life. Her employer at the time, however, refused to accept her resignation.

“I wanted to leave, so I tried to quit, but they handed me back my letter and said that they would just give me short-term leave,” she recalls. “I came to Toronto thinking I didn’t want to do much in terms of my professional career immediately, but once you get here, you realize the opportunities are endless.”

She eventually landed at JLT Canada, where she’s been for the last three years.

“JLT broke every possible thought that I had about what my future could look like and what my potential was,” she says. “They empower people who want to do better to do better. They’ve given me every opportunity I could ask for and more.”

Driven to succeed

Jibodh describes the culture at JLT as collaborative—but it’s not just her colleagues in Toronto who are eager to help. She regularly draws on the expertise of fellow brokers at JLT’s head office in London, England.

“I work in an office of 80 people, but I have 11,000 people at my fingertips. That’s what it feels like,” she says. “They work as if they sit next to us.”

The collaborative culture and shared successes at JLT are what drives her to become better each day.

“I love my team. The harder we work and the more success we have, I just get more and more motivated,” she says. “When you see people in senior positions working their butts off, you are so motivated to give them something good and have a good outcome yourself.”

And, even though she hadn’t planned on getting into the insurance industry—or staying in it—she has no regrets about the path her career has taken, and still finds satisfaction in what she does.

“It’s a combination of the people around you, the work itself and the clients,” Jibodh says. “I don’t know if I’ve just been dealt a really good hand, but I have amazing clients. I love every client I work with, and they make it easy to come into work.”

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. This article first appeared in the August edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine

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