Born in the Philippines and raised in Canada, Michael likes to soak in every precious moment of life. He’s a fan of music, movies, and books with good writing and story behind them. He loves the first taste of a good brew of coffee in the morning, sitting in a quiet coffee shop, and witnessing long, beautiful, red sunsets at the end of the day. He used to work in banking, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and in a rock band. In this Q&A, Mike shares career insights about his experience with Westland Insurance. Enjoy!
Can you describe your career path with Westland?
I was briefly in the life insurance industry after my rock band disintegrated. A friend introduced me to the Property & Casualty insurance side and informed me to do the Fundamentals of Insurance course to be hired within his company. I took the ‘Immersion course’ and within one week, I received my Level 1 Licence. My friend was shocked because the potential position for me wasn’t available until a few months from then, so he referred me to Westland’s Vice President of Retail Operations and two other VP’s he knew. I received three job offers on the same day and Westland won. From that fateful day on, Westland has been one of the best things that has ever happened in my life. I love it. I am now the Assistant Branch Manager in Vancouver (my friend also eventually sold his company to Westland and I ended up assistant-managing his office. So, it was almost like destiny had called).
Can you describe your typical work day/week?
I arrive early at the office, get a coffee or a tea, and, like most of us, go through many emails, endorsements, management issues, laugh with colleagues, meetings with managers, and phone calls with many customers, etc.
What is it about your current job that excites you?
I love achieving deadlines, helping colleagues who need help with underwriting issues, binding quotes, and being a non-micro manager.
What has surprised or excited you most since starting at Westland?
The many acquisitions and how Westland is growing with many opportunities. Of course, the Christmas parties always excite me, and winning the large ‘50/50 draw’ last Christmas was a highlight big time!
Which Westland value resonates with you most and why?
I love the multi-cultural environment and equal opportunity aspect of the company. There is an environment of acceptance here, and it doesn’t matter your ethnicity, gender, sexuality or religion.
What is something Westland does or has done that makes you proud to be an employee?
A great memory was the surprise of receiving a ‘Recognition Award’ from the Sales team at Head Office who dropped into the branch I was in at the time; they thanked me for the X-Dates and Google reviews I had brought in. It showed that no hard work goes unnoticed.