Author: Kinsey Lee Clark

Published

From touring at Lloyd’s of London to passing her first actuarial exam, junior Kaitlyn Nolley utilizes Terry programs to pave her career path.

Kaitlyn Nolley stood amidst the bustling foot traffic of the Lloyd’s of London main trading floor, amazed by the fast-paced environment atypical of insurance companies in the U.S.

Nolley, a junior in the Honors Program, studied at Oxford University this summer through the International Business Program, taking courses in international monetary economics and international conflict. While there, the risk management and economics double major optimized her time abroad by calling on a Terry connection.

Nolley secured an invitation to the famously unique insurance brokerage through Matt Shanks (BBA ’10). The pair were matched in the Terry Alumni Mentor Program. Shanks reached out to an industry contact to arrange the exclusive tour of Lloyd’s for his mentee, at her request.

“Katie’s always communicating, always looking to connect with me,” said Shanks, assistant vice president of liability for the wholesale insurance holding company, AmWINS Group Inc. “She went to London, and she reached out. That’s impressive. She thought about our relationship and how she could use it to add value to her potential insurance career.”

Shanks’ mentorship has helped Nolley back home as well.

“It is special having someone who looks out for you and is willing to do a lot to help you succeed,” Nolley said of Shanks and the other alumni participants in the mentor program. “These mentors volunteer their time to make sure we have ample opportunities, and it is very generous of them. It has been a great way to learn more directly about my career path, expand my network and form relationships with professionals in my field.”

The two have discussed classes, study tips, career fairs and résumé advice. Their conversations focused on how Nolley could prepare for the future.

“Am I proud? Oh yeah,” Shanks said. “Just over the past year, you can see who she’s becoming. Katie is extremely driven. She’s a rock star.”

As a sophomore, Nolley took and passed a financial mathematics actuarial exam –  something many people do not attempt until after graduation – while maintaining a 4.0 GPA and balancing a full class load. She is a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority and the Order of Omega honor society and serves on the finance committee for UGA Miracle, a student-run fundraising organization for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Her persistence and hard work have gotten her far, but Nolley realizes the important role Terry has played in much of what she has accomplished. Nolley personifies carpe diem, seizing Terry’s support system in order to thrive.

In addition to her participation in the International Business and Terry Alumni Mentor programs, Nolley is a member of the Insurance Society and Gamma Iota Sigma. Beginning this fall, she will be a Leadership Fellow with the Institute of Leadership Advancement, and plans to continue her involvement with the Women in Business student club.

“I want to fully take advantage of all of the resources that Terry has to offer, as there are so many wonderful opportunities,” Nolley said. “I have gotten so much out of the Terry Alumni Mentor Program, but also clubs, panels and other events put on by Terry. It is never too early to start.”

To be an actuary in New York City is the ultimate end game for Nolley.

“I want to make my dreams a reality, so the thought of a job in my favorite place at the end of the road definitely drives my work,” Nolley said. “Seeing my work pay off with good grades and passing actuary exams gives me even more confidence that I can succeed, and makes me want to push harder.”

Shanks intends to help make Nolley’s aspirations a reality.

“She’s looking to one day work in New York, so I told her she should target an internship there for next year, so she can make contacts for a full-time job,” Shanks said. “My plan is to help plug her in with some companies in New York and to pass her name along to try to help get her located somewhere in New York.”

As for Nolley and Shanks’ future, they plan to keep in touch, even though their official term as mentor and mentee ended in May.

“I don’t see any reason why you should ever end a mentor-mentee relationship once you’ve got one going,” Shanks said. “My goal is to stay involved and stay connected to Katie through college, onward.”