Alumni Success Series: Meet Heather Casola, District Training/Sales Manager for Farmers Insurance
July 2, 2015 |
Hondros College of Business is proud of our alumni and the hard work they’ve put in to achieving their successful new career. We sat down with Heather Casola, district trainer and sales manager for Farmers Insurance. Heather enrolled in the Hondros College of Business real estate program in 1997 and later came back to pursue her Life & Health and Property & Casualty insurance licenses in 2009.
As a single mother of five, Heather has positioned herself as a successful insurance professional in the Cleveland, Ohio area. We spoke with Heather about her background, and what her choose Hondros College of Business to pursue a career in insurance.
What made you get into the insurance industry?
“Before getting into the industry, I did a bunch of other things. I worked in collections, had a small telemarketing company, and then I wasn’t working. I was in a place where I just didn’t know what I wanted to do. I ended up applying to Farmers Insurance office in Beachwood for a customer service position. I didn’t know anything about insurance at the time, but I had customer service experience and it seemed like a good job. I started working there and within six months I was promoted to being a trainer. That was during the time when I didn’t have to be licensed because I didn’t sell insurance. My first four agents I trained all hit their goals, and after that I said to myself, ‘Now I like this.’ I did that for about four years; about two years ago, our office merged and suddenly I was without a job. I went from absolutely loving what I did to absolutely nothing. Yet again, I found myself feeling my way through other odd jobs, but nothing was satisfying. I was ultimately re-hired by Farmers as a trainer, but now I had to have my license. ”
What made you decide to take your insurance courses with Hondros College of Business?
“I looked at ExamFX before I started, but I didn’t like the way they were set up. Because I had already done in-class with Hondros for my real estate classes, I wanted somewhere I could actually go if I needed to. I went to Hondros.com and decided to go the self-study route. I went through the book, took all the tests in the back of the book, took the test and passed. I was so relieved. But the kicker was I had to have all four licenses in a four months’ time while also working for four different agents. As a single mother with three kids still living at home at the time, supermom took over.
I then signed up for Life & Health. This time I signed up for the online class and purchased CompuCram. That CompuCram is a lifesaver. I even did it in the parking lot in my car before the exam. I went through the topics I was unsure on, went into the test and said to myself, ‘I got this.’ And now I love what I do.”
Tell us how your life has been since entering the insurance profession:
“I absolutely love what I do. I train recently licensed insurance agents to own and operate their own agency. I teach my agents everything- from learning how to write a deposit slip to sales techniques and the law behind insurance. I also help people who want to be agents but have failed their test in the past. I get agents from all walks of life; I’ve had a trainee come from a law firm, one had only been in Ohio for only a year, and I had a gentleman come from the construction industry. It goes to show you that insurance is such a steady industry. It’s not going anywhere, and in the state of Ohio, it’s required. There is room for growth and that’s what makes it attractive.”