Student Success Story: Meet Jimmie Bell, Insurance Agent
July 18, 2016 |
Hondros College of Business values every student we’re fortunate enough to teach. Being able to follow each student’s path to success drives our passion to continuously provide quality education that helps students change careers and their lives.
Jimmie Bell is a 2008 alumnus of our insurance program. Having been in real estate for years and taking classes in mortgage, Jimmie decided to pursue a career in insurance. Upon graduating from the program, he landed a job at a niche insurance agency and has been with the company ever since. We sat down with Jimmie to learn more about his experience with Hondros College of Business.
Tell me a little bit of background about your life before Hondros College of Business?
I was born and raised in Youngstown Ohio, earned an athletic scholarship to Ohio State University, graduated – I take a lot of pride in that. I was in the real estate business forever, just always have been, buying and selling houses and I got caught up in the crash in 2007. When that happened I literally heard in my soul, ‘Jimmy, get your insurance license.’ I literally knew nothing about the business, but I ended up getting my insurance license at Hondros. I didn’t really know what direction to go into, but I’m definitely one of those people who believe that everyone has certain gifts. I believe we all have individual gifts – if you can recognize that gift, it makes it easier to find out where you can put those gifts to be the most successful for yourself and also help other people.
I originally took real estate classes, thinking that that was what I wanted to do but I didn’t even really know, and then I switched over to insurance. I heard about a niche insurance agency called Church Mutual Insurance. What they do is insure religious organizations. Churches, mosques, synagogues, and that’s it. That sounded like something I would really enjoy, building relationships and engaging with people, educating them and positioning them to best take care of their service through me serving them. So I’ve been with them ever since, which has been since 2008.
When did you graduate from insurance classes at Hondros and what would you say was the best part of going to Hondros College of Business?
It was in 2008. I spent a couple months with one company then I switched to a Church Mutual Insurance. I’ve been with them ever since. Learning with them allowed me to understand that insurance, in my opinion, is one of the best, most efficient and value-added licenses that anybody can get. Because within a week, just a week, you can get your license. And someone in the insurance industry can position themselves to make money the very next day after they get their license. No other industry or license can you do that. And one thing I learned is, and what insurance helps me to help other people do, is to understand that if you commit to your license, commit to the industry, anyone can position themselves within the insurance business to actually build a financial foundation for themselves. And I say it that way because it doesn’t have to be a career. For some people it’s a career; for some people it’s income. But it allows you even the time to create income. It gives you the time to do other things, it gives you the time to build other types of business. But it also gives you the finances to do that.
Why did you choose Hondros College of Business?
Well something to be said about Hondros is that Hondros has always been the best. Hondros has built themselves, and their process has been the best. For one reason they had to be because there weren’t many outlets to get that stuff done. But to me, Hondros didn’t rest on their laurels and say, ‘we’re the only one out there, come get what we have and you just have to deal with what we have.’ No, it was always a sense of, “let’s continue to progress and evolve and try to be the best, regardless of who we’re with, no matter what anyone thought.” When Hondros calls, I answer the phone. I’m there because I believe in Hondros, I believe that I can tell someone to call one of the campuses and the site directors will take care of you. They’ll answer your questions. It’s totally genuine.
Some of the teachers I still have good relationships with. I’ve been through mortgage classes at Hondros, I’ve been through real estate classes, and I’ve been through insurance classes. So the expectations and the growth, I’ve been a part of that, I’ve seen it. My experience with Hondros is that they’re like family to me. In all actuality I do think that Hondros gives you the best experience. I’m an information guy – I don’t need a ton of motivation or inspiration, I’m fine in that area. Give me some information. And I think a lot of people miss information, expectation, and perspective. So when you get into different areas, and you don’t know what to expect, you don’t know what perspective to have, it makes the road a little rocky. Some people have the fortitude to make through and some people don’t. Some people don’t know they’re three steps away from getting where they need to go but they quit before.
Hondros does an amazing job with the environment and the experience to help people understand exactly what the road to success is going to be like. A lot of other companies, they provide licenses and stuff, but that’s it. They’re not giving you the experience. And I’m not saying that those things aren’t valid or that there’s no value to those, but I am saying the majority of people need information, we need perspective. We need to understand what is the experience going to give me, what should I expect? What am I going to get out of this? As opposed to, just give me a license. And that’s what I love about Hondros. It’s just an honest experience.
Can you give future students and people in insurance an idea of what it’s like to be in the field?
I personally think successes and failures come from those of us who’ve been in the business to give people a real life expectation and/or a process of what to do. It’s hard enough anyway, because no one’s going to tell you what to do – when you get into the field, it’s almost a weeding out process. You get a desk, this is what we have, here are your resources, go get it.
What I do think Hondros does with their teachers is that they do have some really amazing, committed instructors and presenters that the information they give the students are real life experiences. I think Hondros and their instructors give people a real life expectation of what you’re going to experience to be successful in that field. Because you are in some ways thrown to the wolves. Every single instructor I had in the mortgage industry, they talked about what it takes to be successful in the business.
My insurance instructor told us exactly what to expect in the business, not just memorizing information, not just what it’s going to take to pass the test. But this is what it’s going to be to be successful. And as well as real estate, all the professors I’ve experienced are gladly open to give students the experience of what you can expect to be successful out there. Because that’s really what it’s about. I’m not in here to get my license to hang it up on the wall to have another degree. I’m here to go make some money, to be fulfilled and be successful in this financial business. That’s what insurance is, and that’s what real estate is, and that’s what mortgage is. It’s a financial institution, and if you’re in it, it’s about making money. How do I make money with this license that I got, once I leave this classroom? And Hondros positions their people to have some type of experience and some type of expectation once they get out there.