John Matthews Solves His Career Equation with Insurance

John Matthews

John Matthews, an employee with our National Interstate subsidiary, is a numbers guy. He graduated with a degree in mathematics and has always loved following sport statistics. But, when it came to choosing a career, insurance wasn’t originally part of the equation. Learn how math and some encouragement from his professor led him to a successful insurance career.

Describe your background and your career path in insurance.

I attended Grove City College in Pennsylvania. After briefly majoring in mechanical engineering, I decided to pursue a mathematics degree with a concentration in actuarial science. This was a natural fit because I have always enjoyed watching sports and tracking the various metrics that come with it. After some encouragement from my professors, I applied for an internship at National Interstate. The following summer I was hired full-time as a Data Analyst through Ignition, the company’s development program that helps recent graduates kick start their careers.

What is your current role and responsibility at National Interstate?

Once I started working as a Data Analyst, I became interested in the operational side of insurance and transitioned to an underwriter role in our National Accounts division. I am currently a Product Analyst and recently had an opportunity to begin working in our Excess Product group to help continue to build a sustainable and profitable excess product. This means working as both an underwriter and an account manager.

How did you get interested in a career in insurance?

I first heard about actuarial science from my older brother. Initially, I had no idea how insurance really worked and thought it was a "boring" industry. However, I quickly learned that there are a lot of exciting opportunities within insurance.

What do you like most about working in insurance and National Interstate?

The people and the problem solving. I am blessed to work in a group that is full of talented people. The environment at Great American and National Interstate cultivates ingenuity and a sense of ownership that translates to driven individuals.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering a career in insurance?

I recently read a book about what it means to be a life-long student. In it, I came across a line that said, "You are always becoming who you will be." In other words, what you are doing today, the projects you decide to undertake, the character you display, the classwork you decide to struggle with, and the skills you invest in are meaningful, and will ultimately be who you are in the future.

There are so many opportunities at National Interstate, Great American and the insurance industry in general. My advice to someone who is considering a career in insurance is to not only think about where you want to be right now, but also where you want to go in the future. You'll find the insurance industry is filled with opportunities that allow you to expand and focus on your passions.

Interested in learning more about a career at Great American? Visit our careers page to view current opportunities and to hear from our employees.