Naziya Rehman’s Passion for Science Leads to a Promising Insurance Career
After graduating from college, Naziya Rehman of our Property & Casualty IT Services team was committed to pursuing a medical career. However, while she was waiting to be accepted into medical school, she took a position as a claims adjuster. That decision led to a career-changing pivot and the realization that insurance fueled her passion for data science.
Describe your background and insurance career path.
I graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Pre-Med. I have always enjoyed problem solving and encountering unique situations that required me to "put on my thinking cap." My heart was set on going to medical school to gain experience with complex decision-making scenarios.
However, during my post-undergrad transition, I found an opportunity with another insurance carrier as a Commercial & General Liability Claims Adjuster. I was instantly drawn to the problem-solving nature of claims and enjoyed it so much that I withdrew my applications from medical schools to commit to a long-term career in insurance.
How did you get interested in a career within the insurance industry?
Shortly after starting my insurance career, I was accepted into a rotational program where I gained experience in different lines of business. My second rotation landed me on a team of Data Scientists and Actuaries that specialized in claims modeling. The ability to apply my claims knowledge to identify deeper data insights allowed me to take a leap into the data science world. After working for some time as a Data Scientist, I decided to broaden my insurance skill set outside of claims and pursue a Senior Data Scientist role with Great American. That was in 2019 and the rest is, well, "science."
What is your current role and responsibilities in IT?
As a Senior Data Scientist within Emerging Technologies, I explore a variety of artificial intelligence and machine-learning technologies and methodologies. This helps to increase decision-making across the underwriting and claims value chain. I also work on test and learn initiatives, such as using unstructured data for fraud detection and sentiment analysis.
What do you like most about working for an insurance company and Great American specifically?
The insurance industry is all about relationships. Even with all the calculations, regulations and schemes, insurance requires a personal touch. Studying, learning and forming relationships has always been an interest of mine, especially given my psychology background.
Connecting with people at Great American has been one of my favorite parts of working here. The level of diversity and complexity here is unparalleled to what I have ever experienced before. With more than 180 lines of business, there is never a dull moment and endless opportunities to investigate. I can see why so many professionals retire from the company.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering a career in insurance?
The insurance industry is surprisingly creative! If you enjoy solving problems and developing innovative solutions, a career in insurance will give you the opportunity to exercise your creative muscles in the comfort of an established, stable industry with a plethora of opportunities.