Colleen BlumColleen Blum is vice president at Combs & Company, a fast-paced, innovative insurance brokerage that works to take the confusion out of insurance and evolve to meet the changing needs of employees and clients.

Paul Wilson: How did you get your start in the benefits industry?

I got a cosmetology license when I was still in high school and started doing hair when I was 16 years old. I thought that was what I was going to do for the rest of my life, but I started to think I didn’t want to be standing behind a chair when I’m 60 years old. It’s fun when you’re younger, but it changes when you think about getting older and having kids.

Between appointments, I would send out resumes. They only had a few lines, since I didn’t have any corporate experience and that’s what I was interested in. I sent out 200 to 300 resumes. Eventually, an insurance brokerage out on Long Island emailed me and set up an interview for an account executive position where I would be handling renewals and answering people’s questions. It was kind of like being thrown to the wolves and I just had to figure it out on my own. I didn’t know the first thing about the industry, given where I was coming from.

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Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson is the editor-in-chief of BenefitsPRO Magazine and He has covered the insurance industry for more than a decade, including stints at Retirement Advisor Magazine and ProducersWeb.

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