Amherst Chamber of CommerceAmherst Chamber of Commerce

The joys of being in a classroom again



At the end of April I had the opportunity to get out of the office for a week to take my insurance certification pre-licensing class. While most people may be excited for this, I was a bit nervous. Since I started working at the Chamber I had never been out of the office for over a week's time, let alone to go sit in a classroom and learn! I felt like a freshman in college at UB again - scary thought!

The weeks leading up to my class I made sure to read and reread the book we were given; I figured it was better to be over prepared than not prepared at all. Walking into class the first day brought a new sense of excitement because I had the chance to learn new information and meet new people. There were five other people in the class from all different backgrounds who were taking the class for all different reasons which made discussion valuable.  

My instructor was a very knowledgeable gentleman with years and years of experience in the field. "Welcome to paint drying 101" was one of the first things he said to us. With an introduction like that you can only imagine what went through my head for how the week would play out.

As the week went on the people in the room grew more comfortable with each other, the material became more difficult and the instructor loved to joke that I was the youngest one in the room and that I looked like I was 12 (for anyone who knows me a lot of people say I look like I am a freshman in college, thanks for the good genes, mom and dad!) By the end of class on Thursday we had covered over 250 pages of material and all of the additional information needed to become an expert on Life and Accident/Health insurance.

I went home Thursday and crammed my brain with so much information for the in-class exam Friday that I was ready for a break that I knew I wouldn't get anytime soon. Thankfully I passed the in class exam and was scheduled to take my state exam on Monday. That meant a weekend of locking myself in my room, turning off all forms of communication and entertainment, laying out all my information, making study guides and taking practices tests.  I thought that being out of school for two years would have caused me to forget study tactics, but thankfully it came right back to me.

Even after 14 hours of studying over the weekend I was still a little nervous when I walked into the exam room on Monday morning.  After joking with the exam proctor, being scanned like you do in airport security and putting on my noise blocking headphones, I was ready to get this over with.  An hour and a half later, I was finally done.  Clicking through the screen of "you're finished" and "please fill out this short questionnaire" made two minutes seem like two hours. 

When I finally came to the results screen and it said "You Passed" I was extremely pleased and relieved.  All of my hard work and studying paid off!  It is times like these that allow you to appreciate all the support and encouragement your boss and colleagues give you - I couldn't have done it without them.  I love learning new things and my insurance class was definitely a week of doing that.  I hope that with my new knowledge and experience, I get to help many of you in the future!

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