College Grad Discovers Her Niche and Finds Community
Mariah Burgess, Process Owner
- Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Spanish, Bryant University, 2014
- Master’s Degree in Business Administration, University of Hartford, 2016
- Years with The Hartford: 3
- Total years of work experience: 3
Mariah Burgess is a recent college graduate who discovered her professional niche through The Hartford’s early career development programs. Now she’s with the company full-time as a process owner in Operations.
Mariah’s experience with The Hartford began with a summer internship while she was an undergraduate at Bryant University. Upon graduation, she was recruited into the company’s Early Career Leadership Development Program (ECLDP), a three-year program that offers participants rotations in different roles within one of five focus areas. ECLDP is one of several early career opportunities at The Hartford.
“I was attracted to the program because it offered a broad-spectrum of experience in a short time,” Mariah says. “It provided the opportunity to try new things and get exposure to different types of roles I had never even heard of before.”
Mariah was chosen for the LDP’s Operations track, which develops skills in business analysis, project management, front-line management and learning development. While in the program, she worked for three different insurance lines on projects that ranged from evaluating the opportunity for robotics to streamline policy processing to overseeing the implementation of new programs that improve the company’s ways of doing things.
In the process, she discovered her passion.
“Operations is really interesting to me,” Mariah says. “Every piece of work I do interfaces with our customers as well as the details of what keeps the company running. I do a lot of investigative work. There’s always something new to learn.”
A few months into her third year with the LDP, Mariah was offered the permanent position she currently holds as process owner for Operations. She’s responsible for analyzing and reporting on managers’ performance results and continuously seeking opportunities to improve processes.
“Every single day is challenging,” Mariah says, who is five months into her new position. “I love to be busy and have my plate full; that’s when I do my best work. And there’s value that I add every day. I’m helping managers become more confident in using the tools and metrics, and coaching them on how they can have more meaningful conversations with their staff.”
As busy as Mariah is with her day job, her work with The Hartford extends to extracurricular activities as well. She leads the regional chapter of The Hartford-sponsored Professional Women’s Network in Charlotte, North Carolina where she lives, and has been instrumental in implementing new employee wellness programs within The Hartford’s Charlotte office. She’s also actively involved in the company’s community “days of service,” and has both led and participated in activities with other Hartford employees that have included mentoring students in Hartford, Connecticut, and helping local farmers in North Carolina.
“It’s a community here at The Hartford,” Mariah says. “You can really bring your full self to work every day.”
In her spare time, Mariah volunteers as a Big Sister. She also coaches volleyball, a sport she’s played her entire life – and one that has helped her develop many of the skills that are serving her so well in the professional world.
“I know it’s a cliché, but teamwork follows you everywhere in life,” Mariah says. “I couldn’t do my work without the support of my team. In volleyball and at The Hartford, no one is on their own. There is always someone you are dependent on. Offense can’t run without defense. Everyone needs to play their part in order for the team to succeed.”
It’s this kind of teamwork that inspires Mariah along with the diversity of experience available to her at The Hartford, the support of her managers and the promise of new challenges and opportunities ahead.
“I always hear about the different roles people have had,” Mariah says. “You could be here for 20 years and have many different positions in different lines of business.”