Congratulations and Words of Wisdom from Crum & Forster New CPCU Designees

Tue, 08/31/2021 - 10:24
by Crum & Forster – Team Leadership & Development


Heidy Chang: Actuarial Corporate/NJ just received her fellowship as an actuary. Her credentials are FCAS – Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society.

John Feasel: Redwoods Claims/NC attained a CPCU designation through The Institutes.

Timothy Fischofer: Seneca Sp Pkg/CA attained a CPCU designation through The Institutes. 

Kathi Forte: Redwood Claims/NC attained a CPCU designation through The Institutes.

Hitesh Khurana: S&S Digital Strategies/Pune achieved his Masters in Cyber Security.

Ian McLaughlin: Excess/Umbrella Wholesale/MA attained a CPCU designation through The Institutes.

Shirley O’Donnell: Redwoods UW/NC attained a CPCU designation through The Institutes.

Rajah Steede: Redwoods UW/FL attained a CPCU designation through The Institutes.



Heidy Chang:

How did your achievement prepare you for success? The long journey of completing the rigorous Actuarial Exam process was met with many failures along the way. It had delivered multiple blows to my ego, shattered my confidence and made me question countless times whether I should continue or whether I’m even smart enough to be in this field I’ve chosen. But at the end of the day, the fighter in me refused to believe that I’m just not good enough;  I tell myself I just have to try harder. I want to set an example for my children, that in order to be successful, you must first learn to pick yourself up after each failure.

How did you manage working and studying? Crum offers a generous exam support program where we get company paid study time and there are also other peers in the program sitting for the same exam. We formed study groups to keep each other on track, stay motivated and discussed together any practice questions which we found difficult. I found this to be very helpful. However, the amount of paid study time is usually much less than what is required to pass, so I also had to plan out a detailed study schedule where I set aside a couple of hours every day when I can focus and study uninterrupted. For me, it was burning the midnight oil to study after my children have gone to sleep.

Timothy Fischofer:

How did your achievement prepare you for success? Earning my CPCU has set good time management habits that I use for my underwriting job today.

How did you manage working and studying? “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!”  I made a point to read every day. Whether it was a chapter, or more often than not, a few pages at a time.  After a few weeks you will be surprised how quickly you finish each book and exam.

Anything else you would like to share about your journey? I’m excited to go to Disney World in September for this year’s CPCU conferment ceremony with my wife and kids.

Kathi Forte:

Some thoughts on my CPCU journey: Getting my CPCU designation has been something I’ve always wanted to do. I took a couple of classes, and wasn’t sure that I would be able to find time to do it with work and family responsibilities. All it took was my colleague and friend to say she wanted to get her designation too. We made a pact to check-in with each another, and hold one another accountable. I’m thrilled to have finally obtained it (and my friend did too!) So that’s my pro-tip, find a study buddy and help each other. It wasn’t easy, but together we did it and it was so worth it!

Hitesh Khurana:

Anything you would like to share about your journey? Personally, I think my journey is just beginning, I’m pushing to climb to the very top. I’m aiming to become a CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) in my career. When I first got accepted into my program. My professor, one of the very first things he told us was: “A Bachelors or Undergraduate Degree is more for reflecting on knowledge that is already created to build a foundation…Higher education: Masters and up is for creating knowledge that others can reflect upon.” In June of 2019 whilst pursuing my masters, a certification and working full time. I pursued a training course for Web Application Security. During the training I was fuzzing (sending various modified requests) to a website. I was able to find a bug in python flask that no one else had found before me. It was  “Zero day information”. I was recognized for this from my then trainers blog and OWASP had adopted my modified request into their documentation. First thing I did after this was contact my professor and I shared my findings I remember he was so proud of me. This was I think the point where I knew my masters was worth it.

Ian McLaughlin:

How did your achievement prepare you for success? I feel the CPCU touches on a lot of different topics in the insurance that can help build a base for your industry knowledge.

How did you manage working and studying?  Studying for the CPCU was just about time management. Studying after work or using any downtime you may have to prep yourself for the exam.

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