Corey Plummer, a 2010 graduate of NEIT’s Associate in Science degree program in Advanced Automotive Technology, always knew he wanted to work with cars. He started his career as an automotive technician, but he also realized that the degree he earned at New England Tech was loaded with options. With a strong automotive foundation under his belt, he decided to explore the field of insurance adjusting. Corey is now employed by Geico as an auto damage adjuster and is thriving in his new-found career. Here’s what Corey would like to share with NEIT readers.
What made you decide to attend NEIT?
I learned about New England Tech’s Automotive Technology program through a few technicians who worked at the same dealership where I was detailing cars at the time. I decided to come down and check out the program, and soon thereafter, decided it was the perfect place to come and develop my skills!
How did you choose your program?
The Admissions officers at New England Tech were very helpful in directing me toward the right program, and although I am often dealing with auto body shops in my current position, I am glad that I chose Automotive Technology because it gave me a lot of priceless knowledge and experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
What did you do to get started with your career?
I began applying to various car dealerships that I was somewhat familiar with. Within three weeks of completing my courses at NEIT, and interviewing relentlessly, I landed a job as an apprentice at a Land Rover dealership. I learned a lot in my time there. Within a few years, I moved on to a smaller independent Land Rover repair shop which also specialized in restorations. This type of work opened up another world of knowledge and unique skills for me. I soon realized that I wanted to continue working around cars but wanted to travel a slightly different path. A friend had informed me of an opening for an auto damage adjuster for Geico, and I was quick to apply. After a few weeks of interviewing, I landed the job as a trainee, and six months later, I was handling claims for one of the largest and most reputable insurance companies in the country!
Tell us about your position.
The greatest thing about my current position with Geico is that every single day is completely different. I am still working with all makes and models of vehicles, but I am dealing with them in a different way using the skills I learned at NEIT. I deal with many customers and handle numerous obstacles and tasks as they arise. The efforts are well worth it, and I receive a lot of positive reinforcement and praise from management. The job itself is very autonomous, and although Geico is a very large corporation, there is a great amount of freedom to plan my own day. It is also very re-assuring to know that I have such a large company to support the decisions I make in dealing with customers. The opportunities are endless with a company that regularly offers employment in all 50 states.
What do you feel ultimately prepared you for your position?
The amount of time that was dedicated to learning about various automotive technologies at NEIT is one of the largest contributing factors to my success with my current and previous positions. I also feel that I gained an abundance of useful experience working for both large and small dealerships which really shaped who I was and what I wanted to become.
Do you have any advice for graduates who are just beginning their job search?
My only advice would be to follow your instincts and get into a field that feels natural and right for you. If you choose a field that you enjoy working in, many more opportunities will open up down the road like they did for me.
What can current students do to better prepare themselves for jobs in this field?
One of the biggest areas that I needed to improve upon when I started this career was organization. It took a while for me to figure out what I needed to do in order to organize my day, but I believe that is one of the most important factors of being an adjuster. With customers, body shops, and employees from the company calling throughout the day, it is essential to be able to handle all of their issues and prioritize what needs to be done.