YPs build skill sets
By Kate Tilley, Editor, Resolve
Insurance law is interesting, exciting and challenging, Jessica Beard, a new AILA board member, says.
Jessica, a solicitor in the Brisbane office of insurance litigation law firm Quinlan Miller & Treston (QMT) and national co-convenor of AILA's Young Professionals, accepted the board's invitation to join it as an ex officio member in May.
National President Angus Kench said AILA valued its YPs and Jessica's appointment would enrich the association and ensure it continued to offer events and benefits of value across the entire membership, including those aged under 30.
"Many associations today stagnate because they do not encourage generations X and Y to be involved. As the baby boomers who have willingly volunteered to run AILA over its 35 years advance, with many approaching retirement, it is vital for AILA to evolve so there is always a new breed of people willing to take the organisation into the future," he said.
"Having Jessica on the board will ensure the younger generation's perspective is included in our deliberations on behalf of the membership as a whole. The insurance industry's YPs are super smart, dynamic, passionate and forward thinking. That's exactly the kind of member we love.
"This is part of our goal to foster an innovative, proactive, member-responsive culture throughout AILA," Angus said.
Jessica said it was important to have a YP representative on the board to ensure YPs' ideas, initiatives and opinions were supported at a national level. Having a dedicated AILA YP division meant events and topics were tailored to issues relevant to advancing the knowledge and skills of the industry's younger people.
She told Resolve YP events were "more than just social". "The events offer opportunities for YPs to network and the educational seminars help YPs gain skills they don't necessarily get from their employers or broader industry seminars, including general skills that assist with their entire careers rather than just their current position.
"YPs needed a specific focus because "we're relatively new to the profession and the industry, so we need to build different skill sets".
Jessica says insurance law is always different and each day brings new challenges and opportunities for learning and growth. "At university, they don't really tell you how exciting it is."
She graduated from Brisbane's Griffith University in 2014 and was admitted in 2015. Initially she worked with a plaintiff firm but moved to QMT two years ago. She loves that every case turns on its own facts.
Although Jessica admits she's often thinking about work, even when she's not at work, she has a penchant for travel and reads travel literature.
In January, she and her partner travelled to Spain and Portugal. Italy is on the travel agenda for early 2018.