And the Advantage Goes to: Student and Employer
The opportunities are there if you look sideways, you look in other divisions, you look for other things that interest you and explore new things, try new things [and] continue to learn." Rob Salley
What happens when you’re in the business of keeping promises for 10, 20, 30, even 80 years? Records that are decades old stack up.
However, sometimes it’s cost prohibitive to migrate files to new technology platforms, and sometimes new developers aren’t familiar with older systems.
The solution: Set up a training and mentorship program to teach people how to work with the older system.
In 2015, Pacific Life launched the Mainframe Academy to teach employees and prospective employees how to work with the company’s mainframes, based on a similar program it conducted in the early 2000s to teach computer skills.
The Mainframe Academy not only helps Pacific Life fill the knowledge gap left when developers retire, it also helps people without a technology background get into field. Students hired into the Mainframe Academy spend their first several months on the job in formal training, a combination of classroom learning and on-the-job projects with mentors. Then, they are set on a career path filled with chances to advance.
The actuarial team at Pacific Life has similarly worked to build its talent pipeline through its actuarial internship program, where summer interns have the opportunity to work on projects, accompanied by training and mentoring from senior actuarial leaders. The program’s development opportunities proved to be so popular that Pacific Life has since implemented rotation and mentoring programs for its full-time actuaries.
“In this company, there is so much opportunity to do what you want,” said Rob Salley, AVP Talent Development and Organizational Effectiveness. “The opportunities are there if you look sideways, you look in other divisions, you look for other things that interest you and explore new things, try new things [and] continue to learn.”