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A Foundation in Communication Built a Successful Career

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

When Jenny Housley (Class of 1993) graduated from the University of Kansas with her degree in Communication Studies, she entered the workforce and began a journey that would lead to a successful career in the benefits brokerage industry. Jenny started that journey by spending 20 years working for Lockton Companies, which is the world’s largest private and independent insurance broker. During her time at Lockton Companies, Jenny worked at all levels of operation, from account management to sales team manager. Indeed, she’s been involved in all levels of the insurance brokerage industry. More recently Jenny’s path led her to accept a position with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas in order to spend more time with her family and travel less. In fact, Jenny recently celebrated her one-year anniversary as the Vice President of Sales at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas where she oversees the entire sales team of Blue KC.

Of course, Jenny’s journey was made possible, at least in part, by her COMS degree. When reflecting on her time at KU in the Communication Studies department, she noted, “The thing I remember doing that I liked the most was analyzing historic speeches, and putting together my own presentations. A lot of what we did centered around that.”  Far from a set of abstract assignment, Jenny said that those presentations she remembers were foundational to her success in her later career.  Whether Jenny is pitching her product to a potential new client, or presenting best practices to her sales team, oral presentations and being an effective communicator are central to her success. 

Moreover, Jenny's experiences at KU have proved to be a valuable foundation to her success by also giving her a network of fellow Jayhawks.  She said her time at KU gave her the friends and business associates she conducts business with on a daily basis.  Because of this, Jenny encourages current Jayhawks to cultivate their relationships with their peers now so they can continue to have strong relationships upon entering the workforce.  Her last piece of advice for undergrads is, “Whatever you do, do it with people you trust.” Ultimately, working with a solid network of Jayhawks she knew she could trust has helped Jenny build a successful career over the past 21 years. 


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