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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Meet Thea, dedicated to developing GEICO’s future leaders

TheaJHave you ever met someone that you could just listen to for hours, and continue to learn and be inspired? For me, one of those people at GEICO is Thea, our director of management development.

Here is her GEICO story …

Thea J., director of management development

GEICO associate since 1985

What do you do at GEICO?

My current position is director of management development. In this role, I have responsibility for GEICO’s Emerging Leaders Program, which prepares new associates for management-level positions. Additionally, I lead and direct companywide diversity training initiatives and corporate mentoring, and I participate in talent management initiatives.

Can you tell us about your career path?

I started as a sales counselor and did that job for about one year. Originally, I was planning to stay at GEICO for two years until I figured out what I really wanted to do.

Then, I was offered a position to train new sales and service associates, as well as to lead executive training sessions. After that, I was a senior management training & development specialist before transitioning to HR to lead management development.

As a hiring manager for the Emerging Leaders Program, what do you look for?

Mostly, I look for well-rounded people. We are very interested in hiring candidates who have demonstrated strong academic skills, leadership experiences, participation in extracurricular activities, emotional intelligence and self-awareness, analytical skills, drive and intellectual curiosity, a strong work ethic, and an ability to work well with others. Being well-rounded is a key component to being successful during and after our program.

How have you made a difference at GEICO?

I’ve had a lot of opportunity to impact a lot of people in very positive ways. I’d like to think that, through our development efforts, I’ve contributed to the organization having stronger leaders. Along with others, I’ve also helped keep diversity, mentoring and development in the forefront of people’s minds. The work we do here has been very gratifying. There is nothing better than seeing people reach their full potential.

29 years is a long time. What is it about GEICO that keeps you here?

The associates at GEICO are just terrific! I have really enjoyed the relationships I have developed over the years with my fellow GEICO associates in all locations! GEICO’s work environment has also provided me the opportunity to do challenging and important work and to make contributions that improve our workforce. I have enjoyed all of the different areas I have been involved in during my career. Additionally, we have a very collegial work environment, one that is respectful of people’s differences and encourages people to do their best. I’ve been give many opportunities to do what I love and that’s why, 29 years later, I am still here.

What has been your all-time, favorite moment at GEICO?

I don’t just have one favorite moment at GEICO. I get to work with amazing people and so my favorite moments (if I can have more than one) are when I am talking with my associates and helping them develop in some way, and seeing them move into positions of greater responsibility.

If you could tell someone one thing about GEICO, what would it be?

If you like a challenge, are a hard worker, and want to have lots of opportunities to be successful, then this is the company for you.

For more than 12 years, GEICO has hired driven, bright early careerists into our Emerging Leaders Program. We offer two tracks – IT and Operations Management. If you are looking for an opportunity to be challenged, mentored and inspired, this may be the program for you. Learn more at

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