For Lakeland Associate Carmen Smith, "There is Room for Everyone to Develop & Grow at GEICO"

GEICO's Lakeland office increases starting salary, aims to hire nearly 500

LAKELAND, Fla., May 24, 2021—GEICO looks to add to its robust workforce in Lakeland by hiring as many as 500 new associates as soon as possible in the fields of claims, customer service (including bilingual individuals) and sales (including bilingual individuals), among others.

GEICO just increased the starting salary in its Lakeland office and offers competitive pay and great benefits.

For Lakeland associate Carmen Smith, while the benefits are important, what has kept her at GEICO for 25 years has been the people, including "the friendships I have made and the mentors who have invested their time into my development," said Smith.

Smith, who attended Kathleen High School, had a lot of odd jobs in early adulthood, working at a sub shop and wholesale picture frame company, among other places.

She found the job at GEICO after seeing a hiring advertisement in the Lakeland Ledger and started in the sales department with limited sales experience.

"Before starting at GEICO, I had never sold a thing in my life! But, that's the beauty of this place. No matter what position you start, GEICO will train you to excel," Smith said.

As a promote-from-within company, GEICO provides several different pathways for associates to gain knowledge and experience. Smith took advantage of GEICO's tuition reimbursement to earn a bachelor's degree in business administration from Florida Southern College.

"I'm a first-generation college graduate because of GEICO," Smith remarks proudly. While she attended school, worked full time and raised a blended family with five kids, GEICO was there to support her. "My coworkers and leadership team supported my career goals and offered advice on how to balance all things well."

With her degree in hand, Smith quickly worked her way up the ranks, earning a supervisor role just 3 years after starting at GEICO—and being promoted to a managerial role just 3 years after that. "There is room for everyone to develop their personal career plan and find opportunities within the GEICO family—either in Lakeland or any of our other offices," Smith said.

In fact, her husband, Christopher Smith, a U.S. Air Force veteran, has worked at GEICO for 35 years, and her brother, Norman Hunt, a U.S. Army veteran, has gone from Lakeland to Washington, D.C. over the course of his 25 year-career at GEICO.

"I've watched Lakeland grow exponentially. I'm thankful GEICO helped me and my family grow at the same time," added Smith.

Smith's viewpoint is shared by many of her Lakeland colleagues, according to Regional Vice President Angela Rinella. "Lakeland is thriving—new businesses are coming here every day. At the same time, it's great to see our Lakeland office able to hire new people and promote current associates to open up these opportunities we're hiring for," said Rinella.

A member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies, GEICO is a stable company that was founded more than 80 years ago. The company's Total Rewards benefits package includes health, dental and vision coverage, paid vacation and holidays, parental leave, and continuing education and tuition reimbursement.

When asked what she tells people about GEICO, Smith answered: "The Lakeland office is a great place because of the culture of diversity and so many associates with different backgrounds—we are all uniquely ordinary people doing extraordinary things!"

Applications are being accepted now at GEICO.jobs/Lakeland.

GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company), the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S., was founded in 1936 and insures more than 28 million vehicles in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. A member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies, GEICO employs more than 43,000 associates countrywide. GEICO constantly strives to make lives better by protecting people against unexpected events while saving them money and providing an outstanding customer experience. Along with personal auto insurance, commercial auto and personal umbrella coverages are also available. Homeowners, renters, condo, flood, identity theft, term life, and more coverages are written through non-affiliated insurance companies and are secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, LLC. Visit geico.com for a quote or to learn more.