Where do I begin?  After graduating law school, I thought to myself, “how difficult can it be to learn about compliance in the world of insurance?”  And boy, was I mistaken.  Analyzation of legal and compliance issues/reviews in the insurance world is a whole new area for me.  Despite studying various areas of law in the past several years, I could not come to terms with how much there is to the insurance world.  But, thanks to Compliance 101 and all the sessions at the 32nd Association of Insurance Compliance (“AICP”) in Denver, Colorado, I was able to leave a five-day conference feeling more comfortable with insurance than I had expected.  Not only was the set-up of the compliance class professional and friendly, it was exceptionally informative.  The speakers were wonderful, and I didn’t feel like I was sitting in a classroom all over again.  The environment was casual-friendly, and I realized how educated and experienced AICP speakers truly are.  I felt honored to learn about insurance from people who have been in the field for decades.

Being a first timer at AICP initially made me feel a bit nervous.  I was so far from home for the first time; it was a new place, new people, new culture, and a new environment for me.  I didn’t know what to expect, and quite frankly, I was worried.  However, not only was AICP’s Compliance 101 and sessions informative, the people were wonderful.  It was a privilege meeting and conversing with people from different areas of the insurance industry.  I particularly liked how interactive Compliance 101 and all the sessions were.  It surely prevented me from falling asleep!  Some people shared concerns and comments, while others raised questions.  All the speakers engaged with attendees to the best of their abilities.  It was noticeable how much everyone wanted to help one another better their work abilities.

Aside from the lectures, there was time for fun, of course.  There was delicious breakfast and lunch provided to us by generous sponsors throughout the conference.  The location selected for this year’s conference was at the heart of the center of Denver; many places were available in just walking distance.  I didn’t think I would want to explore Denver since I was so far from home, but the tone set by AICP was so comforting that I knew I had to go out and explore what the beautiful city of Denver had to offer.  Of course, I had to buy a souvenir for myself while I was out!  Speaking of fun, AICP selected a few places for people to have dinner on the last night.  It was a chance for people to engage in more conversations, get to one another, socialize, have dinner together, all while having some fun.  Dinner Detective is what I selected to go to on Tuesday night.  I never experienced such a thing before.  It was different, to say the least.  While eating dinner and having conversations with the people sitting by our side, there was a show going on right in the middle of all of us.  In a nutshell, there was a murder mystery that had to be solved.  Throughout the night, the “detectives” gave us clues and we had to put those clues together in order to determine the murderer.  At the end, someone won a prize for guessing the killer correctly.  There were a lot of laughs and giggles throughout the night, which made the dinner worthwhile!

Although I felt a little home-sick towards the end of the conference, I was grateful that I had an opportunity to go to AICP’s National Conference.  There is no better place to connect with people who do similar work as you, gain knowledge from people with a great deal of experience, and build relationships that I hope will continue far beyond the realm of the insurance industry.

As a first timer at AICP, I surely hope there will be a next time!

By: Wajiha Kazmi, J.D.

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