Perseverance the key to success for 30-year-old VP

Perseverance the key to success for 30-year-old VP | Insurance Business America

Perseverance the key to success for 30-year-old VP
He’s just turned 30, he’s a VP and leads the broking practice for the senior living practice at Willis Towers Watson. By any measure, he’s had a successful beginning to his career.

And the key to success for Rick Alfonso: perseverance.

Alfonso overcame hardships in his early life, which he said set him up to help him push through difficult times in his working career.

“My younger brother and I were, for lack of a better term, orphaned as young kids. Between the ages of two and seven or eight, we were moved around 14 different times. So, getting through all that helped,” he said.

“In your professional life, everybody has a lot of work and a lot of tough challenges. What really sets people apart is sticking with it and persevering with whatever challenge gets put in front of you. I can say that, generally, in my life, the majority of them [challenges], I have overcome. I think that’s huge.”

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The 30-year-old was named a Young Gun in 2016 by Insurance Business when he was an AVP and senior casualty broker at just 29.

Brokers, of course, don’t work for the accolades. But, regardless, they’re nice to get, he said.

“It can kind of validate you, too, in a lot ways, when you’re dealing with people you don’t know, or prospects. That can be cool. Mostly with the recognition, people are impressed and were happy for me. They like it.”

Alfonso also helps downtrodden local children in the foster system. Per his profile in the Young Guns print magazine edition last year: “Outside the office, Alfonso volunteers as a court-appointed special advocate of Cook County, where he serves abused and neglected children in the DCFS foster care system by ensuring that their best interests are investigated and represented by the court.

And his best advice for other young professionals: “Don’t hesitate to roll up your sleeves and take on work and projects that may not seem appealing to you.”

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