Travelers EDGE® - Where Are They Now?
Dustina Granlund Class of 2014
Dustina Granlund was facing financial hardships and didn’t know where to go for help. “I was a first-generation college student struggling to get through school,” Dustina remembers. Once she joined the Travelers EDGE program, she took full advantage of its resources, including two internships, guidance on writing resume and cover letters, and advice for presenting herself well during interviews. After making connections across Travelers, in both the Hartford and St. Paul campuses, Dustina is now a QA analyst.
Masmoudath Anjorin Class of 2013
As an actuarial student at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Masmoudath faced a cultural and a language barrier. Originally from Benin, in West Africa, French was her native language. Travelers EDGE gave Masmoudath not only support for books and tuition, but an internship that prepared her for working as part of a team. “Travelers EDGE definitely changed my life,” said Masmoudath, who is now a data associate scientist at Dell EMC. “I’m excited for the future.”
Rupesh Parajuli Class of 2012
When Rupesh Parajuli came to the United States, his goal was to graduate from college and get a job with a good company. “What was missing was the ‘how,’” Rupesh explains. Through the Travelers EDGE program, Rupesh found the support to attend college and the mentoring to answer his cultural and corporate etiquette questions. Now in his fourth year of the Information Technology Leadership Development Program (ITLDP) at Travelers, Rupesh, a new U.S. citizen, lives with his family in a home they recently bought in Connecticut.
Bela Pina Class of 2014
The Travelers EDGE program has been “like a family” for Bela Pina, who held several internships before joining Travelers full-time. “It opened doors that I was always looking for,” Bela said, adding that she has continued to build on those relationships since graduating. Travelers EDGE also gave her the chance to network and to explore different areas across the company. Now, just a few years out of college, she’s bought her first home and uses the skills she learned in the program to grow in her role as an underwriter.
Sanchez Anderson Class of 2009
Growing up, Sanchez Anderson tried to protect his parents from his troubles at school, so he didn’t mention being bullied. The experience was isolating. That all changed when he started the Travelers EDGE program, which helped him envision his future in the business world. “I do believe it brings about hope,” Sanchez says, recalling how much he’s learned from his supportive managers and mentors. Now a project leader at Travelers in Business Insurance IT, Sanchez says, “Travelers EDGE provided me more focus on what to do in life.”
Keith Vorderbruggen Class of 2011
A month after getting married in 2007, Keith Vorderbruggen lost his job. He decided to get a college degree but worried about how he would pay for it. Travelers EDGE provided mentoring and a scholarship that made his dream of graduating from college come true. “It took a huge burden off me, knowing that I wasn’t going to be strapped down with student loans for the rest of my marriage.” Keith has since been promoted three times in the past four years, and is now a quality assurance program lead.
Bryant Dominguez Class of 2013
“It’s changed my life, it’s changed my family’s life,” Bryant Dominguez says of the Travelers EDGE program. Currently enrolled in the Insurance Operations Leadership Development Program, Bryant was the first in his family to graduate from college. He recently bought a home in Hartford and is looking forward to many more years living and working in the city he loves Connecticut.
Jessica Ugbo Class of 2012
When Jessica Ugbo arrived in the United States from Nigeria at 19, she was working part-time in a retail store. Then came the Travelers EDGE program, which offered Jessica her first exposure to the business world and also a became a great network for her. “We’re not just a program, we’re a family,” Jessica says. Now a workers compensation claim professional in Travelers Claim, Jessica is currently fulfilling her dream of applying to law school.
Mai Yang Vue Class of 2013
Born in a refugee camp in Thailand, Mai Yang Vue was the first in her family to attend college. “It was tremendously important to receive the coaching that I did from the Travelers EDGE program,” Mai Yang says, describing how exciting it was for her entire family when she landed her first internship. Now a project coordinator at UnitedHealth Group, she is looking forward to getting married next year.
Camron Rafiee Class of 2010
After dropping out of high school, Camron Rafiee spent nearly six years as a construction worker. Then one hot day, shoveling rocks at the bottom of a ditch, he realized he needed to make a change. Camron enrolled at Capitol Community College, and Travelers EDGE gave him financial assistance and mentoring. He now works as a large property underwriter. “Looking at where I am today and the opportunities that were given to me, I just can’t be more appreciative of the [Travelers] EDGE program and Travelers.”