Maria Junk (’10 B.A. English) credits her experience at the University of Saint Francis (USF) with preparing her to succeed in her career. Not only did she get a well-rounded education, but she also gained valuable work experience. A recommendation from her creative writing professor helped Junk land an unpaid internship during her senior year, which led to her first job in marketing.
Today, Junk holds a management position at Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company in Fort Wayne, where she has worked nearly 10 years. She spent three years in marketing communications before moving into agency marketing services. There, she helped the company’s independent agency partners develop and execute marketing strategies. In September 2021, Maria became Ministry Partner operations manager in the sales department.
In her current role, Junk builds relationships with national and regional leaders of church denominations. She helps lighten the administrative burden of risk management so church leaders can focus on their mission.
“Our customer base is the reason for what we do,” Junk said.
Brotherhood Mutual insures more than 65,000 Christian churches, schools, camps, and other religious organizations across the country. It employs more than 600 people in Fort Wayne and is one of the nation’s leading property and casualty insurers of Christian ministries.
Brotherhood Mutual provides a sense of community, similar to what Junk experienced at USF. “There’s a genuine community of believers here,” she said. “And there’s a culture of caring. It’s not just: ‘Go to your cube and do your work.’”
She appreciates the collaborative atmosphere. Over time, Junk has formed friendships with people across the company. In summer, she plays recreational volleyball with friends from the finance, legal, and human resources departments. “We’re in very different fields,” she said, “but you can still form friendships.”
And Junk believes that working at Brotherhood Mutual would be a good fit for USF graduates. “Fort Wayne is such an up-and-coming city. Why not stay here and work for a company that’s growing and cares about you as a person?”
USF encourages students to explore a broad range of subjects before specializing in one area of study. Junk believes the university’s emphasis on providing a liberal arts education produces well-rounded graduates. For instance, Junk gained skills invaluable to marketing while majoring in English literature.
Skills she learned include interacting with people, presenting in front of groups, and writing to get one’s point across. “A big part of marketing is knowing your audience and knowing what it wants,” she said.
Junk’s undergraduate job as an event coordinator for off-campus students who attended USF also offered valuable lessons. She learned how to empathize with her target audience and find creative ways to engage them. That experience helped prepare her for opportunities in both marketing and sales.
“It requires thinking about how people think and figuring out how to connect with them,” Junk said.
Through internships and other experiences, Junk learned how to work with clients, write ad copy, and develop a public relations program. She continued learning new skills after joining Brotherhood Mutual, first in writing marketing copy, then in managing relationships with agents who sell the company’s insurance policies to ministries.
She says Brotherhood Mutual is good about coming alongside its employees and helping them to learn. One important benefit: Tuition reimbursement is available for employees who wish to gain more work-related knowledge. Since joining the company, Junk has earned an insurance designation and a master’s degree in business–education the company helped pay for. She’s working on her second insurance designation
About Brotherhood Mutual®
Celebrating more than 100 years in business, Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company is one of the nation’s leading property and casualty insurers of Christian ministries. The company serves more than 65,000 churches, schools, colleges, camps, and related ministries in 47 states and the District of Columbia. Headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Brotherhood Mutual is staffed by 600+ employees and works with 424 independent agents in 93 agencies nationwide. www.brotherhoodmutual.com
Thank you for your interest in Brotherhood Mutual. We appreciate the opportunity to provide your church or other ministry with an insurance quote and will reply to your request as soon as possible.
Text to follow...